That unsociable feeling


Hey you! Good morning. Or good evening?

Either way, welcome to Plan Your Next. This is the first of many letters that I hope to write to you.

Right now, I’m putting the final edits on this particular draft at the Deus Emporium in Venice, CA. It’s a beautiful but overcast day here, and I’m feeling inspired. I tend to switch locations a lot, looking to hop directions on the brain tracks. I might be designing a view for an app, then bouncing over to illustrate something, and I have to shift my perspective or environment to find the groove again. It’s definitely a crutch, but it works.

What is Plan Your Next?

The truth is, it’s a kernel of an idea that I hope to explore further through writing, particularly through this newsletter. There are certain topics that I want to talk about that I don’t exactly have answers to, but all relate to this idea of what’s next. That could be moving to a new city, being opportunistic with saving and spending, renting vs owning, choosing the right life path, doing more with less, and on and on.

I don’t look at myself as an expert in any of these areas, but I’m always looking to grow. My intention is to share things that I’ve learned, as well as learn from you.

Social media burnout. Been there.

At the end of 2017, I was feeling incredibly burned out on all things social media, and I started to think of ways to deal with that in a more productive way than just deleting my accounts. I stepped away a bit, and what was successful for me seemed to be the simplest solution, which I gleaned from Tim Ferriss; turn off notifications for all mobile and desktop apps.

I’ve been riding that small wave of success for a while now, until recently when I decided to draw 100 palm trees in 100 days, and share that daily on Instagram. Well, that is coming to an end soon, and I’ve been feeling the itch to go into hibernation mode once again. Because that’s what us introverts do! We slowly gain confidence, then turtle-head the world for a short period of time before disappearing back into our shell. Rinse and repeat.

So, since that feeling was emerging, what could I do differently this time around? I was looking to have a plan for that inevitable shell retreat.

That’s where this newsletter comes in. I still want to output somehow, but with more structure and a bit of a challenge.

Do you feel this way too?

But, why?

Plan Your Next. It’s a personal mantra that I have slowly been telling myself over the past 5 years. Whether it’s been about having the next trip planned, planning our next move, thinking about side hustles; looking forward has always appealed to me. If I kept looking down at my feet, I would constantly be caught off guard. My bad ankles are proof of that.

How can I do a better job at preparing for what’s next? This is not a spiritual question, although I suppose it could be if that’s what you’re thinking about. My aim is to keep this localized to Earth. And Mars, just for Elon in case he’s reading. Now I’m off-track. But seriously, Elon.

For me, these weekly letters are meant to give myself room to explore and inspire me as much as I hope they do you.

In the end, I want this to be a conversation. I may talk about my struggles or share what I’m working on, with the hopes to find out what’s next. In that process, I’d love to hear what’s next for you. Maybe it will end up being next weeks writing prompt!

One recommendation

The one thing that has changed my planning this year is my Bullet Journal. If you don’t know what that is, you can learn about the note taking process here. And if you’re a notebook nerd like me, then check out this. I use this daily to define what is most important to work on, as well as plan out the next few months. If you have questions, just reply to this email.

A question for you

How have you dealt with being burned out on social media? I know this question isn’t new, but I’d still love to hear how you balance it.

This next week, I’m thinking about how important asking the right questions are. See you next Sunday.

P.S. The sun finally peeked out.

Since you’re new—and you should be because I just got off my ass and launched—this is Plan Your Next. It’s a conversation about being ready for what’s next. Well, because there is always a next. I’m Nate, designer and conductor of this group.

If you have something to share or add, please hit reply and expect a response!