Who are you? What do you do for a living?
My name is Taylor Welden. I'm an industrial designer based in Austin, Texas. I operate my own freelance firm working with clients around the globe. I write about products and design for sites like Carryology, Huckberry and Core77, and am a competing member of the Austin Facial Hair Club.
Describe a typical (non-weekend) morning.
I think most people think the life of an Industrial Designer is 100% fun and games. Depending on how late I stayed up the night before working on projects (sometimes too late), I'll get up anywhere between 7am and 10am, usually towards the earlier side. The very first thing I'll do is go take a morning pee and brush my teeth. Then, I walk over to the computer, click on my emails and just look at the inbox. I won't necessarily open them all, but it gives me an idea of what to expect for the day. Still in my boxers and a t-shirt, I'll head over to the electric kettle to get the water boiling. During the span of a few minutes to get the water going, I'll prep everything else necessary for my coffee - make sure the French press is clean, grind the coffee beans, get my mug ready, etc. Usually it's timed out pretty perfectly so when I have everything ready, the water is just getting to a rolling boil. At this point, I'll add the water to my coffee, set a timer for exactly 5 minutes, and then leave the kitchen.
Fresh Pair of Jeans and a Clean Shirt
Next I'll brush my teeth and put on a fresh pair of jeans, boots, and a clean shirt. Five minutes is all I really need, since my work studio is at home. I did learn over the years that if I don't look presentable and just work from pajamas, that I'm in the wrong mindset. Though 5 minutes is pretty quick to "get ready for the day," I can look pretty good. I like to pride myself on efficiency I suppose.
Filter and Filter
I reenter the kitchen, the coffee timer going off, and press down the French press plunger. Coffee in the mug and now over to my desk. I start filtering through the large list of new emails, which are always there. Some will go to spam, some replied to, etc. I start adding phone meetings to my Google calendar for that day. I still haven't sipped the coffee. Once I'm about 20-30 minutes into the emails, I'll have my first drink of coffee. I'll finish the large French press myself. Maybe a 2nd later in the day if I need it.
"I don't like to have a real routine for my weekends...."
It really depends on how Saturday night went. Though weekdays are pretty normal, I don't like to have a real routine for my weekends. I may end up waking up in a friend's spare bedroom whose house we had a bonfire at the night before, or in my own bed with a friendly female companion, or in a tent, or in an airplane seat headed to Asia for work, or just solo on my couch extremely early as I didn't do much on Saturday night and watched a movie at home (unlikely).
"When there is a routine to my Sunday, this is most likely it."
I wake up in my bed. I'll wake up whenever I feel like it, depending on how late I was up. I usually can only sleep 6-8 hours maximum though. First thing I'll do is crawl down the stairs from the attic/bunk-bed thing and then let the dog out. Usually the dog has to wait for me to make coffee and get dressed. But on a weekend, I don't mind walking out into my back "yard" wearing boxers and a t-shirt. It's the weekend after all.
"I convince myself that I'll just relax today - it usually doesn't happen though..."
I'll stand out there with her for a while, throwing her a stick, or just sitting on the stairs, thinking that I should've grabbed a water before stepping outside into the 90-100 degree heat (even though it is only 9am). I'll come in, drink that water. Then I'll stay in my boxers and a tshirt for a little while, read some blogs, and convince myself that I'll just relax today. Stay in. Maybe hit the farmer's market - it usually doesn't happen though. I'll get one message from a friend about brunch, which I don't feel too guilty about dodging, as I don't really like the whole "thing" of brunch. Then I'll get one or two or sixteen more. I'll be convinced, as there is always this or that awesome thing happening on a Sunday. What that thing is, who knows. Maybe it is a band, maybe it's a friend's photography show at a bar, maybe it's a cat show at the convention center, a day over at Zilker park hanging out with friends, or the rodeo. Who knows. Austin never has a lack of things to do, especially on days when you want nothing more than to just have a day to yourself to do nothing.
"Breakfast Tacos are better than sex."
If I do eat breakfast, it is definitely one of two things. Granola from the grocery store's bulk section, yogurt, and some frozen berries. If I've run out of these ingredients, I'll go grab a breakfast taco around the corner. Breakfast tacos are better than sex. They make breakfast burritos look like rotting garbage. These only exist here in Texas, more so even in Austin. They're probably the most loved culinary item in the entire city. People will argue about where to find the best breakfast taco for hours. I'm not kidding.
Slowly Coming Alive Again
During the week... I'll usually start off the morning with silence. There really isn't a reason for this or anything. I'm not trying to deprive my senses. I just find that with the morning ritual process, I enjoy the sounds around me, as I slowly acclimate back into becoming a living human being again. The water boiling, the coffee grinder, etc. Maybe around 10am I will put on my music from my iTunes library. This can be anything... from dirty Delta blues, to electronic, to ambient, to Hank Williams III. It depends on the day, my mood, how tired I am, and the project I'm working on. About halfway through the day, I may actually put a "throw away" movie on. I'll put this in the tiny corner of my 42" work screen and basically ignore it. I can understand the basics of the plot without watching it. Just something different, rather than strictly listening to music. I find it's fun to stimulate my brain in a different way, rather than just harmonies and music. It's fun to fill in the blanks of a plot as I work. Maybe it sharpens my brain, maybe it dulls it. I do enjoy it though.
I Love a Good Show
I love to see shows on weekends. I will see a show on a weekday night if it is a big one and they're only here for one day... the benefit of living in Austin is that even if you miss a show, they'll be here again next month, maybe even next week. Also spending time with friends out on the town at bars. Riding my mountain bike. Going on day trips out to West Texas (Marfa, etc). And trying out amazing new restaurants. Though I can squeeze some of these in on a weekday, I find I can focus and enjoy them more on a weekend.
I usually don't drink a Lonestar at 3pm on a weekday, so there would be that. Also, I don't really go out for breakfast or lunch on a weekday. I usually forget to eat and then will go out for a quick bite for dinner, or just make it at home. So on weekends, I get to be picky about where I'm eating out, even if it is just a simple Mexican restaurant (which is an art form).
Follow Taylor on Instagram @taylorwelden