Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Keep it Simple: a new print and a giveaway!

Back in design school, one of our instructors used to like to refer to the KISS principle (Keep it simple, Stupid). In design, the most simple solution is usually the best, even though not always easy to get to. I learned this lesson over and over while in school and later in my work.

I'm finding that the principle applies to my life more and more as the layers of my life grow more rich and numerous. Simplify, simplify, simplify. The only way I have been able to manage all of the layers of my life is to start by managing my expectations. Not that I always succeed - my natural tendency towards perfectionism is a hard one to beat down.

For me simplifying does not mean settling for less. It just means that I simplify the parts of my life that I care less about (making meals, cleaning house) so that the parts I care about most (time with my family, and creativity) can be more full. Par exemple: Meal planning and prep used to take up a buttload of my time. Eating healthy is uber important to us but I hate the planning part of making menus and lists. Recently I spent an afternoon making 4 different weekly menus with accompanying shopping lists and we just rotate them during the month. It is so simple, and now we rarely have to think about what we are eating.

I honestly made this print as a reminder to myself - it is going to hang right there over my desk. But I decided that if I were going to look at it daily I didn't want it calling me stupid, and my guess is that most people don't want to be called stupid either.

And now the fun part! I'll be giving away one of these prints on July 13. To be in the running, just leave a comment below and let me know how you Keep it Simple in your life, or even if you are struggling to keep it simple, or prefer keeping it complicated. Whatevs! The winner will be picked at random and announced right there!


car hole studio said...
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Man vs Ink said...

Such a lovely print! I love what you did with the colors. I keep my life simple with my bicycle! That means I don't worry about car payments, insurance, or gas money. It also helps me live local and support business in my area.

Miss J said...

Thank you Man vs Ink! Awesome!

espressogal said...

I love the print! The reminder is so needed in my house. I have two small children, a workaholic husband and a moderate sized house. About six months ago to simplify I started donating, recycling, or giving away ONE thing a day. It can be as simple as holey sock or something big like a toy no longer played with. I know feel like it is the only way too control all the STUFF that seems to enter the house.

Lerin said...

I do remember KISS from school! This is so apropos to where i am in my journey right now. :) Im an analyzer, perfectionist, problem solver by nature and i put alot of pressure & responsibilities on myself. But now, Ive simplified my living space and possessions, made weekdays an optimum time for going out & living it up, stopped streessing about making other ppl happy, stopped trying to fit in and adopted a uber healthy diet. And made myself (finally!) and family a top priority. Yeah for simplicity!! Ive never been this happy.

Miss M. said...

Cool post and very lovely print you made there! Love the colors! And is a subject that I think about a lot and try to incorporate in my life! Thanks for this great post! Liefs Miss M.

Ms. T said...

I try to keep things simple by making lists, but I usually end up with too many things on them (and too many lists)! So now I concentrate on just trying to finish one thing at a time everyday rather then putting it off. ...And the print is super cute too!

Shelley Whiting said...

I love reading your post it was very entertaining. Your picture is very simplistic but also very creative and thought out. The font is playful and the colors are bright and cheerful.

Charlotte said...

Nice print Miss J! It's good that the KISS principle is inspiring to just produce in stead of not producing as a result of a killing perfectionism. That's exactly what I'm trying to do as well nowadays: Just Do It Smartypants ;)

Anonymous said...

oh tell me i'm not too late! love the message and the print!

here's to hoping!

stacy dot drake at gmail dot com

eva b. said...

I am way too late (that happens too in this motherhood!), but I just wanted to say that I love the print, and I like how you made it much more cheerful by turning that last S into smartypants, rather than stupid :)
A student of mine once said, and I very much agreed that the way to KISS was to do stuff close to home. Do away with the commute! (I wish, but still...)
xoxo J!