10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” — Helen Keller

Let’s have some fun.

I set up a collaborative playlist on Spotify for The Interested (you guys!) to share up to three songs that sound like summer to you.

To add a song, go here to check out the playlist, follow it, and then you’ll be able to add songs to it.

Try to pick songs other people may not have heard before — it could be a fun way for us all to discover some good new music and get in a summer mood.

You can also listen to the playlist even if you don’t add songs to it.

Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. A PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO YOURSELF

“Today I won’t run from my fears. I won’t hide. I’ll attack them and know even if I fail, I’ll be better for doing so.”

As adults, we can pledge to support ourselves as easily as we pledged to support our country every day in school as children.

I wrote this pledge of allegiance to yourself to inspire you to commit each day to move toward your fear instead of running from it, act like the person you want to become as opposed to the one you’ve been, and accomplish the single most important thing you have to do each day.

2. 10 WRITING TIPS FROM THE FOUNDING EDITOR OF THE ONION

“Sometimes, after you’ve cut everything, you could realize that you weren’t really saying anything at all — and while that realization might be sad, it’s also very valuable.”

The Onion may be a humor publication, but its founding editor Scott Dikkers has great advice to share no matter what kind of things you write.

Hubspot interviewed him for this post in which he explains 10 universal writing rules including that the key to quality is quantity, to make your writing accessible, and that specific detail always make writing better.

3. WHY YOU NEED AN UNTOUCHABLE DAY EVERY WEEK

“Untouchable Days have become my secret weapon to getting back on track. They’re how I complete my most creative and rewarding work. To share a rough comparison, on a day when I write between meetings, I’ll produce maybe 500 words a day. On an Untouchable Day, it’s not unusual for me to write 5,000 words. On these days, I’m 10 times more productive.”

This one resonated with me because I’ve also discovered a key to productivity is to block out days (or at least hours) where you ignore the rest of the world.

Harvard Business Review explains why you need an untouchable day every week and explains how to ensure you have one — including scheduling them in your calendar 16 weeks (!) in advance.

4. EIGHT WAYS TO BEAT BURNOUT

“A huge source of burnout is the feeling that we’re not accomplishing the things that we want to accomplish — we’re pushing and pushing and pushing, but somehow getting less done. To correct for this, try evaluating your activity based on impact, rather than effort for effort’s sake.”

A recent study found 28% of entrepreneurs feel burned out — and those are people who in general are more motivated and engergized than most. Needless to say, we’ve all got a collective burnout problem these days.

But Growth Lab is here to help with a post featuring eight ways to beat burnout and reenergize.

The tips include to eliminate decisions you don’t need to make, designate a quitting time, and focus on tasks that actually move you forward.

5. THREE WAYS TO BE HAPPY BASED ON SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

“Becoming acutely lonely, the experiment found, was as stressful as experiencing a physical attack. It’s worth repeating. Being deeply lonely seemed to cause as much stress as being punched by a stranger.”

There’s no shortage of happiness advice out there these days — even I’ve shared tips on how to have a great day tomorrow.

But this Eric Barker post digs into the science of happiness and shares three ways to be happy based on scientific research.

The research suggests to be happy you must stay connected to people, nature, and intrinsic values as opposed to extrinsic ones like money and status.

6. HOW QUITTING EVERYTHING DAILY IMPROVES YOUR CREATIVE WORK

“With a clean slate in front of me, I reevaluate. I decide whether I still want all these elements in my life. If so, I think about why and I recommit with clearer purpose. If not, I decide when and how to make my resignation permanent.”

I discovered this post when Josh Shayne (who writes the Good Worker newsletter) shared it in my Newsletter Creators Facebook group.

He breaks down why you should quit everything daily and explains how a decision to quit all of his projects each day and re-evaluate their value has transformed his creative work and productivity.

7. HOW TO SIT

“You probably didn’t realize this, but we have been sitting incorrectly the majority of our lives. And it’s making our bodies stressed.”

I’ll be honest — when I read this post I wasn’t doing any of the six things it recommends so, I guess I’ve got some work to do.

Do Lectures shares six steps to improve your sitting posture that will take you 30 seconds to read including to push your hips as far back into the chair as they go and to adjust the back of your chair to a 100–110 degree angle.

If you’re a posture junkie, here’s a nice follow up post for you about why sitting down destroys you.

8. FIVE WAYS TO FIGURE OUT HOW YOU WASTE YOUR TIME

“Progress gets harder to measure the closer you get to the middle of a project. In that nebulous middle zone, the finish line is still too far away to see.”

It’s not hard to recognize you’re not using your time effectively, but it’s much harder to figure out what exactly you’re doing wrong.

This Fast Company article can help. It breaks down five ways to figure out how you’re wasting your time including to break large tasks into smaller tasks, track metrics on a calendar, and set daily quotas.

9. 16 THINGS ANDREA ZITTEL KNOWS FOR SURE ABOUT LIFE AND CREATIVITY

“What makes us feel liberated is not total freedom, but rather living in a set of limitations that we have created and prescribed for ourselves.”

There’s not a lot of backstory on this one, but here’s what I know.

Andrea Zittel is an artist and somewhere along the line years ago this list of 16 things she knows for sure surfaced online and has made the rounds of the blogosphere ever since.

Her observations include that no matter how many options there are it’s human nature to narrow them down to two polar opposite choices, that a perfect filing system can sometimes decrease efficiency, and that the creation of rules is more creative than the destruction of them.

10. HOW YOU ANSWER THESE FOUR QUESTIONS DETERMINES YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS

“The clarity of your goals, audience, and value are a bigger determinant of social media success than any follower, engagement, or algorithm strategies.”

If you ask me for social media strategy advice, I’ll ask you four questions.

In this post I share the four questions that determine your social media success including what do you want to accomplish, who do you need to reach to accomplish your goal, and what’s unique about you.

Plus, I break down how best to answer them.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Postanly, Khe Hy, and DO Lectures — they’re awesome and worth your time.

Image via edceee.