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Opinion | The Whistle-Blower’s Guide to Writing
Sept. 27, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jane Rosenzweig. Ms. Rosenzweig is the director of the Writing Center at Harvard.
active_voice  best_of  brevity  clarity  complaints  concision  focus  high-quality  howto  impeachment  intelligence_analysts  memoranda  persuasion  presentations  purpose  self-organization  topic_sentences  writing 
7 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion | Can We Slow Down Time in the Age of TikTok?
Aug. 31, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jenny Odell. Ms. Odell is a writer and artist.

"I can’t give my students more time. But I try to change the way they think about and value it."

Ms. Odell, a writer and artist at Stanford, wishes her students would slow down, be allowed to focus on one thing--particularly in an era where "Time is precious; time is money". Students spend their time responding to their phones and to social media which is a drawback to their capacity to concentrate......The attention economy demands not just consumption but also the production and upkeep of a marketable self. The work of self-promotion fills every spare moment. In the age of the personal brand, when you might be posting not just for friends but potential employers, there’s no such thing as free time.....Odell's students includes many who aren’t art majors, some of whom may never have made art before. She gives them the same advice every quarter: Leave yourself twice as much time as you think you need for a project, knowing that half of that may not look like “making” anything at all. There is no Soylent version of thought and reflection — creativity is unpredictable, and it simply takes time. .....When Odell is bird watching (a favorite pastime that is, strictly speaking, “unproductive,”), she's noticed that her perception of time slows down. All of her attention is collected into a single focal point, kept there by fascination and genuine, almost unaccountable interest. This is the experience of learning that she want for her students — that she wants for everyone, actually — but it’s a fragile state. It requires maintenance.........That’s why she's built time into her classes for students to sit or wander outside, observing something specific — for example, how people interact with their devices. She takes one of her classes on a hike, using the app iNaturalist to identify plants and animals. Students don’t just need to be brought into contact with new ideas, they also need the time for sustained inquiry, a kind of time outside of time where neither they nor their work is immediately held to the standards of productivity......Odell wants people to make work that is *deliberately useless* in a way that pokes at prevailing notions of usefulness. Art seeks not to resolve or produce, but remains (and, indeed, luxuriates) in the realm of questioning......the attention economy makes time feel contracted into an endless and urgent present. A simple awareness of history can help cultivate a different sense of time.......reading history about the past trials and successes of activism, or taking historical walking tours of a city can counter feelings of despair and distraction.....Taking a longer view can help to stop feelings of being an unmoored producer of work and reaction and all you to see yourself as an actors grounded in real, historical time. This, just as much as the capacity to follow one’s own curiosity at length, might be the best way to fortify yourself against the forces that splinter our attention.....If we want students to be thinkers, then we need to give them time to think....Let's all agree: to just slow down.
advice  art  attention_economy  buffering  Colleges_&_Universities  creativity  focus  idleness  mindfulness  monotasking  noticing  op-ed  personal_branding  reflections  self-promotion  slack_time  Slow_Movement  students  sustained_inquiry  thinking  timeouts 
10 weeks ago by jerryking
Creative summer: visiting an art gallery
AUGUST 19, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Isabel Berwick.

Viewing John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing, an exhibition of artworks and objects from Museums Sheffield and the Guild of St George — a charity founded by the English polymath, which he endowed with a tiny museum intended for what the exhibition guide calls “the iron workers of Sheffield”. ....Ruskin, who wrote about 9m words in his lifetime and was variously an art critic, artist, social commentator, polemicist, philanthropist and thoroughly eminent Victorian (he died in 1900), has left one of the most creative legacies that most of us will ever encounter. What can he teach us about creativity at work?....the guide talks about the artist’s ideas about the ways in which we see the world around us — and how we can learn to see more clearly, and in more detail. ...Ruskin believed that in order to properly observe, one had to draw what one is seeing — not something we could do in the gallery, but it suggests a different way of engaging with the world around us for some of the people on the team. “Ruskin was a great joiner of the dots, and showing that everything is connected,”........the surprising ways in which we can make connections — suddenly seems to be one of the most important ways in which we can be more creative in a workplace focused on being “agile” and “collaborative”. We tend to think in well-defined ways, with longstanding colleagues whose reactions we can often guess in advance.....the importance of just . . . noticing. Of finding beauty and interest in a wide range of things, just for the sake of it, and allowing thoughts to drift about.....The simple act of looking at beautiful things, the sort of activity Ruskin would have considered a good in itself, is a way of taking time out to be reflective.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Rob |Aug 20, 2019.

I’m on board with the thrust of the article. I’m fortunate (although it doesn’t often feel that way) to work for an artist. This has given me access to yet more artists and regular recommendations for exhibitions.

Two recent examples are ‘Beyond the Streets’, an exploration of graffiti and it’s genesis in Brooklyn, and ‘Visions of the Self’ at Gagosian in London — both were mind-bending-ly good; both were outside my usual interests and I wouldn’t have attended unless pushed.

I really don’t know anything about graffiti or Rembrandt. However, visiting an exhibition with a knowledgeable friend, provided they aren’t particularly overbearing, is a delightful experience that, to my own surprise, leaves me feeling both rejuvenated and creatively invigorated. (Anecdotally. I haven’t done an RCT to assess the impact on my work...)

The upshot: provided they’re well assembled, almost any exhibition can provide relaxation and stimulation in equal measure.
art  art_galleries  attention  connecting_the_dots  creative_renewal  creativity  focus  mindfulness  museums  noticing  observations  pay_attention  reflections  serendipity  think_differently 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
How the 1619 Project Came Together
Aug. 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Lovia Gyarkye.

This month is the 400th anniversary of that ship’s arrival. To commemorate this historic moment and its legacy, The New York Times Magazine has dedicated an entire issue and special broadsheet section, out this Sunday, to exploring the history of slavery and mapping the ways in which it has touched nearly every aspect of contemporary life in the United States.

