The Importance of ‘No’

Making the wrong decision scares the heck out of me. Thing is, in order to grow (and move forward), I can’t just say yes to everything…or do nothing.

My saving grace (on some days) and reminder, came in the form of something from a review:

 

Some examples of the power of saying ‘No’:

 

Additional Reading:

 

Author’s Note: I intentionally keep entries short — elaboration and rants reserved for individual conversations (including those who reach out to me).

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Creativity Exercises

Allow yourself to play and follow your interests. I know it is a challenge to quantify what you get back when you veer off to other things and spend less time on your work…

…somehow it just pays itself over!

 

I granted myself a bit of ‘play’ when I came across an idea: ‘take a section I like — and do an electronic version of Austin Kleon’s Newspaper Blackout series’.

Here is the result:

 

Now…how did that exercise pay me back?

  • An idea for a song
  • Future topic for a blog post
  • a reminder of the importance of showing my work to others — because…I might just find (at least) another person that likes it too!

 

More Brain food? Check these out!

 

Oh…one last thing? Make sure you are REALLY in a rut (or due for a break) when you do these! Please…please…please…(I’m begging you!)…veer away from the temptation to keep doing these exercises…(and other things you find)….unless you have gone back to what you need to finish that hour, day, or week.

I do like to hear which ones resonate with you the most (and also which ones have given you ‘more back’). Drop me a line will you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Distracted by Corgis?

The problem with having all the good intentions of ‘time management’ by tracking down each task, is at times, other tasks meld into it (like looking at pictures/videos of cute faces of dogs, puppies, and cats).

 

When it happens to me, my time tracking sheet ends up looking like:

  • 1:32 PM – 1:45 PM – Check WNE Facebook responses
  • 1:45 PM – 2:10 PM – Lunch
  • 2:10 PM – 5:45 PM – Check email (whoops! got distracted a LOT here!)
  • 5:45 PM – 6:10 PM – Exercise Time

 

Because I tend to have multiple tabs open at a time (those ideas have to be caught when they drift in!), I’ve found myself getting a thought…wanting to watch a quick video (to make sure it is the one I wanted to forward)…then ending up losing an hour or two while on my ‘check mail task’.

 

My solution to minimise this happening is to set a 20 minute timer, and to make sure that I vary my tasks between 20-40 minutes (to avoid sitting for long stretches of time). This way I can escape the hold of those cute furry faces (or even an interesting article or essay — as I would be best to catch up on it later).

 

…of course sometimes it doesn’t work as well…and I drift towards…well…what ‘feels good to watch’ (again…like cute furry faces that make you smile and go ‘awwww…’)

 

If I get frustrated when I have those moments when I realise that I’ve lost track of time or have not invested it wisely. One of the quotes I’d turn to would be from a review of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ — which was written by Mark Hughes:

 

 

Need me to be your timer (maybe not every 20 minutes…maybe just to check how you are doing)? Say the word…um…I mean…send me your message here! ๐Ÿ˜€

What makes you smile?

I had just been thinking about the various things we do that enable us to easily bond with others. One of the things that came to mind (probably the most accessible?) is though humour.

 

Some (random ones) that caught my eye:

  • 0:30ย (cute hat huh? hehehe) in this Maru video :

 

Related Links:

  • “We all have that one person in our lives who, no matter the circumstances, can put a smile on our otherwise scrunched face.” – Lindsay Holmes (Huffington Post)
  • “Future innovators often produce hilarious feats of imagination.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter (HBR)
  • “It can provide welcome perspective on the process, can lighten the challenges involved, and can keep undue seriousness at bay.” –ย  Carl Pickhardt

 

I’d really like to find out what yours is like! Can you describe it? or is it defined more by what makes you smile and laugh? Sure, you can put something on the comment section — or send me something directly. ๐Ÿ™‚

Note 1: I’m absolutely not expecting that you will have the same tastes as me! I’ve learned that it is quite okay to get along well with another person even if we don’t laugh at the same things (though I am a firm believer that eventually there will be something that would get both of us smiling and laughing!)

Note 2: Want more links? ๐Ÿ™‚ Send me a quick hello…and I’ll be sure to send ’em to you!

 

 

How much time, really?

Being able to track the time you spend on a task not only stops you from having no idea where the rest of your day went, it also could serve as inspiration — if you do want to find ways to invest the next (unplanned) 2 hours when you are free.

For the Q&A, the approximate time I have in my head at the moment is that it takes me approximately 10 hours to finish one. This includes:

  • Question Prep
  • Research
  • Editing
  • Follow-ups

 

Thing is, if I do want to improve myself in terms of where (and how) I invest my time — just approximate numbers wouldn’t do. So I’m now tracking the time I spend on each Q&A.

 

Some things that may help with your own relationship with time management:

 

Interested in updates about my experiment? Sure! You can send me a quick note via YouTube (don’t forget to log-in!) or here. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Offerings

Here are a couple of articles that give perspective on the different kinds of value we can give others:

  • Something other than money – Joshua and Ryan (The Minimalists) outlines a number of things (like providing a new perspective or giving your full attention) that we don’t necessarily think of when providing value.
  • Asking the recipient – this Inc article notes that at times it just comes down to the question: “How can I help?”
  • Be consistent – this entry from Bob Burg‘s blog could be applied from how consistent blog posts are to how much you check-in with individuals within your circle.

 

Looking forward to hear something you’ve received of value, that the giver didn’t even know how much you treasured it! (To start 2015 — did you tell them how much that gesture meant to you?)

Additional Links: