I manage volunteers, and when I ask them to do something, they often respond, "Yes, if you'll supply me with ____." One of the days, I'm going to get smart enough to recognize that as a "no." I admire them for finding a way to push back and delay. Here are more good tips from Sam Spurlin.
The Ready on Medium: Why Effective Organizations and People Know “The Inverted Pyramid is Fractal”, 2016-May-25 by Sam Spurlin
“What is critical and what can be pushed until later?” “What’s a need to have vs. what’s a nice to have?” You ask these questions at the beginning of a project, at the beginning of a day of work, at the beginning of a session of work, at the beginning of the next five minutes ad infinitum.
It forces you to become much more clear-eyed and ruthless about prioritizing the work you need to do to vs. the work you’d like to do or think maybe you’ll do.
- All work is not created equal.
- All work not shipped doesn’t count.
- All resources are finite.
I don’t build my daily schedule around the myriad of minor tasks and responsibilities that make up my life, but instead let them filter between the cracks of the most important work I do.
Sometimes there's something you know but you need to hear it in a new way, in a way that it sticks out better in your thinking. Sometimes you need to hear it several different ways until you think, I KNOW this... why don't I act like I know it??
I bought Brooks Palmer's Clutter Busting a couple of years ago, and it helped. Now I'm reading about Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. But what's really sticking out are the remarks by economics journalist Tim Harford, who rephrases things into the format of behavioral economics.
1. Status quo bias: the tendency to let things stay. When my kids were teenagers I fought this at the doorway, occasionally refusing to let things, especially things they had received, but didn't really want, even come into the house. 'Cause I knew they'd stay forever.
2. Diminishing returns: Classic 'too much of a good thing.' Especially clothes and books. This is hard to combat unless we use a one-in, one-out rule.
3. Opportunity cost: The more we have, the more we've got to take care of. Even if we don't buy more storage space, we still pay the price...
The Undercover Economist: Why more and more means less, 2015-Jan-6 by Tim Harford
...there’s also the cost of being unable to appreciate what you have because it’s stuck at the bottom of a crate underneath a bunch of other things you have...
When I worked at the Houston office of the Ogilvy ad adgency, we had a full-time proofreader. It was an amazing experience, but they don't fit into most business models. Usually, proofreading is something employees do for one another.
For small business owners like myself, proofreading is something my customers and prospects do! Painful but true. Have pity.
Moz: Google-leaked Dos and Don'ts, 2014-Dec-5 by Josh Bachynski
You want to make sure that the spelling and grammar has been checked, that all the pages have been checked for errors, that there are no miscellaneous 500 errors, there are no naked Apache 404 errors. You want to make sure that, essentially, the website has been looked over and proofed. This is, as Google tells us, a direct signal that they're looking for in their quality algorithms. It makes sense because you don't want to see a site that has these kinds of errors on it.
When we treat social media as if they are publicity tools, we undermine ourselves. Our posts ought to direct people how to participate in a dialogue that leads to co-operative action.
Over at The Bloggess, Jenny is founding a new religion, Blogessianism, as part of her ongoing effort to get everyone to take the world lightly. Extra gravy for all. Remember, "You may decline on the gravy, or give your gravy as a charitable contribution to those less gravied." Now make your own title and spread the word.
Medium: Innovation Lessons from Taylor Swift, 2014-Nov-9 by Saul Kaplan
...social isn’t about pushing a message out to potential customers, its about pulling people into a movement.
I wish I could find the story about Jenny Lawson going to an event at a bookstore where she was supposed to meet people, and she crawled under the table to hide. But the words "hiding" "under the table" and "bookstore" seem to occur too frequently on her blog. Anyway, it was hysterical, as usual.
I am making a pledge to follow her lead and focus on connecting with people. It's hard to remember who you met if you didn't learn something interesting about the person. So each person you meet, you have to FIND something memorable about them. Or you could just take Jenny's new approach...
The Bloggess: Secret Code Word, 2014-Apr-6 by Jenny Lawson
Whenever I’m at large events and I’m asked to write my name on those “HELLO, MY NAME IS” stickers I instead write ”Watermelon is the secret code word.”
The purchase of Oculus Rift did not arrouse my curiosity, but when Dave Pell of NextDraft pointed to a story by Lev Grossman... I figured out why Zuckerberg got so excited. And I must admit, it's pretty exciting! Any technology that helps people do things, as opposed to doing things to them--that's worth understanding.
Time.com: The Virtual Genius of Oculus Rift, 2014-Mar-26 by Lev Grossman
Iribe says “It’s kind of like the beginning of film. It’s going to take this whole new set of mechanics and engineering to master it. We have no idea what really works in VR. People ask us, What’s the holy-grail app going to be? I have no idea! Don’t know.” The uncertainty doesn’t bother him....
“I think people have always wanted to experience the impossible,” Luckey says. “That’s one of the reasons games have caught on. They want to actually do things themselves, have a say in how that world works, instead of just watching someone else do it.”