The 1619 Project began as an idea pitched by Nikole Hannah-Jones, one of the magazine’s staff writers, during a meeting in January.......it was a big task, one that would require the expertise of those who have dedicated their entire lives and careers to studying the nuances of what it means to be a black person in America. Ms. Hannah-Jones invited 18 scholars and historians — including Kellie Jones, a Columbia University art historian and 2016 MacArthur Fellow; Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor of law and history at Harvard; and William Darity, a professor of public policy at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University — to meet with editors and journalists at The Times early this year. The brainstorming session cemented key components of the issue, including what broad topics would be covered (for example, sugar, capitalism and cotton) and who would contribute (including Linda Villarosa, Bryan Stevenson and Khalil Gibran Muhammad). The feature stories were then chiseled by Ms. Hannah-Jones with the help of Ilena Silverman, the magazine’s features editor......Almost every contributor in the magazine and special section — writers, photographers and artists — is black, a nonnegotiable aspect of the project that helps underscore its thesis.......“A lot of ideas were considered, but ultimately we decided that there was an undeniable power in narrowing our focus to the very place that this issue kicks off,”.......even though slavery was formally abolished more than 150 years ago, its legacy has remained insidious. .....The special section.... went through several iterations before it was decided that it would focus on painting a more full, but by no means comprehensive, picture of the institution of slavery itself.......The 1619 Project is first and foremost an invitation to reframe how the country discusses the role and history of its black citizens. “

========================================================
The 1619 Project is, by far, one of the most ambitious and courageous pieces of journalism that I have ever encountered. It addresses American history as it really is: America pretended to be a democracy at its founding, yet our country practices racism through its laws, policies, systems and institutions. Our nation still wrestles with this conflict of identities. The myth of The Greatest Nation blinds us to the historical, juxtaposed reality of the legacy of slavery, racism and democracy, and the sad, inalienable fact that racism and white supremacy were at the root of this nation’s founding.
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KM
Well, look forward to 4 more years of Trump I guess. The Times' insistence on reducing all of American history to slavery is far more blind and dogmatic than previous narratives which supposedly did not give it enough prominence. The North was already an industrial powerhouse without slavery, and continued to develop with the aid of millions of European immigrants who found both exploitation but also often the American dream, and their descendents were rightly known as the greatest generation. I celebrate a country that was more open to immigrants than most, and that was more democratic than most, rather than obsess about its imperfections, since they pale against the imperfections of every other country on the planet.
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Linda
Aug. 19
@KM Can't let your comments go as the voice of Pittsburgh on this forum, so must register my disagreement with your comments as a different voice in Pittsburgh. FYI, my white immigrant ancestors toiled in the coal mines of western PA, so I'm aware of the work of the European immigrants. But I am grateful to have my eyes opened on many topics through Sunday's paper. Slavery is a deeply shameful chapter in our history. If trying to come to terms with the living legacy of that abominable chapter is "obsessing about its imperfections," then I hope I may be called an obsessive.
African-Americans  anniversaries  commemoration  focus  history  howto  journalism  legacies  newspapers  NYT  photography  slavery  storytelling 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
Work smarter, not harder. Here’s how
July 29, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by KIRA VERMOND, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

Suzanne Andrew, a freelance writer in Vancouver, took stock of her growing number of deadlines. One client wanted her to complete 26 profiles – articles that describe an individual or organization – in one month.

“I love writing profiles, but when I looked at the amount of work, it felt crushing,” she says.

Rather than brace herself for 18-hour days, all-nighters and inevitable burnout, Ms. Andrew took a different approach. She paused and then came up with a game plan.

“I’d worked as a project manager in the past and found that what worked best when managing other people was to create work-back schedules and milestone deadlines,” she says. “As a freelancer I was used to simply working to deadline, but realized I could make things easier and less stressful if I acted as my own project manager.”.....Ms. Andrew created a work-back schedule that outlined exactly how many interviews she had to conduct, plus a daily writing quota to meet the overall deadline. Once she met her daily target, she could stop work for the day and rest.

Here are a few pointers.....

1. WORK WITH YOUR ATTENTION LEVELS
Not every moment of the day is created equal when it comes to feeling sharp and productive. Our brains can only handle so much focused work time. Everyone has three levels of attention: proactive, active and inactive.

Feeling proactive? You’re in the zone: Take advantage of those times each day. Active times are best spent on less focused tasks like addressing emails or making a phone call.

And those inactive times? “Your brain is cooked,” You should probably be taking a mental break, going for a walk or getting a cup of coffee. Even just doing low-priority, repetitive work like filing is a good idea.”
Work with your brain’s energy levels. Don’t fight them and push yourself through those inactive times.

2. PLAN THE NIGHT BEFORE
Don’t allow your inbox become your to-do list. Instead, take 10 minutes at the end of the workday and create tomorrow’s action plan. What’s most important? What must get done? The next morning, look at that list and work on the most vital tasks before even thinking about firing up e-mail.

3. THINK LIKE A SMOKER
Pay attention to the way smokers take their breaks: They leave the building, go outside and even socialize.
“I’m a big believer in quality breaks,” she says. “How you take your break is as important as [taking] a break.”Get up. Move. Take in some fresh air and talk to people. You’ll come back more refreshed and proactive.

4. TRY THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE
....a productivity method, developed by a business consultant named Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. (Pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian, a nod to old-school, plastic timers shaped like tomatoes.) The method dictates that you set a timer for a short amount of time – say, 25 or 30 minutes – and then focus on one task without interruption. Once the timer goes off, take a short break. Then, if needed, you do it again. Commit to going deep for 25 - 90 minutes (jk: sustained inquiry),” “It’s amazing when we consciously choose to do one thing, and one thing only, how much we get done.”
action_plans  attention  attention_spans  best_practices  focus  lists  monotasking  Pomodoro  preparation  priorities  productivity  project_management  slack_time  sustained_inquiry  thinking_backwards  thinking_deliberatively  timeouts  timing  to-do  work-back_schedules  work_smarter 
july 2019 by jerryking
You’re Not Paying Attention, but You Really Should Be
July 14, 2019 | The New York Times | By Tim Herrera.

I called up Rob Walker, author of “The Art of Noticing.” In his book, Mr. Walker writes: “To stay eager, to connect, to find interest in the everyday, to notice what everybody else overlooks — these are vital skills and noble goals. They speak between looking and seeing, between hearing and listening, between accepting what the world presents and noticing what matters to you.”.... it’s just about trying to carve out and give yourself permission to have this time where you’re tuning into things, listening to your own curiosity and seeing where that leads you,”......Record 10 metaphor-free observations about the world this week. This is deceptively simplistic: Who couldn’t look at 10 things this week and write them down? The trick is the no metaphors hook. You’re just noticing, not comparing, analyzing or referencing. You’re forced to slow down and truly contemplate the world around you, rather than passively breezing through it.

