10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“Every day has the potential to be the greatest day of your life.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda

I saw Hamilton last week. Yes, it was amazing.

It was also a reminder that greatness comes from creators willing to bet on themselves.

Nobody told Lin-Manuel Miranda to create a historical hip hop musical but himself.

Turns out, that would be enough.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. EIGHT WAYS TO GET PEOPLE TO PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR WORK

“Every exchange of attention is rooted in a promise. A creator promises to deliver something in exchange for the attention a consumer offers up. But if we don’t deliver on that promise, we immediately lose that attention.”

In order for your creations, products, or message to succeed, you first need to figure out how to get people to pay attention to you.

I’ve managed to get 10,000 people to pay attention to my For The Interested newsletter (thank you!) and in this post I share eight ways to attract attentionfor your creations. and examples of how I’ve employed them to grow my audience.

Using examples from how I’ve grown my audience, I explain why it’s important to give people value, enable connections, reveal yourself, and more.

2. HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR WEEKENDS

“A good weekend isn’t about turning off the brain and checking out. Instead, it’s about corralling that precious free time for meaningful pursuits — the harder the quest, the more rewarding the bounty.”

It turns out most of us are doing weekends wrong.

Quartz explains how you should approach your weekends and points out the goal shouldn’t be to fill it with passive “casual leisure,” but rather to use it for “serious leisure” activities that generate deeper fulfillment.

The tips include to make sure your weekend features a mix of socializing, hobbies, altruism, and play.

3. 17 IDEAS FOR THE MODERN WORLD OF WORK

“Leadership is for other people, it seems. Leadership is for someone who has unusual amounts of courage, insight or perhaps arrogance. Except that’s not true. That’s a myth perpetuated by folks who’d rather have you comply with their instructions.”

Seth Godin’s got no shortage of smart observations about the present and future state of work, so when he compiles them into a post like this it’s worth checking out.

His 17 ideas for the modern world of work include to dance with fear, see the end before you begin the journey, and realize culture defeats everything.

4. WHY YOU SHOULD STOP LOOKING FOR YOUR VOICE

“There is no ‘voice’ to find, no voice that belongs to the true you, because there is no true you, only ever versions of yourself you have learned to perform, and the voice of the character you play on the page is up to you.”

Here’s an interesting question: How would you define David Bowie’s artistic voice?

It’s difficult because Bowie morphed his style so often his entire persona was essentially an ever-changing performance.

Will Wilkinson elaborates on that concept and explains why you should stop looking for your voice and recognize that demanding authenticity is inherently paradoxical.

This one will give you something to think about — though I still believe it’s possible to develop your voice.

5. THE 12 STAGES OF BURNOUT

“When we push our creativity and productivity to its limits, we can easily find ourselves teetering on brink of burnout. And there’s a fine line between being in the zone and falling down the slippery slope of mental, emotional and physical exhaustion.”

Here’s one you will likely be able to identify with — even though you’ll wish that wasn’t true.

99U lists the 12 phases of burnout based on psychological research and provides a good checklist to see if you’re pushing yourself too hard or not.

The phases include compulsion to prove oneself, depersonalization, revision of values, and more.

6. HOW TO AVOID THE BUSY TRAP

“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”

Can we all stop pretending being busy is admirable?

This New York Times article from back in 2012 (a simpler time when I assume we all felt less busy than we are today) breaks down why we’ve chosen to be busy all the time and why that’s a bad idea.

It’s worth a read…if you can find the time in your busy schedule of course.

7. HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL HABITS

“Making a behavior harder to do makes it less likely to occur. I looked for ways to make opening email more difficult. Surprisingly, I found just adding a few extra steps makes me less likely to check my email.”

Nir Eyal is an expert on how to create products that get users hooked — he literally wrote the book on it — so it’s interesting to see him write a post about his own struggles with his inbox.

He shares some tips on how to use psychology to improve your email habitsincluding to identify internal triggers such as social anxiety that drive you to check your email and to make it more difficult to do so in order to curb your behavior.

8. 101 BOOKS TED TALK SPEAKERS RECOMMEND

This one doesn’t require much of a summary.

The TED Talks organization asked its speakers to recommend books for you to read this summer and the result is a list of 101 books worth reading that include everything from fiction, to history, to children’s books.

9. HOW TO WRITE ENGAGING HEADLINES

“Curiosity drives shares. But the trick is to find a way to spark that curiosity in every headline. It’s why headlines that start with ‘Here’s why…’ or ‘The one thing that will make you…’ work really well. Because they spark instant curiosity.”

You can learn a lot when you analyze 100 million headlines on social media platforms.

That’s exactly what Buzzsumo did and they share their findings in this post about how to write engaging headlines.

They break down the results by platform and explain why what works on Facebook is often different from what works on Twitter, why emotion is key, and why how your headline ends can be just as important as how it begins.

10. WHY THE ATTENTION ECONOMY IS BROKEN

“‘Fake news’ isn’t a Russian conspiracy to undermine our democracy; it is, instead, the end-state of an unhealthy race-to-the-bottom for consumer attention.”

The Great Reckoning is coming — at least according to Andrew Montalenti.

He makes a compelling case for why the attention economy is broken and how brands, publishers, marketers, and just about everybody else is going to have to transform the way they do business in order to survive in the near future.