One of the most expensive things a service business or freelancer can do is promise that work will be done by a certain day. Which is something we need to do, of course, but we should charge appropriately. “It’ll be done soon,” should be way cheaper than, “It’ll be done at exactly 11 am on Tuesday.”
And one of the most important things we can do to focus our energy and commitment is be prepared to promise a date certain. It sharpens everything.
Seth nailed the essence of a Zoom meeting:
The purpose of a meeting is not to fill the allocated slot on the Google calendar invite. The purpose is to communicate an idea and the emotions that go with it, and to find out what’s missing via engaged conversation.
Messier is better.
For meetings, I have a yellow legal pad and a .5mm rollerball. I used to roll with a .38mm, but the .5 feels way more messy and therefore better.
Productivity is a philosophy.
Influencers make us feel that productivity is important, and yet they rarely define the term, let alone helpfully. For example, David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) book, which became very popular in software circles, uses the term productivity very loosely. Many of the core examples in the GTD method relate to general activities such as cleaning one’s garage as opposed to working with knowledge. And the GTD principles have no reference to cognitive science, even though cognitive science is the modern interdisciplinary science of understanding the information processing we do in our brains, with or without the aid of technology.
don’t just talk - do some work! Write. Curate. Connect. Architect. Build on other peoples’ ideas. Share. Ask. Reflect. Show your work. Accept feedback gracefully.
Professionals don’t need fake deadlines and don’t respect them. Instead, we have the chance to build in appropriate slack, get our priorities straight and keep our promises.
In the world of the compass, direction is important. Where are we going? Why excatly are we once again on a Monday morning feeling out of control? In the world of the compass we are concerned less about ‘getting stuff done’ and more about getting the right things done. Do those and we invariably have to get less stuff done tomorrow.
To see themselves through the I.T. revolution, companies hired chief information officers. Perhaps the coronavirus pandemic will make chief workflow officer an equally important role.
I closed my Facebook and Instagram accounts over a year ago and have not missed it for a single day. I am still dreaming of leaving WhatsApp as well, but that proves to be more difficult.
Since then, not a single month have gone by without news coming out about Facebook’s blatant disrespect of its users, privacy and ethics.
I have made my choice, and I encourage you to make yours. If you disagree with Facebook and its policies, leave. You might be one account, but if you are one among millions, you will make a difference.
Nicholas Bate is the master of helpful advise in bite sized lists. I’m already waiting for the second part of the list Covid–19, 101, 1–10m
8. Your business will continue to be a blend of high-tech and high-touch. The former must be fast, easy and responsive. The latter must be fast, easy and attentive.
10. A phone call without visual distraction can be surprisingly productive. Try it.
For his 68th birthday, the amazing Kevin Kelly shares 68 bits of unsolicited advice.
There is no limit on better. Talent is distributed unfairly, but there is no limit on how much we can improve what we start with.
So, I propose a different definition of productivity: It’s about selecting a specific focus for every interaction—and taking actions that arise out of that focus.
In other words, productivity boils down to intentionality.
When the future doesn’t cooperate, we spend even more time trying to change the next bit of future so that it ends up more closely matching the future we were hoping for.
What if, instead, just for a little while, we simply did our best?
What I believe in:
While there are many benefits to using software tools, there are many hidden costs as well. Consider all the time you’ve spent researching, learning, evaluating, upgrading, and maintaining various software tools. Are you getting a good payoff for your investment when you consider the total time you’ve had to invest?
Now add the additional time you may have lost from digital distractions when you use software tools, especially on an Internet connected device. How often did you break away from using a genuine productivity tool to check email or social media or to look something up online?
40 years of experience working from home compressed into 10 pieces of solid advice:
Every morning, I’d have breakfast and dress as if I were going to “the office.” Then, I’d leave my house, locking the door behind me. I’d get in my car and drive around the block. Then, I’d get out of the car, go up the stairs to my front door, unlock it, and head for my office, where I was ready to work.
Sometimes, if you can’t muster the discipline to work, you must fool yourself. That’s what I was doing. You may have to do it, too.