Vacationing Is Good For You

“Before you can go to the Bahamas for a week, don’t you first need to learn how to tolerate an entire elevator ride without checking your email?”

This Slate article explains why we need to take more vacation and offers examples of how some companies get more of their employees to do so. Definitely something you don’t need to teach the Swiss, but seems to be the case here in the US.

(via Josh Spector’s newsletter)

How China Is Changing Your Internet

What was once known as the land of cheap rip-offs may now offer a glimpse of the future — and American companies are taking notice: Chinese Tech Firms Forced to Choose Market: Home or Everywhere Else

The Power of Trust

“…It’s really powerful to vocalize what’s going on inside your head to someone who you know is listening to you and to know that it’s a safe enough space that you can test out dumb ideas or mistakes, and analyze them, and they’re not going to hold them against you.”

Productivity and the Power of Trust

To-Do List Make Over

“One of the reasons that so many of the tasks on our to-do lists end up woefully undone is because we have to go to meetings, and we have to do email; they create their own urgency. But if you want to make sure that you regularly accomplish meaningful work—the type of work that helps you advance your career, push forward important projects, or expand your skill set—you have to make time for it. (Productivity guru Stephen Covey calls this putting the “big rocks” in first.)

It so obvious yet I have never done it, but carving out time for ‘meaningful work’ is the first thing I’ll start doing after reading this article by Jocelyn G. Klei.

Go MailChimp!

“It’s possible to create a huge tech company without taking venture capital, and without spending far beyond your means. It’s possible, in other words, to start a tech company that runs more like a normal business than a debt-fueled rocket ship careening out of control. Believe it or not, start-ups don’t even have to be headquartered in San Francisco or Silicon Valley.”

MailChimp and the Un-Silicon Valley Way to Make It as a Start-Up, by Farhad Manjoo


“… to procrastinate is to mourn the precariousness of your creation even before you bring it into the world.”

Why Do Anything? A Meditation on Procrastination, by Costica Bradatan


Your Reputation

“The single best way to maintain your reputation is to do things you’re proud of. Gaming goes only so far.”
– Seth Godin

Three things to keep in mind about your reputation

Email Zombies

“There are two types of emailers: reactors, who rely on notifications and near-constant monitoring of their inboxes to nibble away at their email throughout the day, and batchers, who set aside specific chunks of time to power through their email, so they can ignore it the rest of the day. Not surprisingly, batchers are significantly more productive when it comes to getting shit done, and according to recent research, they’re also less stressed and more happy.”

Don’t Let Email Zombies Eat Up Your Day, by Jocelyne K. Glei

Friends Work Here

friends work here

Core 77 published a generous article on my co-working community Friends Work Here.

Thank you Allison Fonder.

Operators’ vs Visionaries’ Managerial Activities

Operators vs Visionaries (1998)

This table on Operators’ vs Visionaries’ Managerial Activities really made me think. It’s from a Canadian research paper on two kinds of entrepreneurs as leaders published in 1998 by Louis Jacques Filion, blogged by John Maeda.

The Only Thing That Counts

“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated.”
– Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes on the Universal Inner Child, in a Moving Letter to His Son

Human Nature

“My view of human nature is that all of us are just holding it together in various ways — and that’s okay, and we just need to go easy with one another, knowing that we’re all these incredibly fragile beings.”
– Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton on What Makes a Good Communicator and the Difficult Art of Listening in Intimate Relationships

The Most Productive Countries

Expert Market analysed GDP data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and found that of the 10 countries with the highest GDP also make the top 10 list for the shortest working hours. Go Luxembourg for taking first place!

The most productive countries in the world also have the shortest work days

Uniquely Unique

“… Because, while we’re each unique, we have far more in common than we’re comfortable admitting. Amplifying our differences may make us feel special, but it’s not particularly useful when it comes to getting better.

Being unique is a great way to hide from the change we need when someone offers us a better future. Learning from the patterns and the people who have come before, though, is the only way any of us advance.”

Uniquely unique, by Seth Godin

Look for honor

“Look for integrity, selflessness, sacrifice, and compassion. Find those who champion justice and fidelity. But above all, seek men who emulate humility and meekness. Do not, as so many others do, be deceived into thinking it is a weakness. Meekness is strength wrapped in humility, my dear daughter. It is strength under control in a world where so many are out of control.”

A Letter to My Daughter About Young Men, by Benjamin Sledge

On Friendship

“It’s not about what someone can do for you, it’s who and what the two of you become in each other’s presence.”

Do Your Friends Actually Like You? Interesting article by Kate Murphy.

Out of Office Replies

“When you write, everything is literature. Your grocery list. The note to your wife. The email to your mom. Your out-of-office reply. If it’s going to be read by someone, you owe it to them to make it worth their time.”

How my out-of-office reply became national news, and what we can learn from that, by Michael Herschel

Thoughts on Divorce

“But what can happen over time is this: You wake up one day and realize that you have put yourself back together completely differently. That you are whole, finally, and strong – but you are now a different shape, a different size. This sort of change — the change that occurs when you sit inside your own pain — it’s revolutionary. When you let yourself die, there is suddenly one day: new life. You are Different. New. And no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot fit into your old life anymore. You are like a snake trying to fit into old, dead skin, or a butterfly trying to crawl back into the cocoon, or new wine trying to pour itself back into an old wineskin. This new you is equal parts undeniable and terrifying.”

Beautifully honest post on divorce, by Glennon Doyle Melton. The PS at the end resonated especially. Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth Gilbert.

Work Avoidance Cycle

work avoidance cycle

Oh, I am feeling this illustration. Definitely been there. Jocelyn pointed to it and the corresponding article on How to Be Productive.

A Precious Hour

“Poorly written emails are an early warning of intense busy. Yes, I lack the time to proofread an email, but the mail is sent. At least I accomplished something. The step beyond this is when shit is truly falling on the floor, and while shit on the floor is professionally unacceptable, there used to be a point of irrational pride in my head during this situation: Look at me, how important I must be, with all the… busy.”

A Precious Hour by Tanner Christensen

(via Coudal)

Staying Human in the Machine Age

“Instead of looking at technologies programmed to enable human beings to better navigate the world I see technologies optimized to help corporations better navigate and manipulate human behavior. That’s not technology’s fault but a question of who and what we’re allowing to build our applications and whether or not we’re willing to look at them from the perspective of human need.”

Staying Human in the Machine Age: An Interview With Douglas Rushkoff, by Andrew O’Keefe

(via Jocelyn)

Feeling Safe

“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.”
– Van der Kolk

The Science of How Our Minds and Our Bodies Converge in the Healing of Trauma

On Being Too Hard on Yourself

“…, people high in self-compassion are honest about their own short-comings and contribution to failure, but they don’t beat themselves up for it. Rather, they comfort themselves, they recognize failure and mistakes as part of life, and they see the situation as a chance to grow.”

The Dangers of Being Too Hard On Yourself, by Christian Jarrett

Opportunity = People

“Every opportunity is attached to a person. Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They’re attached to people. If you’re looking for an opportunity — including one that has a financial payoff — you’re really looking for a person.”
– Ben Casnocha

From this article: The Key to Luck Is Being a People Connector, by Jocelyn K. Glei