[Episode 45] How to design your work life and unleash your creativity with Bill Burnett ⋆ TechPixies

[Episode 45] How to design your work life and unleash your creativity with Bill Burnett

Quick question for you: what does your life at work have in common with the design of Apple’s first PowerBook? Incredibly, it’s way more than you may realise according to this week’s esteemed guest on our Sparkle and Thrive podcast. 

The brilliant Bill Burnett, alongside his friend and colleague Dave Evans, founded Stanford University’s hugely popular Designing Your Life class, and the pair have ploughed all their teaching experience into their fascinating new book Designing Your Work Life – the subject of this week’s must-listen episode.

Here’s why you need to tune in

As you’d expect from a Stanford professor who worked on the design of Apple’s first PowerBook computers, Bill has a few radical ideas on how the principles of design can transform your work life, and he has a pretty useful mantra that you need to start listening to on repeat: ‘get curious, talk to people, try stuff, tell your story’. 

Just try stuff… let’s just leave that gem there for a moment. Imagine what you could achieve if you just tried stuff without fear of the consequences, without the fear of failure putting you in a spin. So, how does a designer tackle failure? If only we had an experienced designer/Stanford professor available to provide us with some useful pointers. Oh, wait.. 

In this insightful episode, Bill reveals why designers don’t let failure get in their way and the techniques they use to ensure ‘failure immunity’. He explains how they reframe the problem (sound familiar?) and then squash any dysfunctional beliefs (again, surely regular listeners will have heard this somewhere before?). Hear how you can turn the phrase ‘I can’t possibly do all this work, I’m overwhelmed’ around with Bill and Dave’s simple reframing of this common automatic negative thought (we hate ANTs here at TechPixies).  

You’ll hear Bill’s radical suggestion of setting the bar low (we’ve been getting it so wrong for so long!!!) and why this viewpoint is so important, and why following the TechPixies-approved principle of ‘yet’ will help you on the path to career success. We also recommend you stay tuned for Bill’s rousing ‘trust your creativity’ speech – you’ll come away feeling that you can change the world.

(Oh, and you might just notice how many synergies there are between the TechPixies programme and one of the most popular classes at Stanford. Mic drop.) 

For this and more, press play now

Here’s what to listen out for:

[08:35] Hear Bill describe how the principles of design can change your perception of work and why it’s all about setting the bar low. 

[18:39] Learn the power of the word ‘yet’ and how you can reframe any work problem.

[24:28] Bill explains what we can learn from the story of the woman who went to ‘hamburger university’.

[34:24] Hear Bill’s thoughts on dealing with COVID-19. #KeepCalmandCarryOn

[39:19] How you can fight fear with what Bill calls ‘failure immunity’.

[49:57] Bill explains why it’s vital to trust your creativity and why doing so will lead to ‘the flip’. 

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Get hold of your copy of Designing your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work 

Learn more about Designing your Life and the Stanford Life Design Lab

Edward Deci – Intrinsic Motivation

Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning

Dr Shannon Irvine – NeuroCoaching Certification 

Jennifer Allwood – Fear is Not the Boss of You 

Carol Dweck – Mindset

Angela Duckworth – Grit: Why Passion and Resilience are the Secrets to Success  

Marie Forleo – Everything is Figureoutable

David Kelley & Tom Kelley – Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

Connect with Bill

Transform your work life. At TechPixies, we are turning around the work lives of women everywhere with our 90-day Transformational Social Media Magic Course. See what we can do for you by signing up for our next Social Media Superhero Bootcamp and checking out our founder’s brilliant new book.

Get in touch. If you’ve got a question you want answering or a problem you need solving, or you have suggestions for future topics and guests, let us know. Email us at [email protected] – we’d love to hear from you. 

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