Remember: It’s looking vs. seeing. Hearing vs. listening. Accepting what the world presents vs. noticing what matters to you.

“There’s nothing more important than the stuff you notice that no one else does,” Mr. Walker said. “That’s where every single innovation begins; that’s where all creativity begins. It’s honoring what you notice, what you tune into and what you care about.”
attention  books  focus  listening  mindfulness  overstimulation  pay-attention  noticing  Slow_Movement 
july 2019 by jerryking
Why 4 a.m. Is the Most Productive Hour
August 23, 2016 | WSJ | By Hilary Potkewitz.

Most people who wake up at 4 a.m. do it because they have to—farmers, flight attendants, currency traders and postal workers. Others rise before dawn because they want to......Even though he knows productivity experts say doing email first thing in the morning expends prime mental energy on busywork, Mr. Perry says clearing his inbox curbs his anxiety. “I feel I get a head start on everybody,” he says......Executives have often touted the benefits of an early morning start. Apple chief executive Tim Cook, known for being among first in the office and the last to leave, starts his morning routine at 3:45 a.m. And Sallie Krawcheck, chief executive of Ellevest and former Wall Street executive, has written, “I’m never more productive than at 4 a.m.”

Non-executive early birds aren’t necessarily workaholic. They hope to avoid the distractions of technology and social media. Those who work from home want a jump start on their day before other demands intrude. Some are seeking solitude and quiet.

==============================================
A couple of quick questions:
1. When is date night during the week so that the relationship these people are in survives?
2. When are these early birds doing homework with their kids or reviewing for a test?
3. Which evening activities, i.e. school play, etc. are these chaps missing?
4. What business meetings or marketing functions are these obviously fit fellows able to avoid by their schedule without a detriment to their well rounded careers?

It is all a trade off...
distractions  early_risers  focus  productivity  Sallie_Krawcheck  self-care  sleep  solitude  Tim_Cook  tradeoffs 
june 2019 by jerryking
If you want to get ahead, don’t be afraid to get dirty
January 29, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | ROY OSING - SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 6 HOURS.

* ACT FAST. When you are confronted with a formidable challenge, make a decision quickly; overanalyzing doesn’t usually lead to success because it squanders your most precious asset – time.Success demands that you act fast and not waste valuable resources by over-complicating the route to a decision.
* HAVE A ‘WHAT IF’ PLAN
Have a contingency plan for when your chosen course of action doesn’t work out the way you intended.
* DON’T CHASE PERFECTION
Embrace imperfection; there is no such thing as a perfect anything.
* FIND DOERS. Find people who have a proven track record of doing things fast.
* PLAY IT UNSAFE. Work outside your comfort zone.
* SHUN THE RULES. Rules exist to make us compliant and fall in with what others do; they are a set of standards imposed by others....Bottom line: Broken rules are the cost of doing messy business.
* FORGET YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION. Job descriptions compartmentalize the activity of an organization; they specify the role we must play and the results we are expected to deliver.
* STAY FOCUSED. Try many things in rapid succession but avoid multitasking. ....Success doesn’t come from juggling several balls. It comes when we are focused on a single outcome and dedicate our heart and soul to seeing it through.
* SCREW UP. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
contingency_planning  focus  good_enough  messiness  mistakes  monotasking  risk-taking  speed  Roy_Osing  personal_accomplishments  Plan_B  doers 
january 2019 by jerryking
How One Silicon Valley C.E.O. Masters Work-Life Balance - The New York Times
By Bee Shapiro
Aug. 24, 2018

Daily Lists
I have a tomorrow list that I make the night before. I write down the three things I have to accomplish the next day. I try to wait until I get to the office before I’ll crack that open. I used to have a more organic approach, and my system just broke. With the complexities of the C.E.O. life — board calls, meetings, traveling and trying to be there for your family — you need a system.

Work Philosophies
This guy Tony Schwartz wrote a book that said: Time is a finite resource and energy is renewable. This was profound for me. For example, I enjoy the act of staying fit. It feels good, and the results are palpable. If I’m not getting exercise and seven hours of sleep, I’m not as good, so I view it as essential.

I also set themes throughout the week. I borrowed this from Jack Dorsey. It helps me and the people on my team minimize the content twitching that goes on. So if Monday is themed for business matters, and Thursday is more for recruiting, everyone knows. Content twitching is one of the reasons we feel overwhelmed and maybe not as productive. We’re constantly content twitching between apps and topics.
CEOs  Evernote  exercise  focus  Jack_Dorsey  productivity  routines  Silicon_Valley  to-do  lists  finite_resources  Tony_Schwartz  work_life_balance  GTD  think_threes  personal_energy  overwhelmed  squirrel-like_behaviour 
august 2018 by jerryking
5 Powerful Habits of the Wealthiest Salespeople
August 25, 2017 | Entrepreneur Magazine | Marc Wayshak - GUEST WRITER.

1. They sell to the top.
Rich salespeople never waste their time with non-decision makers who don’t have the power or budget to invest in their solutions. .... meeting with a low-level prospect costs you money....If you want to achieve the income levels of truly rich salespeople, stop pitching to mid-level management and only sell to high-level prospects.

2. They make bigger sales, not more sales.
This is, in general, one of the biggest misconceptions about successful salespeople. Most people think that rich salespeople are closing more sales than their competitors, but that’s simply not true. Instead, they’re closing much bigger sales. In fact, top salespeople only go after massive sales at larger companies. Shift your focus to those big deals, and you’ll quickly find that while they take the same amount of work as an average sale, the payoff is exponentially higher.

3. They only focus on money-making tasks.
There are two types of tasks you do each day -- those that make money and those that do not. Rich salespeople are crystal clear on which tasks make money, and they only do those things. They outsource absolutely everything else, such as paperwork, order fulfillment and customer service. Top salespeople focus on prospecting, sales meetings, key customer meetings and the occasional ballgame with critical clients.

4. They know how to get leverage.
When most salespeople make a sale, they pat themselves on the back and go after the next opportunity. Rich salespeople, on the other hand, see today’s sale as a stepping stone to a much bigger opportunity tomorrow. Your new and existing customers can be powerful resources for new business. Rich salespeople understand this and rely heavily on personal introductions to valuable leads.

