Oykun's Daily Blog

Quick daily thoughts, experiences and learnings from personal and professional life written in 15-20 mins.

Jan 24, 2024 - There is only today

The idea of tomorrow always existing is what makes building healthy habits difficult.

  • You want to write everyday but dont feel like it today, well, you will do it tomorrow.
  • You want to read books everyday, it is okay to skip today, there is tomorrow.
  • You want to ...

There is only today.
Do it today.
Even if you dont feel like.
Even if it is writing a few words or reading 1 paragraph.

Do less instead of none.
Build the habit, flex the density.


Jan 23, 2024 - Exhilaratingly scary yet joyous experience

I sent DesignerMindset Book's Chapter 1 draft access to the preorders yesterday for beta reading and gathering feedback.

Mixed feelings! Ecstatic yet terrified!

One of the main reason why I experience these level of feeling is that I have been writing for months, revising, editing, skipping days... As I delayed and tried to perfect it, the more pressure gathered.  

Lesson learned.
Chapter 2 Communication first draft is almost done after 2 weeks of writing. I will be sharing early access to new chapter every other week.
Lower the stakes and make it better with readers.


Jan 22, 2024 - Reading as resilience for hard things

Reading is often taken as an act for consuming knowledge. Sure there is a place for that.

However there is also the aspect of what it does to our brain and phycology.
By reading books which require focus for a period of time unlike tweets or short articles, we train our brain to do hard things without getting distracted or bored.

Reading is as an act to develop our brain is often overseen.

This skill will be crucial at the other parts of our lives.

Read, not only for learning, but for being industructable in the new age of engineered distractions


Jan 21, 2024 - How you are seen

I'm often told that I'm a natural leader, people like to be around me, trust my word, follow me.

I find that hard to believe since I have never seen myself in that position. For the longest part of my career, I was a solo creative. I guess how we see ourselves and how we are seen do not always align and it okay.

Don't disregard what others say about you.
You may learn soemthing new about yourself.
Good or bad.


Jan 20, 2024 - Selling dreams, not improvements

Most pays for dreams. unproven, not well considered dreams.


Jan 19, 2024 - 5am

I wake up early. Not with alarm, but naturally.

That gives me about 2 hours until kids wake up for school. This 2 hours are precious for me. Something magical about having my coffee by the dark window on my desk with a candle  and keyboard.

It is not about the silence.
I have similar level of soledom during the day, but it is not the same.

The world is sleeping, yet you are up
The air is sharp and fresh
...


Jan 18, 2024 - Designer's Perfectionism

Most of us tend to be perfectionists in our crafts. If it is not going to be the very best version of what it could be in the market, what is even the point in designing it?!

I appreciate this ambitious attitude, however, first of all, as we know, nothing is perfect. It is important to understand the requirements, constraints, expectations of the project at hand. What you see online as a perfect design may be the worst solution for the project you have in your hand. It’s all relative.

There is also the aspect of where you are in your career and what you are able to create. You need to be aware of your skill set and assign your goals accordingly. Be realistic about what you can achieve.

Every project is an opportunity for growth and getting closer to that higher standard you put yourself toward. There are no shortcuts or jumps, you need to walk the path step by step.


Jan 17, 2024 - How to negotiate a higher salary

This question comes too often.
Yes, there are many tricks and approaches. I share them on my X and various articles.

However, I need to state something most don’t want to hear!

Be so damn good at what you do that when you are in the room with interviewers, have your confidence boost you.
Be so f*cking good that you will have an answer from experience to every question.
Then, you won't need to play with tricks.
People will just pay what you want. Even more!

Remember;
You sell trust!
Not the shapes you do in Figma!

Speaking from experience.
No bullshitting!

With love!


Jan 16, 2024 - Eliminate > Priotorise > Organize

We are exposed to too many
We are tempted to do too many
...

As the saying goes:

We can do anything, but not everything.

The ones who try to do all fail.
There is just so much time and energy throughout the day.

We need to eliminate for the meaningful few.
The ones that will have the biggest impact on our lives, creative satisfaction.
The ones that we can do sustainably for a period of time.

Then we need to prioritise for the important ones.
The ones that need to be done first either due to deadlines or energy requirements.
The ones that need our complete focus and energy.

Then we need to organize.
We can get messy with the few and be ineffective.
We need to know what gets done when without procrastination.

There it is.
Organized meaningful ones need to be done in a specific order.
Now, get to work!


Jan 15, 2024 - Why I write

I write for myself.
To remind myself to do something more often.

I write to share.
I feel like it's selfish to keep it to myself.

