Tired of hearing a bunch of unhelpful lip-service about Work/Life Balance? You’ll like this short TED Talk by Nigel Marsh!
Creating balance does not require upheaval, just the way that crash diets are not a good plan for long-term weight loss. It is all about being clear around your priorities in each of the life-roles you play and making small, well thought out investments in each of them.
Take a long-term approach just as you might with investing. You may never have a perfect day, where every task or priority has its allotted time and proportions. Find your “balance” between that and the “I’ll have a life when I retire” mentality. Flexibility, commitment, and creativity are essential.
”If you don’t design your life – someone else will!”
Watch the video here: Read More→
Why are some people more creative than others? Is it possible to become more creative? The answer is a definitive yes, but you have to consciously cultivate it. In the words of Jack London “You don’t wait for inspiration, you go after it with a club.” So clubs in hand, let’s look at 3 simple tips:
1) Define the problem and the solution
This may seem ridiculously obvious, but I can’t emphasize it enough. The more time you spend becoming completely clear about the problem you are facing, as well as what the ideal solution looks like, the more quickly you will find the solution. A problem may have more than one solution, so make sure know what the desired outcome is.
Write it out. This engages more of your brain and will help you move more quickly to the answer. In my experience, an hour spent at the front end of a problem will save 10 on the back end. Read More→
Today’s installment: Simon Sinek on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.”
Stop for a moment and ask yourself, “Why do I do what I do?” Why does my business exist and why should anyone care?”
Simon Sinek believes that all great leaders think, act, and communicate the same way – just the opposite of everyone else. He uses as his examples Apple, the Wright Brothers, and Martin Luther King. I must say, I think he is on to something.
Most people sell what they do and how they do it. They may not even get to the “why?” But Mr. Sinek maintains that people don’t buy what you do, they buy “why”; they buy what you believe. Ok, ok, I was skeptical too, but after watching this and listening to his examples and the case that he makes, I’m taking a good hard look at my website, my marketing materials, and how I sell myself.
I figure I should be able to answer the questions “Why do you do what you do?” and “Why should anyone care?”
Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream”, not “I have a plan.” Read More→
I was doing a bit of research for a post on creativity and the creative process, and came across what has been one of my all-time favorite quotes. It is from the American “photorealist” painter and photographer Chuck Close.
The quote is: “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.”
The full quote is even more insightful:
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
Now get to work (and have a great weekend)!
A recent edition of the Mckinsey Quarterly had some rather stunning statistics. The first was that people who are fully engaged at work – mind, body, and spirit (i.e. in the zone), are 5 times as productive. As in 500% more productive!
Mckinsey also states that most people say that they and their teams are in that state – the “zone” – on average 10% of the time.
Finally, by doing a bit of simple math, you’ll see that if you could create the conditions that boost that percentage to a modest 30% you will double productivity. That is like suddenly having an entire second team (or your own personal stunt double)!
Here is the great part: You can create the conditions and encourage the skills that will make people much more engaged and productive. Read More→
Meditation’s time has come. Long viewed with suspicion in the West as a mainstay of hippies, gurus, mystics, and new-age nuts, meditation has finally battled its way into the boardroom.
The benefits of meditation have long been touted, but in the “get’r done” mindset and culture of the world we live in, sitting and doing “nothing” is a bit hard to get your head around.
Once you’ve experienced it though, it can quickly become addicting, and when you become aware of the scientifically proven effects that is has on your mind, body, health, wellbeing and performance, suddenly, sitting and doing “nothing” seems like a pretty compelling idea. Read More→
Yes, after a brief hiatus for some R&R in Costa Rica, TED Tuesday is back! This week’s selection is all about releasing your inner propeller-head and applying the principles of Agile Programming and Iterative Development to real-life problems and tasks outside of the engineering department. Don’t know what Agile Programming is? Don’t worry. It’s simple and you’ll catch on fast.
After seeing firsthand how dramatically product quality, time to market, and adaptability improved when teams I managed began using these principles, I became intrigued at how these concepts could be applied to other aspect of both my professional an personal life. More and more I see how these simple principles be applied to almost any undertaking and can help me get more accomplished with better results. Hard to argue with that! Read More→
There is really only one thing in this ever-changing, unpredictable, roller-coaster world that you have control over, and that is how you respond to this ever-changing, unpredictable, rollercoaster world. There are a couple of simple habits you can develop that will change the way you look at things, make you happier, and help you get better results.
My nephew, chef-extraordinaire Jason Robertson (HeadwatersCafé.com), was on the popular cooking show “Chopped!” a few weeks ago. He and his fellow contestants were (to their obvious dismay) handed baskets of leftovers that included flat cola, mac & cheese, a sub sandwich, matzo ball soup, and a few other delectables that had been sitting around in someone’s fridge all week. From these ingredients they were supposed to prepare a three-course gourmet meal – with the caveat that they use all of the ingredients – whether a little or a lot. After each course one of the chefs is “chopped” from the competition until there is a lone winner.
You probably don’t have to think back too far to find a day in your life where you were handed a basket of – well, let’s call it leftovers just to be polite – and were expected to create something marvelous. How did you react? What did you create? Did you get “chopped”? Read More→
Research-based Revelations About Visualization
Now before you light the torches and dust off the pitchforks, let me say I’m a big believer in visualization. Having a crystal-clear vision of the goal, outcome, or future, and being able to see the path that leads there is very powerful, at least in my experience. So it has been interesting to read what the research has to say about visualization and how it impacts our performance and results – for better or worse.
Imagining goals as accomplished gets worse results
We are visual beings. Our brains are overwhelmingly devoted to visual processing. Visualization is a key component of countless disciplines, practices, and programs, but it turns out that people who engage in certain types of visualization are less successful and get worse results than people who don’t. Read More→
Ok, Matthew Cutts is no Jill Bolten-Taylor (if you haven’t seen her TED talk, you must), but the reason I like this guy’s talk is that it fits perfectly with my main message – small changes lead to dramatic results – and it’s less than four minutes long.
In case you haven’t noticed, the calendar pages are flipping by like they’ve been caught by the wind. By committing to making small changes for 30 days, you can take back control of the calendar and start making the changes and accomplishing the goals that always seem to be just out of reach. Read More→