5 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world.” — Edmond de Goncourt

I have a confession to make: I don’t hate email.

This probably puts me in the minority of people these days, but it’s because I’ve worked out a decent system to make email work for me as opposed to the other way around.

The Gmail Genius newsletter recently interviewed me about how I use email and you can read that here.

Plus, check out their archives for all sorts of email tips from other people as well.

One other quick reminder:

This is the first week FTI All Access Members are getting an expanded edition of the newsletter.

If you haven’t joined yet, sign up here before July 1st to become a founding member for just $5 per month.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. MY MOST PRODUCTIVE DAYS ARE A RESULT OF THESE FIVE CHOICES

“Deciding to focus on our most important work first also has another benefit: It forces us to prioritize our work and not just be reactive.”

Productivity is a direct result of choices and I’ve noticed the days I get the most done have a few things in common.

In this post I explain how my most productive days are a result of five choices including to choose to say no, ask questions, and be deliberate about what you do first and last each day.

RELATED: How I get stuff done.

2. THE BEST WAY TO LEARN SOMETHING IS TO DO IT (AND VICE VERSA)

“If you want to learn marketing, do marketing. If you want to do marketing, it helps to learn marketing. That same symmetric property applies to just about everything we care about.”

The best way to learn something is not to study it, it’s to do it. And the best way to get better at doing something is not just to do it, but also to learn about it.

This may seem obvious, but it’s not how most people currently approach things.

Seth Godin breaks down the learning/doing gap and explains why it’s important to reframe your perception of what it means to learn something.

RELATED: How to balance learning and doing.

3. HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR NEXT VISIT TO A MUSEUM

“Challenge yourself to examine all the works in a particular space and decide which of the artworks you’d be willing to buy, which one you despise so much you’d like to burn it, and which one you love so much you’d steal it.”

It turns out a museum may be whatever you make of it.

Rob Walker shares a list of suggestions for how to improve your next visit to a museum and stimulate your creative thinking including to draw instead of photograph the memorable things you see, discover the big within the small, and look for an answer instead of the answer.

RELATED: A beginner’s guide to drawing.

4. HOW TO FIGURE OUT WHAT ACTUALLY MAKES YOU HAPPY

“My aim was to make a list of 10 everyday things that really made me feel good, and 10 everyday things that really made me unhappy.”

Here are two simple exercises to clarify what you want out of life.

Trent Hamm breaks down how to figure out what actually makes you happy by listing and analyzing 10 everyday things that made you feel happy or unhappy recently, and then doing the same for the entire scope of your adult life.

RELATED: 13 steps to becoming happy.

5. HOW TO TEACH KIDS THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT

“Perfectionism is, at its core, an experience of not being ‘safe’ and wanting to have some amount of control so that we feel that we can keep ourselves safe.”

There’s no such thing as the perfect child of course, but that doesn’t stop some kids from trying to be.

Rebecca Newkirk explains how to teach your kid they don’t have to be perfect and suggests parents be aware of the behavior they model, honor their children’s process instead of just the results of their efforts, and be specific when giving compliments.

RELATED: Stop trying to have a perfect day.

COMING NEXT WEEK TO ALL ACCESS MEMBERS…

Here’s a sneak peek at some ideas All Access members will get in next week’s newsletter:

• What to do if you’re feeling burned out

• How to make money blogging

• Questions to ask when you start a new job

• How to live a meaningful life

• How to price a product

If you’d like me to send you these ideas, sign up here to become an ALL ACCESS member before next Sunday.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I got some of this week’s ideas from Greg Roth and Thomas Oppong — they’re awesome and worth checking out.

Image via Christian Fregnan.