10 Ideas Worth Sharing This Week

“Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.” — Madonna

Jesse Shapiro didn’t care.

He didn’t care the odds were stacked against him. Didn’t wait for the industry to give him permission.

Jesse wanted to tell a story.

So he wrote a script, gathered a few people to help, and shot the movie Nobody Walks in LA in 12 days on the streets of Los Angeles.

And you know what? It turned out great. You can stream it on Amazon and you should.

But more importantly, you should know there are people out there doing things.

Not waiting. Doing.

You can be one of those people too. You just have to decide to be.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. SIX DECISIONS THAT WILL MAKE YOU MORE PRODUCTIVE

“To be more productive, we have to be more intentional. The more we take ownership of our decisions, the more we get out of them.”

All the productivity advice in the world won’t help you if you’re not willing to make some simple decisions.

In this post I explain how making six decisions will make you more productive, including to decide what matters, what you will let slide, and how much time you want to spend being reactive.

2. WHY TIME MANAGEMENT IS RUINING OUR LIVES

“More often than not, techniques designed to enhance one’s personal productivity seem to exacerbate the very anxieties they were meant to allay. The better you get at managing time, the less of it you feel that you have.”

I love contradicting myself in my own newsletter.

So, since I just told you how to become more productive, here’s a Guardian article that claims most personal productivity and time management techniques are bad for us.

It points out that our obsession with time management is an attempt to make us feel less busy, but that feeling busy might actually be good for us — because it distracts us from thinking about bigger things. Like death.

3. 52 THINGS LEARNED IN 2016

“In a mixed-gender group, when women talk 25% of the time or less, it’s seen as being ‘equally balanced.’ If women talk 25–50% of the time, they’re seen as ‘dominating the conversation.’”

Tom Whitwell works at Fluxx, a company that uses experiments to understand customers and drive innovation.

He’s compiled some fascinating bits of information into this amazing list of 52 things he learned this year.

Among them: Twitter has enough money in the bank to run for 412 years at its current financial loss rate; both Mastercard and Visa were non-profit organizations when they launched; Chinese livestreaming services have banned “erotic banana eating;” and a Japanese insurance company now offers policies covering social media backlash.

4. GUARD YOUR TIME

“If fragmented time was seen as the disease it is, it would be labeled an epidemic. No wonder people are putting in 80 hours just to manage to sweep up 30 good ones.”

How do you spend your hours?

If you split them into fragments of time spread out across numerous activities and distractions, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Jason Fried explains why it’s important to guard your time and wonders why in a room of 600 people only 20 said they had found a solid four consecutive hours of time to work for themselves in the last five years.

5. WHAT THE INTERNET HAS TAUGHT US SO FAR

“Media companies have been much too slow to shift to digital; they’ve clung to print and broadcast, even when it was clear audiences are moving elsewhere. This means the budgets for quality journalism are focused on the wrong places, creating a void that is filled by the cheapest possible content, often from questionable sources. The attention has moved, but the content creation resources mostly haven’t.”

Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti is a brilliant guy with a great handle on how the internet has changed our world and where it’s headed. His year-end memo to his staff is well worth a read.

He breaks down what we’ve learned from the internet so far, including a suggestion that the root of the internet’s fake news and journalism issues are that the advertising industry hasn’t shifted its dollars to where the audience’s attention is.

6. HOW TO INVEST IN YOURSELF

“I have a list of 100 things I’m going to do in my life. It’s not a bucket list, it’s not things I wish I could do — it’s things I really am going to do.”

If you need a framework for changing your life, this Jon Westenberg post may be a good place to start.

He shares a four-step method to figure out how to invest in yourself that begins with an interesting exercise — generating a list of 100 things you are actually going to do in your life.

7. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION MAY BE TO LET KIDS CHOOSE WHAT THEY LEARN

“Fail to give [people] the skills to be part of a fast-changing, interconnected, digital economy, and they will strive to take it apart, as voters around the world are doing now.”

Our education system is broken and this Quartz article explores a “quiet education revolution” that’s launched worldwide to give kids the skills they need to succeed in our modern world.

The article outlines several efforts to change education and move away from the emphasis on testing with an increased emphasis on allowing students to more directly influence what they learn.

8. THE MOST VALUABLE FAQ YOU’LL EVER FIND

“It’s dangerous to think that there is one special person that can give you all the answers and help you.”

Derek Sivers is an entrepreneur, writer, and truly inspiring guy.

I came across the Frequently Asked Questions page on his website and it’s full of wisdom on a variety of topics ranging from what to do with your life, to whether you should quit your job, to how to become a better writer.

9. HOW TO NEVER RUN OUT OF IDEAS

“To match the number of novels, letters, essays and other scribblings Asimov produced in his lifetime, you would have to write a full-length novel every two weeks for 25 years.”

There’s something to be said for volume (as I’ve discussed before when I suggested you generate 50 ideas).

This Charles Chu post examines the work of prolific author Isaac Asimov and shares the six tactics he used to generate ideas including to never stop learning, not fight the stuck, and lower his standards.

10. THE BEST FEEDBACK IS ALWAYS UNEXPECTED

“Feedback is just feedback. Learn to receive it as a surprise gift. A surprise gift unveils a part of you that is visible to others but not necessarily to you.”

Gustavo Razzetti received some anonymous “feedback” in the form of a note that called him an arrogant prick.

But that incident inspired him to write this post in which he shares the value of receiving unexpected feedback and offers four tips for how to use feedback. Those tips include to avoid sugar coating and recognize that reciprocal feedback can be tricky.

FLASHBACK!

In the July 10th edition of this newsletter, I shared ideas about why you need a done list, how to create interesting images, the advantages of not caring, and more.

BTW, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?

Google’s Year in Search video is a reminder of the roller-coaster ride that 2016 has been for us all.