K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Sep 30 2011

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Are You Connected?

Let me start off by introducing myself, since this is my first blog post. I’m the editor of K+BB’s Industry Watch newsletter, I have a background in interior design and recently had the opportunity to attend Moen’s Inspire 2011 conference. The event not only gave me my first introduction to New Mexico (A state I absolutely can’t wait to revisit), but also made me stop and think about work, but more importantly, how we work.

Now, the conference certainly had a series of sessions that showcased both kitchen and bath products and design, but I also found one of the speakers who addressed what she called the “work/life balance” fascinating. The ideas brought up in the session resonated with me, so I thought I’d share.

The session speaker pointed out that we are currently living in a world with very little predictability or stability. Almost anyone who has been working in the design field can probably relate…and then some. So what do you do when life becomes unpredictable? Do you overcompensate and work even harder, hoping everything will fall into place? Or do you shut down and go into survival mode, just trying to get by. Presumably everyone reacts in their own unique way.

So there’s a lot that’s beyond our control, but how do we find balance in our work and lives? This session pointed out that as much as we push ourselves and think “you can do it,” ultimately, you can’t keep up. You will never get it all done, there’s too much to do and not enough time. Now that much we know.

Well, this workshop suggested that in life, real balance comes from “connection.” Or in other words, connection creates balance. It’s the relationships that you have in your life that bring meaning and a sense of being grounded. These can be connections with friends and family or co-workers and clients.

In the workshop, we were asked to turn to those sitting next to us and share a ritual in our lives, and it didn’t have to something deeply profound, it could be as simple as walking your dog every morning. But, sharing even this small piece of information with a complete stranger led to a familiarity that was totally unexpected. And, no, I don’t think the point was to spout your deepest thoughts to people randomly sitting next to you. I do think, however, that often we get so caught up in the day-to-day with the “to do” lists running through our heads, that we forget to reach out and make that connection. To stop and listen or ask a question.

There will always be reasons why you don’t reach out to connect. We’re all busy. But it was interesting in the midst of a conference looking at design and inspiration, to take a few minutes to think about how we connect with others. And perhaps that may be the key to a more rounded and successful career and personal life.

-Nichole Schulze, K+BB Industry Watch editor

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