Spark

Think like a designer and build a life you love

In 3 easy steps!
Bill Burnett, co-author of the book Designing Your Life, offers some tips. 0:53
Listen18:55

This segment first aired in October 2016.


This week on Spark, we've been talking about how design can have an impact on our daily, messy lives. Sometimes for good, and sometimes...not so much.

We can get so wrapped up in our "perfect" plans... 

...that we end up being stuck. So how can we get unstuck?

But what if we took all that design thinking and applied it to our our own lives?

That's the premise of the new book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.

Now, there are plenty of books about how to live a happier, more balanced life. But Bill and Dave are taking a design-driven approach to getting yourself out of a rut.

"Life is an interesting problem." says Bill.

"It's certainly an ambiguous one: you can't tell the future, you don't really know what's going to happen next, and if you make a plan it probably won't work because reality will change your plan."

So are they saying don't make a plan? Not exactly.

Dave says when we make a perfect plan it implies a perfect outcome, "And that's not our experience. There are lots of different lives people could lead, and they don't even know exactly which one it is until they get there."

Taking a design-thinking approach is more adaptive, Dave says. 

"Rather than just sit down and analytically come up with a perfect plan, let's go out into the world and use empathetic dialogue and curiosity to discover things, followed by prototypes to actually experience things and design and build our way forward."

"We find that a lot of people describe themselves as stuck," says Bill.

"And a lot of the time they're stuck because they're successful! They think they're stuck because they can't change, it's too late, or they'll never be able to repeat the financial success they've had. And so our whole model is: okay that may be true, but you can take a small step."

You can check out some of Bill and Dave's helpful tools here.


Win a copy of the book!

Want your own copy of Designing For Life? Leave a comment below telling us which of Bill's 4 easy steps (in the video above) have you decided to try right away?

Contest closes Thursday October 26, 2016 at 5:00pm Eastern. CBC contest rules apply.

In their book, Designing Your Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, use design thinking to help you build your career and life. 18:55

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