Carl Barenbrug

Product design, creative direction


I try not to pay too much attention to time, but sometimes it's hard to ignore. It passes far too quickly for my liking, but that's also because I'm nearing an age of self-reflection, but let's not go there! I enjoy routine and with that, life can get a little hazy albeit structured. The beginning of a year can look much like the end of one. But I'm making a concerted effort to take stock of how I want to spend my time, what gives me energy, what projects I'm involved in, and how much bandwidth I have available to make a meaningful impact on those projects.

I'm actively involved in at least three major projects outside of my product design day job. They're ongoing, so they require some creative continuity and periodic injections of strategic thinking. But it's not all business and analytics, there's some playfulness sprinkled throughout, but these projects also aren't playgrounds. They're companies I'd like to see succeed both creatively and financially. But as time passes and I catch a glimpse of where I stand in relation to these companies, I'm increasingly convinced my bandwidth is running out and my motivation is dwindling. So something's got to give.

2024 is going to be a year of change. I'll be stepping back from one or two projects and perhaps open the door to new opportunities if they present themselves. I want to be in a position where I can say 'yes' to the right things without stretching myself too thin. And until then, I can focus on and give more energy to that which remains. The result of doing this will be undoubtedly positive.

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