I write to understand.
Listening is easy, it may feel like you understand. However, articulating simply is where you know that you truly understand it.  

I write to remember.
As the saying goes; our brain is for generating ideas, not to keep them. I write everything down as it comes to my mind so that I can find them when needed.

I write to communicate.
The best form of communication both in personal and professional life, where everyone in the chain can take their time to understand and refer to.  

I write to show my love.
I write loving Post-it notes for my wife, surprise papers in my girls' school lunches, caring letters for my parents... Putting this extra effort into writing means more to the ones who receive it!

I write to hear myself.
There is something magical about looking at myself from an outer-body perspective. Writing gives me those eyes.

I write to ...


Jan 14, 2024 - do not paint it, water it

designers

do not paint your leafs green
get over the fake and shallow nature many imitate

don't water your leafs
instead, water the roots
have them flourish from the source
ever so stronger
ever so real
ever so desired

yes it will take you longer
just like all the good things in life


Jan 13, 2024 - I don't know what I'm doing

It is often a good place to be in. It means you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. You are learning through experimentation. The best type of learning in my experience.

However, it is important to be careful. Context matter.
You would not want to be clueless while other people's careers and lives are at stake or a billion-dollar business relies on your output. It is better to be prepared at a certain level.

Bear in mind though, there are always going to be details that you are not fully knowledgeable of.
Don't let these stop you.
Know enough, Do more, Learn along the way.‌


Jan 12, 2024 - Did over Will

No longer saying "I will do something" but "I did something".

It feels good to tell the world about your project or action idea when you are fired up with motivation. Giving unreasonable promises.

The day(s) after when the motivation dies and life gets busy, you will find yourself off course.

Sure you can plan properly for that not to happen.‌‌Sure you can announce a longer timeline.‌‌Sure ...

Common sense is not always the common practice.‌‌We are human, we do insensible things.

Have everything set and ready to go. Then tell.


Jan 11, 2024 - No absolutes in Design

I have seen a fair bit of the design world in my 25-year-long journey and I have come to the conclusion that there are no absolutes in Design. None! Nill! Zero!

Context matters! It all depends.

Sometimes complexity, sometimes pairing unusual fonts, and sometimes vivid colours that don't match can be the design that is needed.

This is what makes the design exciting, colourful and life lifelong journey!‌‌This is what makes it welcome everybody.


Jan 10, 2024 - Motivation to Overestimation

Motivation can be an amazing tool to get you going!

However, it is like a flare! Instant feeling that comes and goes. It makes you do illogical things. Mostly good things.

It is how most of your side projects start with high hopes and die quickly. ‌‌It is what makes you give illogical promises the moment that you realise later you can't deliver.

Motivation is powerful.‌‌Use it wisely!


Jan 9, 2024 - Trust over status

Such a common situation among new design leaders/managers in a new company and team.

Comes with goodwill, excitement about a new job, wanting to make an impact straight away, proving to your manager that you are the right hire, that you can make things better, you know you did it before!

Then makes changes rapidly with all these feelings.

All the right changes perhaps, yet it backfires! Gets complaints, and dislikes despite being a lovely person.

The realization hits! You used status to make changes before gaining trust.

Trust comes first! and it takes time. Building relations with patience and slowly changing things is mostly a better way.


Jan 8, 2024 - Being silent for a while is good

Being in silence by oneself is a gift most resist taking.

No podcasts, no music, no YouTube videos, no books, no one else interacting with you. It is purely you and only you.

Get over how boring, unproductive, scary it is...

Just listen to the silence, you will start hearing your mind talking to you. Telling what you need to do, how you failed at writing your newsletter, why you won't succeed... It tends to focus on bad aspects. That's why most people silence it with podcasts, music...

But, listen to it.

Don't justify your actions. Don't defend yourself. Don't answer. Just listen. You need to hear those! That voice is the best friend you have, telling you the truth about yourself nobody will. Listen, soon the voice will go away. You will find yourself in complete silence and it is beautiful, peaceful, ... It is you and only you, no clients, no deadlines, no commitments, ...

Allow yourself to accept that gift. ‌‌Being silent for a while is good. ‌‌Be.


Jan 7, 2024 - You are blocked!

We are shaping our digital worlds as we like, welcoming the things we like and blocking the things we don't. It sounds like an amazing position to be in at first.

But.

It makes you single-minded. ‌‌It keeps you where you are, and stops you from growing.‌‌It makes you intolerant in the real world.‌‌It makes you fragile in the world when you are confronted with opposing ideas. ‌‌It makes you ...

