On today’s episode, I spend time chatting with Rob Walker. Rob Walker is a journalist covering design, technology, business, the arts, and other subjects. He writes the Human Resource column for Lifehacker, and has contributed to The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Design Observer, The Organist, and many others. His book The Art of Noticing was released in May 2019. He is on the faculty of the Products of Design MFA program at the School of Visual Arts.
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Rob Walker’s book The Art of Noticing is a gorgeously illustrated volume that will spark your creativity and - most importantly - help you see the world anew. Through a series of simple and playful exercises with 131 of them, Rob maps ways for you to become a clearer thinker, a better listener, a more creative workplace colleague and finally, to rediscover your sense of passion and to notice what really matters to you.
We discussed the book and the subject of “noticing” a great deal during our conversation.
Specifics that we covered on the show include:
- How do you define “noticing” and how does that play a role in how we craft our lives? (3:23)
- On the notion of productivity and efficiency (5:27)
- On “noticing” as the backbone of curiosity (7:15)
- What is being productive? (09:10)
- What led Rob to spend time studying the topic of noticing? (11:15)
- Is Rob the “Jerry Maguire” of noticing? (13:01)
- On “noticing” when it comes to comedy (14:30)
- On the idea of attunement vs. alignment ( 16:25)
- On the idea of time management (17:20)
- Why is this book important right now? (22:44)
- How many ways did not make it into the book? (25:17)
- Which of the 131 exercises stood out and which is the most unconventional? (26:50)
- Does Rob journal and if so how? (30:18)
“It is not about your skill at noticing, more on the habit of noticing that sort of forces you to see differently and to see things that you weren't looking for.” ~ Rob Walker
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What is The Productivityist Podcast: A Time Management and Personal Productivity Talk Show?
Hosted by productivity strategist Mike Vardy, The Productivityist Podcast is a weekly show that discusses tips, tools, tactics, and tricks that are designed to help you take your productivity, time management, goals, to do lists, habits, and workflow to new heights - both at work and at home. If you're looking to focus your efforts on getting the right things done and start living the good life, then this weekly conversational podcast – crafted in the tradition of Slate's Working, Back to Work, and HBR IdeaCast – is for you.