31 August 18 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from August.

This is your brain at work: sometimes it’s noisy, overwhelming and full of distractions. It can be tough getting into flow and finding your rhythm.

That’s why this month, I’ve focussed on looking inwards—collating eight essential articles on business, design, growth, and tech to improve your wellbeing in the workplace.

Whether you’re looking to de-stress, create efficiencies through intelligent design, or re-tune your day to day—I’ve got an article to help you get back into excellent mental shape.

Take a moment to sit back, pause and unplug: it’s Super8 in August.

1. How to get started when you are feeling overwhelmed.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Deb Knobelman.
  • Contributor: Sarah El-Atm. 

When your workload, schedule or commitments are piling up, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by it all. There’s often so much to do and so little time to do it.

In this well-crafted article, Deb Knobelman breaks down some of the ways you can reduce the oncoming overwhelm—starting with one thing at a time.

When I think that I don’t have enough time, I tell myself, I have enough time to do something. I don’t have to do everything. But I have time to do something today.

If you feel a tide rising, remember that while you may not be able to get everything done, you will be able to make progress.

2. How to stop saying ‘um’, ‘ah’ and ‘you know’.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Noah Zandan.  
  • Contributor: Mark Davis.

When we find ourselves nervous, distracted or rattled while making a presentation, it’s easy to lean on verbal crutches: Um. Ah. So. You know. Like.

They give us a moment to recollect our thoughts and regain cadence.

In this article from the Harvard Business Review, Noah Zandan explains why filler words can reduce the impact of your message, pitch or performance when it comes to audience engagement.

Read this article to learn how to take a breath, refocus, and embrace the pause.

3. The finale of Prototyping Week: Interactions.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Daniel Chiu.
  • Contributor: Kurt Smith.

Daniel Chiu explores the outcomes of Prototyping Week at Figma.

Over the course of the week, the team took part in daily releases covering things like landscape device frames, clickable URLs, and as a final swan song: Interactions.

For a prototype to feel real, the buttons and elements inside it also need to respond to the user’s input in predictable ways. Through Interactions, you can create richer experiences for more accurate user testing.

Interactions can help make your prototype feel more realistic, rich, and responsive—take a peek at Figma’s new release including: on click, while hovering, while pressing, and after delay Interactions for all your prototyping needs.

4. You’re never going to be ‘caught up’ at work. Stop feeling guilty about it.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Art Markman.
  • Contributor: Freya Fajgman.

The day starts, work begins, and suddenly, it’s noon. Or evening. Sound familiar?

We all have days when our to-do list gets the better of us. As Art Markman shares, experiencing guilt and shame over uncompleted work doesn’t make you a bad person—just human.

You want to use guilt as a motivational tool when you are in a position to get work done. When you’re not, develop strategies to leave it behind.

The next time you’re playing catch up, try exercising self-compassion, focussing on your accomplishments and practicing acceptance.

5. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on Apple, Facebook, Netflix, and the future.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Robert Safian.
  • Contributor: James Otter.

Your average CEO interview tends to be dishwater dull. But Spotify’s Daniel Ek is no average CEO.

In this piece from Fast Company, Robert Safian collates more than six hours of interviews on the 35-year-old Swedish billionaire entrepreneur and technologist.

Prefacing the interview by recognising team collaboration and its role in innovation and creative processes, Daniel shares his perspective on industry challenges, Netflix’s business model, personal ‘missions’, and positive impact.

6.  Real Talk: Social media and success.

  • Read full article here.
  • Written by Kitiya Palaskas.
  • Contributor: Emily Duckham. 

Australian designer Kitiya Palaskas investigates some of the ways social media marketing can impact the way we view success and achievement.

It’s a topical piece from Real Talk—a wellbeing project for creative people that aims to inspire dialogue, conversation and ideas.

Covering things like algorithms, the nature of ‘unreality’ and the comparison trap—Kitiya sends home a strong message: take a moment to reflect on your own creative process and achievements. Success is relative, social media isn’t.

7. What does it mean to be out of tune?

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Cy Gorman.  
  • Contributor: Richie Meldrum.

This excellent piece from audio visual designer Cy Gorman is the first in a series of articles addressing the metaphorical connection between sound and life. Here, Cy explores what it means to be ‘out of tune’ in your day to day.

Consonance and dissonance, pleasure and displeasure, action and inaction are spectral terms, as are sound, light, moods and emotions.

Consonance feels like things are coming together; there’s harmony in its sound. Dissonance feels jarring; it’s when things are out of tune.

Try applying Cy’s insights to your relationships, work life or creative pursuits to define your own sound.

8. The evolution of tools: closing the loop with Design Intelligence.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Written by Airbnb Design.
  • Contributor: John Broadfoot.

Whether you’re writing code or words, there are tools to help you identify mistakes, correct errors and suggest changes. When you’re working with design, finding simple errors can be an arduous process.

Questions around the consistency of colour across button styles and typography aren’t easily answered without sprawling spreadsheets or manual review.

In this piece from Airbnb Design, their team explores some of the ways they’re using tech to create smarter tools for design workflows.