Time to lather up.

A few months back I wandered into a LUSH store and was intrigued by their shampoo bars. I have recently opted to return to bars of soap for hand washing over the packaged version of liquid hand wash, not just because of the packaging but also because they always seemed to need replacing so often. Compared to a bar of soap - which seems it can last almost a year over a bottle which seems to last maybe one month. So I figured why not give the shampoo version a try.

Result...I'm a BIG fan of the shampoo bar.

The bar lathers so well I find I get enough product to get the job done and not only do I no longer have empty bottles to dispose of, over six months later and that $9 bar of shampoo now needs to be replaced. Even cheap shampoo products can't compete with that.

So where am I going with this? No, I am not pitching a LUSH product, what I am musing about is making choices. As the driver of your life, each route you take, you are defining your own destination and experience getting there. Are you doing things because that is the way things have always been done? Maybe it's time to take a new route and create new experiences.

After I downsized my office from 225 to 35 square feet, I realized I had to rethink not just what I needed to keep, but also my workflow. As a big fan of the benefits of printed materials - I would generally take a client’s email or list of edits, print them out and check them off as I went. Then I would save the pages in a docket and file for ‘posterity?’ I don’t know. I had this previous notion that saving this type of paperwork was important. Though after purging through my files and realizing that I rarely if ever opened them again, what exactly was the benefit in keeping them?

So my new process sticks to printing only what is essential. Items like signed agreements, and maybe a timeline for reference are making the cut these days, and even they may be reconsidered down the road. Is this an easy change? No. I really do need to check myself each time I go to click print. The small space around me and a desire to keep my paper piles to a minimum is a good reminder.

I am a strong supporter in the value of print, yes it is the niche I am in as a designer, but I am also aware and respect the value of what the digital world can bring us when used strategically… less ‘stuff’ to store, manage and in a way clears up headspace to focus on what matters as well an ability to take a break from managing things and instead manage time.

I think by re-thinking what we create, we end up creating and printing items that will have more purpose and value. How many times do you come back from the mailbox with a stack of postcards, flyers and other promotions and find yourself dropping them in the recycle bin without much of a glance?

So I challenge you to look around your office and home and see what one thing catches your eye and question its function. Whether it is your marketing materials or laundry detergent.

What can you do differently that is a smarter choice and makes positive impacts?