5. They prioritize outcomes over to-dos.
You probably have 25 to-dos to complete today -- and if you get through all of those tasks, you probably aren’t going to be any richer than you were when you woke up this morning. You also have some key outcomes that you’d like to achieve, such as developing new relationships with ideal prospects, closing large sales and renewing existing accounts. However, you keep letting to-dos you view as “urgent” distract you from those outcomes that matter most. Rich salespeople don’t make that mistake. Toss out your to-do list, and focus on the outcomes that make you money.
habits  salespeople  ksfs  referrals  focus 
august 2017 by jerryking
Why Deep Work Matters in a Distracted World
Posted by Taylor Pipes on 23 Feb 2017

Work accomplished = (time spent) x (intensity)

How to create meaningful work
Deep work does not have to be tedious. In fact, it can be enjoyable, creative, meditative, and thought-provoking. Here are some tactics to integrate the principles of deep work into your schedule:

Work deeply. It takes great patience and practice to get to the point where you can integrate long stretches of deep work into your schedule. Newport created an equation to explain the intensity required of deep work and compared it to students who pulled all-nighters in college.
Work accomplished = (time spent) x (intensity)

Work at a high level with dynamic and intense intervals that increase over time to produce a desirable outcome. Get in the zone for at least 90 minutes and build up to periods that last anywhere from two to four hours, or more.

Protect your time. Maintain a set of rituals and routines to ease deep work into your day more easily. Try implementing scheduling tactics into your workflow like:
Tallies – Keep a tally of the hours you spend working, or when you reach important milestones like pages read or words written.

Deep scheduling – Try scheduling deep work hours well in advance on a calendar, like two or four weeks ahead of time.

Scheduling and tracking time has a huge benefit of giving time back. Many academics, authors, and scientists have been able to produce ample amount of work while working normal hours and having time for personal pursuits or family on evenings and weekends.

Train your brain to do nothing. Try for a moment, to sit still and do nothing. How long do you find it takes until the social stimuli and buzzing signals of your mobile device prove too much? If you can embrace sitting quietly meditating or thinking, or even staring into space, then you can train your brain to spend more time in deeper work.
Quit swimming upstream. Decide for yourself what restrictions you can place on email and social media by removing it from your work week altogether, or by logging out and staying off for an entire day. Evaluate your personal and professional life and experiment where social fits and where it doesn’t. Your result may be a month-long digital detox, or completely cutting the cord on social.
Cut the shallow work. Endless meeting requests and instant email responses are turning knowledge workers into ‘human routers’ that create the shallow work that defines many of workplaces. We’ve been groomed to reply and respond because it feels like we’re accomplishing something, when in reality, we’re not.
attention  attention_spans  Cal_Newport  distractions  focus  GTD  hard_work  knowledge_workers  personal_accomplishments  productivity  sustained_inquiry  thinking_deliberatively 
july 2017 by jerryking
Instagram Finds Focus Under ‘Efficiency Guru’
April 13, 2017 | WSJ | By Deepa Seetharaman

Ms. Levine’s biggest contribution, Mr. Systrom says, is helping Instagram avoid the fate analyst Ben Thompson described: “Companies break every time they double.” [See reference to sublinearity in new book of Geoffrey West, “Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies” (Penguin). Specifically, "infrastructure growth scales in analogous sublinear fashion]

In 2014, Mr. Systrom said he realized he and his co-founder, Mike Krieger, needed help to grow Instagram. Facebook had bought the startup for $1 billion two years earlier, when it had just 13 employees. The pressure was on for Instagram to make money and roll out products at a more rapid clip, and the co-founders saw the need for an executive to manage the expansion.

Marne Levine is “an efficiency guru” who has helped the Instagram app avoid some of the pitfalls of rapid growth. Ms. Levine has skills that are in high demand in Silicon Valley, where startups often struggle to get past their adolescence. Uber Technologies Inc., for instance, is seeking a second-in-command to help founder Travis Kalanick repair the ride-sharing company’s image after allegations of sexism and sexual harassment and the departure of several top executives. “We want to be the 10x company,” Ms. Levine, 46, says. “That means we need to think carefully about how we set up our operations, how we grow and how we scale.”.....A seasoned manager can instill discipline and order, helping new companies avoid wasting time and resources while adding a veneer of professionalism to attract potential customers.
Instagram  Facebook  focus  scaling  growth  Snap  Snapchat  blitzscaling  operational_tempo  expansions  COO  efficiencies  sublinearity  product_launches  speed  10x 
april 2017 by jerryking
Decisions, decisions ... the five most critical for a leader - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 26, 2015 | Special to The Globe and Mail | ROY OSING

How do you spend your decision-making time? There are numerous possibilities when it comes to which decisions to make yourself and those that you leave for others.

How do you determine the “my decision” areas?

The criteria I used was payback. Where could I add the greatest value to the organization?

It’s not about what you enjoy doing or where your strengths are; it’s about where others will realize the maximum benefit if you focus your decision-making time there.

....Decide on these five strategic issues. These must be owned by the leader and no one else.

(1) The strategic game plan for the organization
(2) The values that shape culture
(3) The talent that gets recruited
(4) The “customer moment” architecture
(5) Aligning activities to the game plan

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On a basic level, a “customer moment” is any interaction between an employee and a customer. Needless to say, customer moments can occur at any time, and with this in mind, businesses are employing strategies to make sure every customer moment is a positive one. With the world becoming more and more connected, via the internet and social media, the potential for customer moments increases exponentially. When you factor in other recent innovations, such as the rise of smart phones and tablets, the sheer amount of potential customer moments becomes astronomical. This has led to the rise of self-service portals, where customers can receive help on many common customer service issues, such as troubleshooting. Businesses have opened up other channels for customer service as well, such as email and chat support.
leaders  decision_making  priorities  focus  serving_others  payback  talent  strategies  values  customer_experience  CEOs  value_creation  moments  organizational_culture  value_added  ROI  criteria  Roy_Osing 
may 2016 by jerryking
Coming of Age, Whether They Like It or Not - The New York Times
By MEGAN RUBINER ZINN JANUARY 31, 2016

The various cultures that created coming-of-age rituals knew what they were doing, and it’s not surprising that the rituals have maintained a place in the modern world. At this cusp of the teen years, when kids are excited and afraid to be adults, when they try out new personalities by the day, when their sense of self may be dictated by their peers and the media, they have an accomplishment that is all theirs. It need not be a religious or cultural ritual, just a challenging, adult responsibility. In the case of a bar or bat mitzvah, kids take on something that is extraordinarily hard, something that requires persistence and focus for months, if not years, something that they may not want to do. And they do it, in front of their family and friends, and they do it very well. From there, no matter what challenges these kids meet: a difficult class, paper, exam, a scary responsibility, decision or action, they can look back on this day and remind themselves of what they accomplished when they were only 13.
Judaism  Jewish  rituals  aging  children  coming-of-age  persistence  arduous  focus  stressful  perseverance  endurance 
january 2016 by jerryking
Eleven things ultra-productive people do differently - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 31, 2015 | Entrepreneur.com | TRAVIS BRADBERRY.

