The Joey Banks Weekend
Issue 37: Making time for productivity that rewards positive energy
If you don’t know Joey, this is probably a confusing title, but I promise it’ll make sense. For those who don’t know who Joey is, he’s a product designer on Twitter’s design systems team and previously at Figma. He’s also the best parts of the internet are supposed to be—kind and helpful to friends and strangers alike. I'm grateful to say that he and I are really good friends. When we first met in real life at Red Door Coffee in San Francisco, our conversation was full of talking about inspiration, nerding out on Mac/iOS software, and the quantified self.
That's how we came up with the term of the Joey Banks Weekend (JBW). It's a weekend of listening to music, a full cup of coffee, and doing the productive things that give you energy. I believe the type of task isn't what determines what type of energy a person gets, it's the environment and terms you do it on. Trust me, I'm never going to have a JBW with my work files.
My JBW routine
The JBW starts every Saturday morning. I look forward to these mornings like I used to anticipate the X-Men Saturday morning cartoons. I sleep without a digital alarm in order to naturally wake up, I am routinely awoken by nature's alarm...a cat who wants to get fed at 6 am. Thanks to Wilson, I might as well get up. the morning starts with an espresso to wake me up followed by a cold brew, my drink of choice regardless of the weather. Reminding myself it’s a weekend and it shouldn’t feel like work, I mix the routine up. I find alternate space from my work desk and gather my materials—a sketchbook, my laptop, some books, iPod classic, and the infinitely reliable Bang & Olufsen H6 wired headphones (I don’t trust Bluetooth). The JBW is a huge part of the weekend but not the entire weekend as you want to enjoy it. My core activities over the few hours are simple: learn, write, and organize.
I love learning and am enamored by any type of practice whether its in my field or not. There are many great learning platforms out there, and the one I keep coming back to is YouTube. It's amazing how much free educational content there is now. Make a playlist with learning materials you want to come back later. I like starting with a learning video to start to warm up my JBW activities since it's less friction to get started—watching a video and jotting notes.
This is when I write this newsletter! Throughout the week I'll add snippets and thoughts, but the JBW time is when I get a chance to have a larger block of writing.
Digital organization is highly underrated and often neglected. I end my JBW session organizing files and photos on my Mac. It's the time when I put mood boards together to capture things that inspire me. In a recent JBW I rediscovered photos from Portugal that inspired me to explore a color palette based on canned fish.
This JBW I’m taking the Lisbon-inspired mood board to explore it on my own website colors.
Start your own JBW
The Joey Banks Weekend brings me so much joy because of what it enables. My week at work is full of talking to people, and as an introvert, it’s so nice to have some quiet time with the headphones to learn, get inspired, and be lost in the creativity.
Like many things in life, JBWs is better in the company of friends. As we await when JBWs can happen in person, a few friends and I have gathered on Discord to have accountability buddies. Though remote, it’s nice to be in the presence of friends, even if it’s working in silence. Though some can perceive the JBW as "extra work", I view it as exercising my mind outside of the bounds of work. This is important in the creative field, where being in the constraints of work can make you fall out of love with it. The JBW is a great way to replenish that as you start the following week. I'm on vacation this week and feel grateful that I get the joy of doing a Joey Banks Week!
P.S. Thank you Lovers Magazine for inviting me to share a bit about me. You’ll see the spaces where I do my JBW in it