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Office tale of Nicklas Haslestad, graphic designer at Geelmuyden Kiese

Office tale of Nicklas Haslestad, graphic designer at Geelmuyden Kiese

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Your current job:

Graphic designer at Geelmuyden Kiese. 

In which city are you located?

Oslo, Norway. 

A word to define what kind of worker you are:


What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)

Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Google (mail, chrome, hangout, drive, docs, calender), Soundcloud, Slack, Evernote and GitHub. 

What does your office space look like?

Pretty basic. Just moved to a more open space actually. Striving for that «New York-studio» aesthetic & feel. Book/magazine shelves and a «workshop» space for making analogue work. A lot of brick walls, industrial inspired furniture, a desk including a mac + monitor and a nice little plant I care for very dearly.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?

Everything. Depends on what I’m working with. Hip-hop, Rock (even ballads), Punk, Classical, Dance. You name it and I’m down as long as it’s good. Nowadays I’m deep into the 70s indie rock scene. Probably my number 1 choice if I had to choose between all of the above. 

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?

I’m starting the day early and try to squeeze as much creative work I can in the first four-five hours. I’m way more productive, inspired and creative early in the morning. The mid-day is often dedicated to execution of ideas, more technical work and meetings. If I didn’t finish what I started in the morning, I continue creative processes in the afternoon/early night. 

This is a routine that works really good for me. Both for the process and the overall quality of the work being done.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?

Focus on what matters the most each day. Block out time in your calendar for the top prioritized tasks. Set a time limit on meetings and stick to it. If people are five minutes late to a 20-minute meeting, it’s a 15 minute meeting. Your time time is valuable. 

Block out distractions such as Facebook, Behance (If not for inspiration) etc. Just by logging out you will see how much less time you’ll spend on such media. Might seem obvious, but when you actually do it, you see why. 

Stay true to your concept/creative direction. Pick a concept and do that concept—and only that concept—better than anyone else ever could.

Go to sleep earlier. Get up earlier. Try for a week to wake up at 5-6 a.m. You’ll love it! 

You’re better than your colleagues to :

My colleagues are the best. I’m not better than anyone. I just work hard, and do as great work as I possibly can. Hopefully I’ll grow a little bit for each project I work on and manage to push creative boundaries to a new level. 

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?

One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist. Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist. Stephen Hawking said that. This applies for design as well. By trying to be «perfect» you spend a great amount of time on irrelevant stuff. Also, you might never publish or share your work with anyone, because it’s just not «perfect» enough. 

What is your best tip for saving time?

Get important stuff done early. Pick the top 2-3 things you need to lock down, and get those done. Keep a checklist and check off tasks as you go.

I try my best to delegate work (If my producer already hasn’t done so). If a task needs to be done but is not your most important task, and it can be done by someone else, delegate it. Sometimes you can shred your to-do list in half by finding others who can do the task as well (or even better) than you can. 

Do all your e-mails once (or twice) a day. Make all your meals at the same time (the day before). Make all phone calls in one batch. Do all your paperwork at once. Do all errands at once. Find those things in your day/week you do several times and group them. Batching of tasks saves a lot of time and allows you to focus better on actual design work. 

Disconnect from the internet when you can is also great. Also, learn to say no (I’m horrible at that). 

What is your routine start and end of the day ?

I’m starting my day early in the gym. That way the very-often-almost-everyday long hours doesn’t get in the way for the necessary training I need to stay focused and concentrated all day. The end of the day I usually spend watching flix, reading books, spend time with friends and my girlfriend. 

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?

Shout-out to the Interactive Instant Double Espresso Machine here at work.