The Art of Noticing with Rob Walker

On today’s episode, I spend time chatting with Rob Walker. Rob Walker is a journalist covering design, technology, business, the arts, and other subjects. He writes the Human Resource column for Lifehacker, and has contributed to The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Design Observer, The Organist, and many others. His book The Art of Noticing was released in May 2019. He is on the faculty of the Products of Design MFA program at the School of Visual Arts.

On today’s episode, I spend time chatting with Rob Walker. Rob Walker is a journalist covering design, technology, business, the arts, and other subjects. He writes the Human Resource column for Lifehacker, and has contributed to The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Design Observer, The Organist, and many others. His book The Art of Noticing was released in May 2019. He is on the faculty of the Products of Design MFA program at the School of Visual Arts.

This episode is brought to you by Front. Founded in 2013, if you are ready to transform your team’s productivity with efficient email, you’ve got to give Front a try for only $9/month. Front is reinventing the inbox so people can accomplish more together. With new workflows, efficient collaboration, and all their communication channels in one place, more than 5,000 businesses rely on their Front inbox to be more productive as a team. Visit https://www.frontapp.com/timecrafting to start your free trial today!

Rob Walker’s book The Art of Noticing is a gorgeously illustrated volume that will spark your creativity and - most importantly - help you see the world anew. Through a series of simple and playful exercises with 131 of them, Rob maps ways for you to become a clearer thinker, a better listener, a more creative workplace colleague and finally, to rediscover your sense of passion and to notice what really matters to you.

We discussed the book and the subject of “noticing” a great deal during our conversation.

Specifics that we covered on the show include:
  • How do you define “noticing” and how does that play a role in how we craft our lives? (3:23)
  • On the notion of productivity and efficiency (5:27)
  • On “noticing” as the backbone of curiosity (7:15)
  • What is being productive? (09:10)
  • What led Rob to spend time studying the topic of noticing? (11:15)
  • Is Rob the “Jerry Maguire” of noticing? (13:01)
  • On “noticing” when it comes to comedy (14:30)
  • On the idea of attunement vs. alignment ( 16:25)
  • On the idea of time management (17:20)
  • Why is this book important right now? (22:44)
  • How many ways did not make it into the book? (25:17)
  • Which of the 131 exercises stood out and which is the most unconventional? (26:50)
  • Does Rob journal and if so how? (30:18)
“It is not about your skill at noticing, more on the habit of noticing that sort of forces you to see differently and to see things that you weren't looking for.” ~ Rob Walker

Relevant Links:
One of the key takeaways from this episode is that we are well into “the era of white noise”. Our lives are in constant tether to phones, to email, and to social media. In this age of distraction, the ability to experience and be present is often lost. We need to make and take time to think and to see and to listen. We need to spend more time noticing.

I appreciate the time you spend listening to the show. If you enjoyed this, make sure to never miss an episode by subscribing. Also, take a moment to give the podcast a rating and review on whatever platform you use to listen to podcasts.

Thanks for listening and for your support. See you later.

Join our newsletter

Got it. You're on the list!
© 2019 Productivityist