10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” — Robert Orben

Sometimes you’ve just got to get out.

Out of town.

Out of your head.

Out of your routine.

Out of your pattern.

Things look different from the outside, so get out there once in a while.

You never know what you’ll discover.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. THE FIVE MOST VALUABLE SKILLS YOU CAN DEVELOP FOR FREE

“The shorter the average attention span gets, the more valuable your ability to focus becomes.”

The most valuable skills are rarely taught in school, don’t appear on your resume, and are consistently overlooked and underappreciated.

In this post I share the five most valuable skills you can develop for free including the abilities to pay attention, follow directions, and accept responsibility.

I also offer suggestions for how you can improve each of these crucial skills.

RELATED: How to make the right choices in your career.

2. LIFE EXPLAINED AS A VIDEO GAME

“When it comes to generating in-game currency, the most common strategy is to trade your play time for dollars.”

It’s not often an animated four-minute stick figure video can change the way you think about life, but this one does just that.

The Casually Explained YouTube channel compares life to a video game and points out the first 18 levels of the game are basically a tutorial in which most of what you learn does not apply to the rest of the game.

RELATED: Six life lessons from a guy who has charted his life every week for 30+ years.

3. HOW TO LEARN 35 THINGS A WEEK

“Choose a keyword for the week. Even though this was good, I had to streamline it a more. My reading list was still crowded. I decided to filter this down based on a particular keyword for the entire week.”

This post is a bit of a choppy read, but the underlying idea is a good one.

Kasturi Shrivastava wanted to ensure the time she spent reading was optimized for learning so she developed a system to learn 35 new things a week.

She chooses a series of keywords relevant to her interests each week, reads 10 articles a day on those topics, and pulls out the five most valuable ideas each day to collect and share.

RELATED: How to get better at learning.

4. A FIVE-MINUTE TRICK TO TRANSFORM YOUR MARKETING

“Here’s the hard truth for marketers: clarity trumps creativity. Every time.”

The greatest marketing in the world will fail if it’s not aligned with great messaging.

Bry Larrea describes copywriting as a direct conversation with a person you want to pay you money and offers a five-minute trick to transform your marketing.

The trick involves creating messaging to clearly explain what you do, how you help the customer, and how their life will be better once they pay you.

RELATED: How to write more concisely.

5. HOW TO GET COMFORTABLE IN A CHAIR

“Most people think the knees and hips should be at the same level, so that the angle between your torso and legs is 90 degrees. But you’ll be more comfortable — and less likely to slump — if that angle is bigger than 90 degrees.”

This is the rare article that features information you can implement as you read it.

NPR shares three ways to get more comfortable in a chair including to sit on the edge, build a perch, and build out the back.

Plus, they’ve got GIFs demonstrating each technique so get ready to become a master sitter!

RELATED: Why sitting down destroys you.

6. HOW TO WRITE SHORT EMAILS

“A long email is a dead giveaway that the sender had a lot of extra time and emotional investment in the subject matter of the email, the person they’re sending the email to, or both.”

One of the reasons people struggle to manage their email is because they (and the people they deal with) write unnecessarily long and confusing emails.

Frankie Rain explains how to write short emails and offers tips including to think before you write, stick to one topic per email, and use email templates for questions you find repeatedly answer.

RELATED: How to write more effective emails in less time.

7. 16 LESSONS ABOUT SALES

“All world-class companies must have a strong sales force. So — how do they get there?”

This one gets a little technical, but it’s an incredible resource for startup founders or anybody who needs to build out a sales team.

Venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz shares 16 mini-lessons about sales for startup founders including videos with advice about how much to spend on marketing vs. sales, how to understand and define sales channels, and how to compensate sales reps.

RELATED: How to write a successful sales page.

8. THE FOUR MOST COMMON MORNING ROUTINES OF 300 SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

“Many people don’t have time or mental space (yet) for a yoga class or a full-on meditation practice — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t simple ways to build small pockets of mindfulness into your morning routine.”

Everybody’s got their own unique morning routine, but if you talk to enough people certain patterns emerge.

Mindbodygreen share the four most common morning routines of successful people based on interviews with 300 of them.

The routines include to avoid social media in the morning, move before the rest of the world is awake, and give yourself a “me moment.”

RELATED: What happens when you commit to an email-free morning for five days.

9. GARY VAYNERCHUK ON HAPPINESS VS. MONEY

“The conversation that has not happened yet in society is that happiness is the ROI, not a fucking BMW and a mansion.”

For all the hype around the hustle culture Gary Vaynerchuk inspires, there’s not enough attention paid to his thoughts about how happiness relates to money.

In this four-minute video he explains why it’s dumb to believe money unlocks happiness and why he chooses to invest his money back into his business as opposed to spending it on material things.

RELATED: The secret to success according to Gary Vaynerchuk.

10. HOW TO GROW YOUR NETWORK WHEN YOU HATE NETWORKING

“Don’t just do a lot of things, do a lot of different things. Try new projects with new people in new fields to broaden the scope of your network. The more diverse it is, the more valuable it becomes.”

One of the most valuable things I’ve accomplished in my career is to build a network full of talented, creative, and successful people.

But I did so despite being bad at traditional networking.

In this post I explain how to grow your network when you hate networking including to recognize quality matters more than quantity, surround yourself with great networkers, and create something to draw people to you.

RELATED: How to master networking in four emails a year.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Greg Roth, Future Crunch, Creative Mornings, and Startup Resources — they’re awesome and worth your time.

Image via Oliver Emberton.