1. They Never Touch Things Twice
2. They Get Ready for Tomorrow. Before they leave the office, productive people end each day by preparing for the next. It only takes a few minutes and it’s a great way to end your workday.
3. They Eat Frogs “Eating a frog” is the best antidote for procrastination, and ultra-productive people start each morning with this tasty treat. In other words, they do the least appetizing, most dreaded item on their to-do list before they do anything else. After that, they’re freed up to tackle the stuff that excites and inspires them.
4. They Fight The Tyranny Of The Urgent
5. They Stick to the Schedule During Meetings
6. They Say No. [jk...be conservative, be discerning, be picky, be selective, say "no"]
7. They Only Check E-mail At Designated Times.
8. They Don’t Multitask!
9. They Go off The Grid. This strategy is a bulletproof way to complete high-priority projects.
10. They Delegate
11. They Put Technology to Work for Them Investigate apps like IFTTT, which sets up contingencies on your smart phone and alerts you when something important happens.
productivity  GTD  habits  mobile_applications  delegation  discipline  preparation  multitasking  technology  off-grid  focus  say_"no"  monotasking  lists  affirmations 
august 2015 by jerryking
How to manage your time like a president - The Globe and Mail
COLLEEN FRANCIS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 22 2015

time is a non-renewable resource.

“The Eisenhower Matrix” – is that all business problems can be grouped into one of four categories:

Urgent and important: a very short list of items where you must act immediately;
Urgent but less important: a short list of tasks where you would be better served to delegate right away;
Non urgent but important: a longer list of tasks that you must act on, but later;
Non urgent and unimportant: matters that don’t require your attention.

The key to managing your time in the Eisenhower Matrix is to be merciless and choosy about what deserves your time and focus right away. That needs to remain a very short list of tasks. If it isn’t, you need to reevaluate how you and your organization makes a distinction between urgent and non-urgent issues.

Just as important, know the value of your time and outsource anything that can be done for less than your time is worth.

Doing this, you avoid the trap of being too reactive or overwhelmed by a relentless inbox demanding decisions from you on issues both large and small.
attention  attention_spans  discernment  Dwight_Eisenhower  focus  overreaction  overwhelmed  priorities  relentlessness  self-discipline  time-management  urgency  worthiness  mercilessness 
june 2015 by jerryking
Elon Musk’s Ex-Wife on What It Takes to Be a Mogul - NYTimes.com
April 27, 2015 | NYT |Andrew Ross Sorkin.

“Extreme success results from an extreme personality and comes at the cost of many other things,” Ms. Musk wrote. “Extreme success is different from what I suppose you could just consider ‘success.’ These people tend to be freaks and misfits who were forced to experience the world in an unusually challenging way,” she added, noting, “Other people consider them to be somewhat insane.”

She boiled down the one ingredient for extreme success: “Be obsessed. Be obsessed. Be obsessed.”

But Ms. Musk wasn’t being critical. “Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an *insane* work ethic,” she wrote, “so if the work itself doesn’t drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry.”
Elon_Musk  Andrew_Sorkin  moguls  entrepreneur  focus  advice  work_ethic  hard_work  personal_cost 
april 2015 by jerryking
To be successful, do only what you do best - The Globe and Mail
STEVE TOBAK
Entrepreneur.com
Published Friday, Mar. 27 2015

make no mistake, if you want to be successful in business, you have to find that one thing you do best.
strengths  focus  ksfs  affirmations  howto  special_sauce 
march 2015 by jerryking
Target Market Strategy Guide
APR 20, 2011 | Inc. | BY TIM DONNELLY
Inc.com Contributor@TimDonnelly
focus  marketing 
march 2015 by jerryking
Take a page from Hemingway for your next meeting - The Globe and Mail
SHIRLEE SHARKEY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Feb. 16 2015
Do it. Creating great art or innovative business solutions is about discipline and hard work. Effort and commitment are needed to cultivate the environment for that magic beanstalk to take root.
Work with your team to schedule creative time and stick to it.
Clock it. Similar to routines, specific time constraints can also allow creativity to blossom. Ernest Hemingway set aside each day, from 7 a.m. until noon, to write between 500 and 1000 words. Even with such a creative and vivacious personality, he knew discipline was a key element of artistic expression.
Be it. bringing that kind of energy into your organization takes commitment and devotion to the outcome. I am certainly not suggesting crash diets or extreme behaviour, but I think we can learn from these techniques to foster a better focus.

Be creative.Change the environment and embrace new situations. Take your team on a field trip to meet a competitor; go to a movie together; have your meeting in a fast food restaurant – or a gallery.
Blow it. Actors who don’t perform well on auditions; writers who can’t find a publisher; artists who can’t sell their work – failure, followed by the long crawl back to the drawing board – is a vital step to creating great things.
inspiration  meetings  leaders  failure  creative_renewal  art  discipline  creativity  Pablo_Picasso  routines  focus  hard_work 
february 2015 by jerryking
Taking Risks in Love - NYTimes.com
FEB. 13, 2015 | NYT | Arthur Brooks.

If we want more love, we must conquer fear. We must take personal risks for big potential romantic rewards. Forget test-driving a relationship for 10 years, or searching for someone so perfectly matched as to resemble a sibling.

Love is supposed to be a little scary because it is uncertain. I remember moments when my own romantic venture seemed doomed and foolish. Courage means feeling the fear of rejection and loss but pursuing love anyway....The second thing love requires is mindfulness — pure focus, and total engagement in the current activity. “While washing the dishes,” the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh teaches, “one should only be washing the dishes.”

But mindfulness goes beyond the mundane; it is also the key to victory in the most audacious ventures. Emerging research shows that practicing mindfulness changes the structure of the brain in beneficial ways that make people more effective in business. Successful entrepreneurs have the uncanny ability to reside in the present moment even while working toward their goal. Lovers need the same mindful focus.
relationships  dating  marriage  courage  focus  personal_risk  romance  romantic_love  valentine  fear  mindfulness  seminal_moments 
february 2015 by jerryking
Get the most out of 2015: Do less, focus more - The Globe and Mail
DANE JENSEN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jan. 26 2015
priorities  focus 
january 2015 by jerryking
Small words make a big difference: how to ask incisive usability questions for richer results | Loop11
abbreviated “ASK” – which helps me to focus on crafting constructive questions. Here it is:

A. Avoid starting with words like “Are”, “Do”, and “Have”. Questions that start with these type of verbs are a surefire way to nip insights in the bud. It can lead to what’s called a closed question, i.e. something that can literally close a conversation with a “Yes” or “No” answer. While it may be useful to gather this sort of data at times, try instead to open it up. Using open questions, as Changing Minds notes, gives us time to think, reflect, and provide opinions.
S. Start with W. The 5 W’s – i.e. who, what, when, where, and why – are the building blocks for information-gathering. It’s a tool from rhetoric, historically attributed to the Greeks and Romans. Essentially, the 5 W’s help us pull out the particulars. The magic behind them is that none of them can be answered with just a “yes” or “no”, so we’re always going to get a bit more of an expressive answer from subjects.
K. Keep it short. As researchers, we can often let curiosity get the best of us. Excited, we may list out a string of questions, asking more than necessary. By asking more than one question at a time, we ruin the focus of a conversation. We should try to keep our questions short and sweet, so that they may be digested more appropriately.
questions  open-ended  brevity  howto  insights  rhetoric  Romans  Greek  focus  incisiveness  5_W’s  small_moves 
december 2014 by jerryking
The key to winning a dogfight? Focus - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Dec. 14 2014,

Keep your focus: Stay abreast of your field, reading widely and probing for information. His team’s knowledge of how to handle the dire situation they faced, from outwitting the enemy after being hit, to the latest survival training when plunged into the water, kept them alive. “The better informed you are, the better you will be,” he said....to get better you have to debrief after your skirmishes....Do you consistently get the most important things done at work? Your day is jammed with many activities, some important and some minutia. You need to know: If you could only accomplish only one thing, what that would be. Events will arise during the day that require your attention, and you must deal with them. But he notes that we often find ourselves in reactive mode, which can sometimes be misguided. This question addresses the active mode, setting out a plan of what to accomplish for the day...How do you and your teammates prepare for each day’s biggest challenges at work? Top guns have lots of computer displays surrounding them in the cockpit. Because of that complexity, they need a simple plan and to spend time discussing the “what ifs,” so when plans need to be altered, they can manoeuvre effectively. “It’s the same with business people. If you’re surprised, you will have trouble,” he warned.
Vietnam_War  veterans  focus  lessons_learned  U.S._Navy  Harvey_Schachter  feedback  scenario-planning  anticipating  preparation  contingency_planning  debriefs  post-mortems  simplicity  off-plan  priorities  surprises  market_intelligence  beforemath 
december 2014 by jerryking
What World Cup athletes can teach us about bouncing back - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 14 2014 | G&M | DANE JENSEN.

The resilience tool-kit: Four tips to improve mental fitness

Through our work with more than 70 Olympic medalists and thousands of managers, we have identified four mental fitness tools – drawn from sport psychology – that are critically important to resilience, and applicable in any environment:

1. Perspective – Consciously choose a “Three C” perspective.

Research has identified that individuals who thrive under pressure choose to view setbacks with a sense of challenge (“this is a test”), focus on what they can control (“time to work on my dribbling”), and commit to making it happen. ... The key is to notice the perspective you are taking and, if it doesn’t focus on what you want, change it.

2. Energy management – Don’t waste the energy inherent in disappointment.

What are you going to do with that energy? How will you put it to use so that you never feel like this again?

3. Imagery – “Change the film” and look forward.

Elite athletes choose to have short memories. They consciously work to “change the film” in their head and focus on what they want rather than what they don’t want.

4. Focus – Create and hold a compelling vision of the future.

Having one's own version of a "podium moment" is important – achievement plays a major role for all of us. Equally important is considering what the goals are that hold meaning for you, and how your day-to-day actions are connected to these goals.
inspiration  bouncing_back  resilience  FIFA  soccer  affirmations  lessons_learned  athletes_&_athletics  sports  sport_psychology  personal_energy  goals  focus  disappointment 
september 2014 by jerryking
Fifteen things successful entrepreneurs do every day - The Globe and Mail
JACQUELINE WHITMORE
Entrepreneur.com
Published Monday, Jul. 14 2014,

1. Eat breakfast.

2. Plan your day.

3. Don’t check e-mail right away.

4. Remember your purpose. *************************
5. Single-task.

6. Visualize.

7. Say no. [jk...be conservative, be discerning, be picky, be selective, say "no"]

8. Value your time.

9. Delegate.

10. Listen.

11. Show gratitude.

12. Stand up and move around.

13. Breathe deeply.

14. Take a lunch break.

15. Clear your desk.
deep_breathing  entrepreneur  ksfs  listening  focus  gratitude  proactivity  productivity  self-starters  GTD  say_"no"  monotasking  affirmations  visioning 
august 2014 by jerryking
Relax
1. Develop your own personal operating system. Carve out and define your own reality, philosophy, values, and interests rather than automatically accepting those of your family, peers, religion, or culture.

2. Begin to let go of the need for validation. Don’t be motivated by the opinions or others or the desire for recognition. Be driven by what is important to you and what you value.

3. Trust your instincts and allow for experimentation. Get to know yourself and discover what you enjoy and find exciting, even if you have to fail a few times.
4. Accept others as they are. Begin letting go of judgments and criticism of others. Focus on people’s strengths rather than their faults. Learn to deal with difficult people without diminishing yourself.

5. Really hear people. Go beyond just listening and understanding. Let people know that you really get them.

6. Take care of unresolved matters in your life. Restore your integrity. Forgive and ask for forgiveness where necessary. Reclaim the energy you have given to these matters.

7. Embrace a healthy lifestyle. Get some form of exercise daily. Eat healthy foods that support your body, not your emotions. Do this because you respect yourself, not to impress others.

8. Cause things to happen. Don’t wait for them. Be a creator, an instigator, a collaborator. Share your enthusiasm.

9. Show people you care. Don’t just talk about it. Show them in ways that are meaningful to them, not you.

10. Require the best of people. See them not only for who they are, but who they can be. Lovingly reflect that vision to them.

11. Ensure your own needs are met. Discern your primary needs, and communicate fully what is important and valuable to you in your relationships. Don’t compromise these to keep peace or hang on.

12. Speak constructively. Use your words to uplift, inspire, motivate, and encourage. Don’t offer “constructive criticism” or subtle digs.

13. Laugh easily. Have a lightness about you. Take life less seriously and choose to find and create fun and joy.

14. Cease gossip. Choose not to talk about others in ways that are openly or subtlety critical. Don’t share information for the feeling of power or intrigue.

15. Make requests, not complaints. If you need something from someone, ask for it directly. Don’t whine or complain to them or others.

16. Handle situations fully. Kindly but clearly deal with negative issues as soon as possible. Don’t tolerate anything if it causes resentments.

17. Be done with arguments. Smile and walk away until healthy communication is possible.

18. Offer help only when asked. Don’t assume that others want you to fix them or that you know best for them. Be available and give help only when asked.

19. Care deeply, but remain detached. Let others know you care deeply about them when they have problems, but don’t get caught up in their problems.

20. See with your heart, not your eyes. Look beyond superficiality when seeing someone. Financial status, appearance, notoriety, all mean nothing. Look for the authentic person inside.

21. Don’t say yes when you mean no. If you mean no, your yes will be harnessed with resentment. Say yes only when your yes is given freely.

22. Let others know you are grateful. Tell them and show them that you feel blessed to have them in your life.

23. Never play the guilt card. Don’t try to manipulate or hurt someone by trying to make them feel bad about their choices, decisions, or actions.

24. Give more than is expected. Don’t over-commit, but freely give more than you promise.

25. Be inter-developmental in your relationships. Don’t be controlling, dependent or co-dependent. Create relationships that are mutually uplifting, reward, and satisfying.

26. Be a big person. Don’t try to take credit, diminish others, or hold back on praise. Offer acknowledgment and power when it is needed and deserved.

27. Be confident enough to be humble. Be able to laugh at yourself, acknowledge your flaws and failures, and accept that they don’t define you.

28. Be open to learning. Don’t flaunt your intelligence or superior knowledge. Recognize that there is always something to learn, even from those who appear “less than.”

29. Be more engaged than engaging. Show your sincere interest in others. Use the word “you” more than “I.” Listen intently and reflect back to others who they are.

30. Give gifts that others want. Not just gifts to impress or that are important to you.

31. Challenge yourself constantly. Don’t settle for mediocre. Don’t languish in past accomplishments. Keep moving forward and exude enthusiasm about possibilities and the actions to make them happen.

32. Detach from adrenaline. Simplify your life enough so you are not rushed, stressed, cluttered, or distracted. Allow yourself time and room to focus.

33. Embrace the incredible power of now. Nothing is more valuable than this moment. Make it the best moment you possibly can right now.

34. Don’t fight the flow. Don’t struggle against people or situations you can’t control. Move effortlessly in a different direction.

35. Keep evolving. Stay on a path of self-improvement and stay alert for opportunities for shifts and growth.
next_play  motivations  inspiration  strengths  affirmations  personal_growth  self-improvement  immediacy  simplicity  focus  movingonup  gift_ideas  listening  continuous_learning  humility  praise  relationships  overdeliver  gratitude  sincerity  authenticity  self-awareness  constructive_criticism  foregiveness  values  self-starters  healthy_lifestyles  gossip  self-analysis  self-assessment  self-satisfaction  complacency  personal_energy  span_of_control  disconnecting  rainmaking  individual_initiative  beyond_one's_control 
august 2014 by jerryking
Hey, you: Stop multitasking and focus - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jul. 27 2014

New Jersey-based consultant Daniel Forrester believes we all have to find similar moments of contemplation to be more effective in our careers. “It’s about tapping into what makes us unique as human beings: reflection and conscience. The big innovations all are a product of reflection, getting a break from the tumult of immediacy that surrounds us,” he said in an interview.

The author of Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization was moved to study the issue when reading an article about the now-legendary “think weeks” that Bill Gates took as the head of Microsoft. Armed with cans of diet Orange Crush and a stack of documents with ideas and proposals, he would isolate himself in his cottage and spend time pondering future possibilities for his tech empire.

It’s a fascinating idea, but Mr. Forrester wondered why the CEO couldn’t manage to find reflection space in the office. “He’s Bill Gates. Why can’t he shut the door and get time to think?” he asked in an interview.

Mr. Forrester believes we have to change that tendency – and not only for CEOs, but for everyone. Reflection, he explained, is the space between data and meaning.

It starts with think weeks, proper vacations and sabbaticals to refresh and reflect. Our brains continue to work on issues even at rest, and the subconscious can come up with some electrifying findings. So it’s vital that a vacation be a true vacation, rather than pushing an employee, through social pressure or direct orders, to check e-mail a dozen times a day.
books  contemplation  creative_renewal  focus  Harvey_Schachter  immediacy  innovation  meditation  monotasking  multitasking  reading  reflections  sabbaticals  slack_time  strategic_thinking  sustained_inquiry  thinking  timeouts 
july 2014 by jerryking
The Art of Focus
June 2, 2014 | - NYTimes.com | David Brooks.

The way to discover a terrifying longing is to liberate yourself from the self-censoring labels you began to tell yourself over the course of your mis-education. These formulas are stultifying, Phillips argues: “You can only recover your appetite, and appetites, if you can allow yourself to be unknown to yourself. Because the point of knowing oneself is to contain one’s anxieties about appetite.”

Thus: Focus on the external objects of fascination, not on who you think you are. Find people with overlapping obsessions. Don’t structure your encounters with them the way people do today, through brainstorming sessions (those don’t work) or through conferences with projection screens.

Instead look at the way children learn in groups. They make discoveries alone, but bring their treasures to the group. Then the group crowds around and hashes it out. In conversation, conflict, confusion and uncertainty can be metabolized and digested through somebody else. If the group sets a specific problem for itself, and then sets a tight deadline to come up with answers, the free digression of conversation will provide occasions in which people are surprised by their own minds.
David_Brooks  howto  focus  children  uncertainty  unknowns  self-discovery  curiosity  fascination  constraints 
june 2014 by jerryking
5 Things Super Lucky People Do
Mar 17, 2014 | Inc. Magazine | BY Kevin Daum.

