Newsletter 10: Don’t put the cart before the horse!

Don’t put the cart before the horse! Peacock facing the front of an old wooden cart

Hellooooo there, In times of stress, process is everything.

To put the cart before the horse
is an analogy for doing things in the wrong order

Just like dragging yourself out of bed and showering when the black dog has descended upon you, process – doing things methodically and in the right order – has a way of calming us down and clarifying our thinking. The process of producing a publication is no different. By proceeding from point A to point Z in a logical manner, leaving out no essential steps, a top-quality final product will be the end result. Miss steps along the way, or get things in the wrong order, and chaos can ensue.

The diagram below shows the steps we and our client take together in achieving excellence in our publishing. We’ll go into each of these steps in a little more detail in future newsletters, but this is what we view to be the inescapable logic of the process, as well as an estimate of the time normally needed to carry out each of these tasks.

Compress High-Level Production plan diagram 2021

For a printable version of the diagram, click on this link.

20 life lessons we learnt in 2020

In South Africa, where we are based, our first and harshest lockdown began in March 2020 – just for three weeks, they said; things will go back to normal after that, they said. As we all know now, normal will never be got back to. In itself, that may not be a bad thing, but for many of us this has been a painful, stressful year like no other.

Below is a list we found, written by Mallika Jhaveri, of some of the things we learnt in 2020. It isn’t Pollyannaish, but rather a good reality check of what we can take away from this year in terms of growth and toughness.

1. Health really is wealth
Zinc and Vitamin C capsules were essentials this past year. As were yoga classes, Zoom workouts and daily walks. We all wanted to be healthy and boost our immune system.

2. Learn to love yourself
2020 was the year of self-love. Loving ourselves despite changes in our mental health, weight, income, social life, work environment and our surroundings was key to surviving.

3. The art of sanitising
Sanitiser became (and always will be) our best friend.

4. Admire the little things
It could be the little flower outside your window, parrots sitting on the electrical wires or even the daily memes on your group chat; 2020 was the year to admire these little things. They made us happy and feel fuzzy and we loved it!

5. Count your blessings
We cannot stress this enough. Having a house, three meals a day and a loving family are giant blessings we should be thankful for every day. COVID-19 has been hard on us, but even harder on those who have less than us. Counting our blessings and trying to help others in any way we can is what 2020 was and 2021 will be all about.

6. Save money
Thanks to negligible travelling costs, some of us saved money in 2020. Some of us even moved back home, saving another chunk of rent. 2020 was the year to save, invest and grow our wealth, and 10 years down the line, we will reap the benefits.

7. Don’t take anything for granted
The sudden absence of so many day-to-day luxuries and pleasantries during lockdown has shown us just how much we take for granted. Appreciate the little things!

8. Learn to have patience
As Cinderella’s fairy godmother said, ‘Even miracles take a little time’. 2020 has taught us just that and we’ve learnt the art (after a long time and lots of trial-and-errors) of being patient and not getting frustrated.

9. Put your mental health first
Physically, the pandemic was harming us, and mentally, it was ruining us. 2020 was the year we all learnt how important it is to be mentally healthy. Whether it was at home or work, everyone started putting their mental health first. Many companies even allowed their employees to take a day off if they ‘just weren’t feeling it’… and that is real progress.

10. Your house can be your oyster
We all turned our homes into makeshift gyms, yoga rooms, art studios, gourmet kitchens and more. Our homes adapted to our needs and it was amazing.

11. Don’t eat when you are bored
Yes, eating 23 hours a day may not have been ideal and we (and your doctors) hope that phase ended a while back. But we accept that we all simply did what we could to get through an impossibly strange and tough time.

12. Meditation is powerful
2020 was the year of valuing our mental health and anything that helped it. Meditation played a big role in calming us down and helping us deal with all the stress, anxiety and depression COVID-19 brought along.

13. Streaming services are a godsend
If you don’t have subscriptions to at least five streaming services, are you even normal?

14. Multitasking is important
I think we all nailed sleeping and attending a meeting simultaneously. It truly is a life skill.

15. Appreciate your housekeeper
Many of our housekeepers were unable to come in (at least during hard lockdown), though I damn well hope we kept paying them, and we had to do chores that were usually done for us (yes, this is a first-world problem, we know). It made us appreciate them so much more because doing housework is far from easy.

16. Adversity creates opportunities
It was inspirational to see so many people start new businesses, home bakeries and side-hustles, regardless of whether they had jobs or not.

17. Live every day to the fullest
Although this was tricky since we couldn’t really leave our homes, we still managed to do it. Whether it was staying up all night after a tough day at work to binge Tiger King, downloading dating apps and bravely swiping right (multiple times) or even taking an off-day to pamper ourselves with clay masks and scrubs, we learnt to take advantage of each and every second.

18. How to cough without freaking people out
This is an art and a science, which many are still to learn. Coughing in public is the worst offence and we need to learn how to be subtle about it.

19. Tell your parents you love them often
Do it. Do it after you read this. Trust us, it’s priceless.

20. Always expect the unexpected
This is 2020 summed up in one sentence. COVID-19, locust swarms, earthquakes, forest fires, cyclones and much more hit us one after the other, yet we survived and stood tall. We don’t know what 2021 holds for us, and we’re not even going to bother predicting it.

Slightly amended from the following link.


How can we help you?

Please do < contact us > for a free quotation for assistance with translation, copy-editing, graphic design, layout or proofreading of any of your corporate publications. Have a look below to see how we can help you with your next project. We can work with any sensible budget or timeline, and are keen to reach out especially to those who need our help during these exceptional times.







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