Just stop blocking at the slightest inconvenience unless it is toxic.‌‌Learn to ignore when needed. ‌‌Learn to understand contradicting perspectives.‌‌Learn to be resilient.


Jan 6, 2024 - What is your 1 thing?

We often juggle multiple projects and skill sets. Have it designing websites, icon sets, creating Framer templates, to writing newsletters and more. I find this diversity healthy for our creative minds. However, it is easy to fall into the trap of over-diversifying and not having any significant growth in a specific area.

My 1 thing has been "Writing..." for about 6 months. Writing my thoughts, learnings, ideas in Notes and a daily blog like this. Writing my experiences in Book format to share with other designers. I tend to keep writing as my priority for 2024 as well.

So, what is your 1 thing? Find it and focus on it. Have it as your first thing in the morning.


Jan 5, 2024 - 1 rule to live by for Creatives

"The number of hours spent on consuming should never exceed the hours spent on creating."

Yes, read, watch, listen, research, ... however don't get lost in the trap.

Remember, your main purpose in life is to Create.

Yes, it is harder, uncomfortable at times, takes longer than consuming. That's the beauty. Do the beauty. Embrace it. The more you create, the more you will want to create. This is the trap you want to be lost in.


Jan 4, 2024 - Smaller world for healthy growth

I'm 41. I had a childhood without the internet. My circle was a handful of people who were physically around me. We all shared a similar background and had access to similar resources. It was a fair environment. When I did something a bit out of the ordinary, I rightfully thought highly of myself. It did boost my confidence.

The world has changed a lot since then. Today, we are exposed to millions with unfair advantages with a click. This unlimited access can be a gift and a curse. It seems like for most this becomes a curse as they put themselves into unfair comparisons that hurt their self-esteem.

I'm not here to propose a single magic solution in a paragraph, I could write a 90,000-word book on this matter alone. I just want to touch on one aspect of it.

Perhaps we should view the larger world as what is possible to inspire us while keeping our smaller circle of similar people who are slightly ahead for comparison and growth. As we reach the edge of this circle, we expand it gradually by including people who are slightly further along, and so on... By controlling this circle, we avoid being overwhelmed by the vast and unfair scale that's pushed upon us.


Jan 3, 2024 - We become what we consume

We are like magical buckets walking around. 8.1 billion buckets all have their own unique shapes.

We fill this bucket with what we consume and experience throughout the day. Some fill it whole the way up with TikTok prank videos, funny gifs, news about celebrity betrayals... Others fill with philosophy books, thought-provoking articles, meaningful experiences...

Then the time comes to express ourselves either on X or at a gathering, we look in our buckets and take out the things to show the world what we have whether memes or meaningful insights.

The good thing is, that it is simple to empty our buckets, just pour out the crap and fill it with good stuff. It is all our choice. We can do it now and instantly change how we perceive the world and what we become. You will see, what you put out will instantly change!

So, let's fill our buckets with good stuff and influence others to do so. This amazing life has more to offer to our buckets than memes and pranks.


Jan 2, 2024 - Clarity in the Noise

The Internet has given us access to unlimited resources. It is both bliss and curse.

You have a project or goal in mind, you start researching, you find a useful resource, and you start applying. It is all going well, then you come across another piece of advice on the same challenge you are facing, now you are adopting that, then another conflicting piece of advice, and so on...

Suddenly it gets noisy and confusing! You are losing your clarity and getting blocked or going off track.

This happens to all of us! We have to constantly remind ourselves that everybody is different, so what works for everybody can be different.

Find and define what works for you. Be confident enough to believe in your path, walk it with clarity and focus. Ignore the noise.


Jan 1, 2024 - Pain

It's the first day of the year. A hopeful start for most. I don't have that approach to the first day of the year. It is just a day after yesterday. I'm giving it a try for a new start though, with the idea of PAIN.

I'm going to write here every day, it doesn't matter how much I do not feel like it, it does not matter how painful it will be. I will learn to deal with it with this blog.

Yes, Pain may be an overstatement. I just want to emphasise these worst days that I won't want to write.

Why focus on pain rather than any possible positive motivator?

Because it is easy to do it when you feel like it, it is called motivation, inspiration. However, when it gets difficult! Then it is a struggle and point of stopping the pursuit. You don't want to do the thing, forcing yourself feels uncomfortable, unpleasant, and painful! We have to learn to deal with the pain and be disciplined to do it anyway unless we can make the journey fun which is not always possible.

The more you do, the more it becomes part of you, your routine. It becomes easier and more fun. Don't give up until you reach there.

This blog is going to be my battleground against pain to victory. No matter how long it takes.

Having said all that, I know it will be mostly fun : )