Archive for the ‘Words of Wisdom’ Category

less TV, more reading
less shopping, more outdoors
less clutter, more space
less rush, more slowness
less consuming, more creating
less junk, more real food
less busywork, more impact
less driving, more walking
less noise, more solitude
less focus on the future, more on the present
less work, more play
less worry, more smiles
breathe

New times demand new words, because the old words don’t help us see the world differently.

Along the way, I’ve invented a few, and it occurs to me that sometimes I use them as if you know what I’m talking about. Here, with plenty of links, are 26 of my favorite neologisms (the longest post of the year, probably):

A is for Artist: An artist is someone who brings humanity to a problem, who changes someone else for the better, who does work that can’t be written down in a manual. Art is not about oil painting, it’s about bringing creativity and insight to work, instead of choosing to be a compliant cog. (from Linchpin).

B is for Bootstrapper: A bootstrapper is someone who starts a business with no money and funds growth through growth. The internet has made bootstrapping much easier than ever, because the costs of creating and marketing remarkable things are cheaper than ever. It’s really important not to act like you’re well-funded if you’re intent on bootstrapping (and vice versa). You can read the Bootstrapper’s Bible for free. [read]

It sounds paradoxical, doesn’t it: by taking a break, you can get more useful work done. But it really works.

You can struggle along for days, weeks or even years, working hard but without really producing anything good. With so many interruptions and distractions (from meetings to phone calls to Twitter), it’s easy to come to the end of a week and question what you’ve really accomplished.

If you’ve ever worked on a big project, whether at work or in your personal life, you’ll know how easy it is to get bogged down in trivia – or to procrastinate. Rather than plowing on grimly, sometimes you just need to take a break. Here’s why. [read]

Do you want to be more productive? Maybe you do, but I’m sure you don’t want to feel stressed, overwhelmed, or unhappy – which happens to many super-productive people. But there is good news:

You can be insanely productive – and still smell the freesias, savor a Pinot Noir, or enjoy a languid hug.

A few weeks ago Leo Babauta said to me, “Mary – you’re one of the most productive people I know. And you still keep smiling and seem so relaxed. How do you do it?”

Most stuff I’ve read about productivity is about doing things differently. Like getting up at 4 a.m. each morning, or drinking eight liters of water a day, or keeping a notebook under the pillow. Sorry, folks – I don’t do any of those things. [read]

Not all failures are the same. Here are five kinds, from frequency = good all the way to please-don’t!

FAIL OFTEN: Ideas that challenge the status quo. Proposals. Brainstorms. Concepts that open doors.

FAIL FREQUENTLY: Prototypes. Spreadsheets. Sample ads and copy.

FAIL OCCASIONALLY: Working mockups. Playtesting sessions. Board meetings.

FAIL RARELY: Interactions with small groups of actual users and customers.

FAIL NEVER: Keeping promises to your constituents.

The thing is, in their rush to play it safe and then their urgency to salvage everything in the face of an emergency, most organizations do precisely the opposite. They throw their customers or their people under the bus (“we had no choice”) but rarely take the pro-active steps necessary to fail quietly, and often, in private, in advance, when there’s still time to make things better.

Better to have a difficult conversation now than a failed customer interaction later.

source: seth godin

Upstream and downstream

Posted: July 14, 2010 in Words of Wisdom
Tags: , ,

Most of the time, we think of our job as a set of tasks that take place in a —> [box] <—.

It turns out, though, that if we go upstream and alter the stuff that comes to us, it’s a lot easier to do great work. And if we go downstream and teach people how to work with what we created, the final product is better as well. Now, it’s more of a –> [   box   ] <–.

A doctor can consider her work in the box of the examining room. But if she figures out how to get people to quit smoking before they come in, her results are better. If she figures out how to get people to take their meds after they leave, same thing. [read]

Type 1. You can take a class where you learn technique, facts and procedures.

Type 2. You can take a class where you learn to see, learn to lead and learn to solve interesting problems.

The first type of teaching isn’t particularly difficult to do, and it’s something most of us are trained to absorb. The first type of schooling can even be accomplished with self-discipline and a Dummies book. The first type of class is important but not scarce.

The second kind, on the other hand, is where all real success comes from. It’s really tricky to find and train people to do this sort of teaching, and anytime you can find some of it, you should grab it. [read]