“Schedule daily “white space” in your calendar, where your only task is to think or take a walk and daydream. When you try to generate ideas, shoot for 100 instead of 10. Defer your own judgment and you’ll be surprised at how many ideas you have—and like—by the end of the week.”
Reclaim Your Creative Confidence, by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
“… It’s taken us 100,000 years to figure out that we are only as well off as the weakest ones in our tribe, and that connection and community and respect lead to a world that benefits everyone.
The irony of Dr. King’s holiday is that he surely believed that anyone could take on this calling, that anyone could organize, speak up and stand for justice.
We can connect, we can publish, we can lead. Anyone reading this has the ability to care, and to do something about it. We have more power than we dare imagine.
And so it bends.”
… and it bends toward justice, by Seth Godin
“When a solid 67% of your soul is engaged with battles elsewhere, how do you continue on with our ongoing, non-revolutionary work?”
Productivity in Terrible Times, by Eileen Webb
(via my favorite newsletter)
“One of the things I focus on most when trying to reduce the anxiety in my own home is something called tolerations. Tolerations are things that need attention: shoes that need to be resoled, a drawer handle that is coming loose, a pile of bills that needs to be paid.”
Ways to reduce anxiety in your home through design, by Ingrid Fetell Lee
“I can’t overstate the significance of a teenager’s tribe membership,” Damour writes. “Teenagers aren’t just looking to make friends, they are replacing the family they have withdrawn from (or at least might barely acknowledge in public) with a tribe they can feel proud to call their own.”
There is a psychological term for that thing mean girls do to each other, by Jenny Anderson
“We should spare ourselves the burden of loneliness. We are far from the only ones with this problem. Everyone is more anxious than they are inclined to tell us. Even the tycoon and the couple in love are suffering. We’ve collectively failed to admit to ourselves what we are truly like.”
A long and interesting read: Calm by Alan de Botton
“People are complicated… Societies and cultures are really complicated… These are living organisms, and it’s messy. And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding.”
– Barack Obama
From this New Yorker piece by David Remnik.
“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art.”
– Toni Morrison
No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear: Toni Morrison on the Artist’s Task in Troubled Times
“Groups of people are gathering and freezing themselves in place, often in elaborate poses and scenarios, as one camera-toting person walks through the scene to zoom in on the details. As is often the case, teenagers are leading the way.”
Mannequin Challenge Is the New Viral Video Sensation You Probably Can’t Avoid
“Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.”
The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and the Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long
“Rigor is the key to overcoming obstacles and completing tasks—and good mood doesn’t improve problem-solving, which involves judgments that almost by necessity won’t feel good: critique and evaluation, experimentation and failure. The stress that arises from problems may be unpleasant but it also motivates us to complete tasks, Davis says. In other words, negative emotions are actually beneficial to the creative process.”
Scientists explain how happiness makes us less creative
The fact is: sometimes you just have to do things for no other reason than to do them. Do them because you can. Because they exist. As George Mallory said when asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest: “Because it’s there.”
3 important life skills nobody ever taught you.
(via my favorite newsletter)
“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)
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
“…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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
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 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