A new kind of productivity:
One that spotlights your true priorities
I am a big fan of the Getting Things Done method, but, over the years, as I see how other people employ the different methods for being more productive, for example when they start their bullet journals or something similar on Evernote, I sense something very important is missing. A very important step. In the process. That has to do with pre-start.
We have limited time and resources, so wouldn’t it be best if we thought carefully about which things to do, and for what reasons, before we got going on the Action Plan and To-Do’s?
The items on the lists are not the only things you need to get the right things done. Let me say that again: there’s a difference between ‘getting things done’ and ‘getting the right things done,’ after all. Think about it for a second. Those things that are ‘not urgent/important’ on the four-quadrant chart (‘urgent/important’, ‘not urgent/important’, ‘not urgent/not important’ and ‘urgent/not important’) that you sort of never get around to. Writing a novel. Traveling the world. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Then covid comes along and puts the brakes on so, so many things you were going to get to. But didn’t. This is the story of 2023, I feel. And this is whey I’ve updated this site to reflect new services, to offer to those of you who are reading this and saying, ‘How do I know what the right things are to get done, Dipika?’ I can help you isolate that set of things. I have been doing this for many people for about 20 years now. It’s time to give it a space for those who find me online to participate in, and explore, and experience: ‘Focus with Design.’ Because it works.
Here’s that four-quadrant chart I mentioned earlier:
I am a big fan of this one, too.
‘Focus, focus, focus’
Was it Good to Great that talked about ‘focus, focus, focus?’ I can’t remember now what I used to read ten years ago when I had all these business books in my studio; something about moving to the other side of the world and not having all that’s been both a plus and a minus ,at times. Mostly a plus: it makes space for new inputs not having all the old stories hanging around. Also: business books become very quickly obsolete. Did you notice that?
Getting back to the point, making things happen that are focused using the tools of design takes a particular approach. It’s before you get to ‘action.’ It’s the thinking, and the exploring, ahead of the start of any actionable step. Reflection, attention, and awareness are all important to get to the place where you make the right move. Jiu Jitsu, the Book of Five Rings, you know what I mean. It’s not arbitrary or luck, when we make the opportunities that we want to engage in. Uniquely; we have the tools of design to get to the right setup. That’s where I come in.
To share the many tools in the Design Kompany toolkit, for you to start looking with a design philosophy guiding your process and narrowing your focus. This is all very trendy, sometimes, when people talk about ‘design thinking.’ It’s not just a class, though. It’s a method and a mindset, too. How to stay aware of all the possibilities, when you begin. Or even midstream, to refocus, to take stock, to adjust, to re-direct. These things can be designed, too.
PRE-START. I believe that you’ll want to really explore widely before making a ‘plan of action.’ And that is what I help people do. Explore. Discovering, and then using the ideas that emerge from a series of focused conversations to unearth something new. Something unexpected. We go forward from there in small steps, at each turn, learning from the process of ‘Focus with Design.’
It’s fun, light, easygoing, and relaxed for those who are ready to take the chance on something that might just change everything. It has been a way of exploring that invites you to let go of old ideas and embrace the possibilities. I started freelancing through Design Kompany in 2006, and the first-ever business card at that time said ‘Anything is Possible’ on the back. It still feels like the center of what this studio’s goals are: which are, namely, to discover the new and next, and to create opportunities for other people to do this exact same work of going where you don’t know and finding something out there. Then, focusing. Laser focusing on something that resonates very deeply, with you, uniquely. This is the design process: uncovering, through divergent thinking. Then zeroing in on something specific, and forming the concept right around that. This concept I am referring to could be your personal ‘mark’, or your team’s new visionary phrase. Something that galvanizes people because it has meaning. It resonates deeply; that’s important. That has to be there, for things to naturally flow.
I could cite examples here of how I’ve done this for people and what I am about, but I will simply invite you to read the testimonials on this page and at my personal site, and now, a few are getting added to my LinkedIn profile too. Get in touch with me there? I’m happy to connect. We can talk. Improvising is my specialty, so I’m happy to take calls now to see if there’s a fit for us to work together. On your project, whatever it may be
Some recent examples of projects for clients include:
- Figuring out next steps in a career that’s been going well for so long, but… something is missing. ‘Can you help me find that, Dipika?’ ‘Yes.’
- Working on a brand identity design for a new side hustle, soloprenuer style. A mark that doesn’t represent a company, but an attitude.
Focus with Design
Here is how it works.
Design is the heart of DK’s classic brand design package. There are six sessions. I’ll send you a PDF which details how it works if you get in touch through any of the channels at the links at the end of this post. Meantime, to give you a ballpark of how much it costs, I have different packages, bracketed by time.
2 weeks USD550
6 weeks USD2.6K
12 weeks USD3.6K
How I created the toolkits I use for this
Design Kompany was an LLC in Seattle offering brand identity services for clients in that city, finding out as we went that there were often more complex conversations to have beyond, ‘What should our new logo look like?’ A background in marketing for architecture firms plus journalism for newspapers helped DK’s Dipika Kohli get people to talk. Talk openly, honestly, and with the important spacemaking guidance that comes from lots of experience in helping people find the moment to share what they wish. In the end, the brand identity design process that we used started to feel more like a strategic visioning exercise. Who are we becoming next? What vision will we have, together?
Updated: October 2023