1. Play to your strengths. So much time and energy is wasted trying to do things you probably don't do very well. Author and Inc. columnist Lewis Schiff learned from his survey of incredibly wealthy people that they got that way by focusing only on what they do best. Everything else you can delegate, or you could find a partner to compensate for your weaknesses. That way, you will shine where you excel and attract opportunity. Good things come to those who emanate success.

2. Prepare in advance. Unlucky people often get that way because they're reactive and unprepared for whatever comes. People who have stored food and water in their basements aren't lucky to find themselves prepared when disaster strikes, they used forethought to make sure they had what they might need just in case. I personally scoff at this horrible recent trend of disparaging business plans because things change constantly. The point of a business plan isn't to follow it no matter what, it's to establish a structure for smart decision making that allows you to succeed no matter what the future might bring.

3. Start early. Some people seem to have more hours in the day. I myself don't need more than six hours of sleep and am constantly finding ways to be more efficient. I use that extra time to start my projects well in advance. My rewards aren't dependent upon the time of day that I take action. (This column is being written at 3 a.m.) But it does matter that I'm beginning to explore projects I expect to complete months or years from now. So many people only want to put their energy into things that provide immediate gratification. The most fortunate people I know are the ones who planted seeds early and now reap that harvest of happiness.

4. Connect with as many people as possible. The key to success is access to opportunity. Access comes from influence. If you're influential, people will come and bring opportunities to you. The bigger your following, the more powerful your influence. The only way to build a big following is to provide value to many people. You have to provide the sort of value that will cause people to spread your thoughts far and wide, attributing credit to you when they do. Are you creating that kind of value? If not, figure how you can.

5. Follow up. Opportunities often come and go because people don't respond in a timely manner. I'm always amazed when people ask me for something and I respond only to never hear from them again. Three months ago, a young woman asked me if I hire interns or assistants. I replied immediately saying I'm always willing to consider hiring people who bring value to my work. I asked her how she thought she could enhance what I could do. I never heard from her again. Perhaps she now considers herself unlucky that opportunity doesn't come her way. I believe that following up is often more powerful and impressive than the act of initiating.
tips  luck  Communicating_&_Connecting  opportunities  JCK  focus  preparation  readiness  value_creation  networking  following_up  self-starters  overachievers  strengths  affirmations  forethought  weaknesses  individual_initiative  unprepared  chance  contingency  partnerships  high-achieving  early_risers 
march 2014 by jerryking
Chef Michael Bonacini’s five top tips for success
COURTNEY SHEA
Published Sunday, Mar. 16 2014
Keep your eye on the oven

In terms of the mistakes I see from the contestants on Masterchef Canada, the most common thing is that a cook will lose focus. When you’re in the kitchen, this is the most important thing and it’s that much harder because of the competition and the cameras. It’s so easy to let your mind wander for a second and all of a sudden you’re heading off in three or four different directions. Focus is what will allow you to stick to a vision and hopefully deliver a good product. T
Pay to be picky [jk...be conservative, be discerning, be picky, be selective, say "no"]
Peter [Oliver] and I get a lot of offers to do restaurants – a new build, taking over an existing establishment, a hotel. The first question we ask ourselves is, does it fit the brand? The landlord, the building, the location – do all of these things align with who we are and where we want to go? Then there are the business aspects. What is the rent? What are the build-out costs? There are so many checkpoints that we go through. Eight times out of 10, it’s a pretty quick no. Being very discerning about the projects we get involved with has allowed us to maintain our reputation for so many years.
Lots in a name
Don’t be a rose-tinted restaurateur
Consistent is better than cool
chefs  restaurants  restauranteurs  ksfs  entrepreneur  tips  questions  brands  selectivity  checklists  reputation  consistency  focus  discernment  say_"no"  personal_branding 
march 2014 by jerryking
Need help focusing? Start doodling - The Globe and Mail
DAVE McGINN
Five ways doodling improves thinking

Focus: Information retention:
Creative problem-solving:”

Information integration:
Emotional:
art  Communicating_&_Connecting  thinking  focus  sketches 
february 2014 by jerryking
What Machines Can’t Do - NYTimes.com
FEB. 3, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks.
here is what robots can't do -- create art, deep meaning, move our souls, help us to understand and thus operate in the world, inspire deeper thought, care for one another, help the environment where we live
========================================================================
We’re clearly heading into an age of brilliant technology.computers are increasingly going to be able to perform important parts of even mostly cognitive jobs, like picking stocks, diagnosing diseases and granting parole.

As this happens, certain mental skills will become less valuable because computers will take over (e.g. memorization)

what human skills will be more valuable? The age of brilliant machines seems to reward a few traits. First, it rewards enthusiasm, people driven to perform extended bouts of concentration, diving into and trying to make sense of these bottomless information oceans. Second, the era seems to reward people with extended time horizons and strategic discipline. Third, the age seems to reward procedural architects (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, etc. , people who can design an architecture/platform that allows other people to express ideas or to collaborate. Fourth, people who can organize a decentralized network around a clear question, without letting it dissipate or clump, will have enormous value. Fifth, essentialists will probably be rewarded--the ability to grasp the essence of one thing, and then the essence of some very different thing, and smash them together to create some entirely new thing. Sixth, the computer is the computer. The role of the human is not to be dispassionate, depersonalized or neutral. It is precisely the emotive traits that are rewarded: the voracious lust for understanding, the enthusiasm for work, the ability to grasp the gist, the empathetic sensitivity to what will attract attention and linger in the mind. Unable to compete when it comes to calculation, the best workers will come with heart in hand.
David_Brooks  Erik_Brynjolfsson  career_paths  MIT  emotions  empathy  problem_solving  persuasion  Andrew_McAfee  Communicating_&_Connecting  indispensable  skills  Managing_Your_Career  21st._century  new_graduates  focus  long-term  self-discipline  lateral_thinking  sense-making  platforms 
february 2014 by jerryking
In Praise of Depth - NYTimes.com
January 17, 2014 | NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ.
We don’t need more bits and bytes of information, or more frequent updates about each other’s modest daily accomplishments. What we need instead is more wisdom, insight, understanding and discernment — less quantity, higher quality; less breadth and more depth....The reality is that we each have limited working memories, meaning we can only retain a certain amount of new information in our minds at any given time. If we’re forever flooding the brain with new facts, other information necessarily gets crowded out before it’s been retained in our long-term memory. If you selectively reduce what you’re taking in, then you can hold on to more of what you really want to remember...Going deeper does mean forgoing immediate gratification more often, taking time to reflect and making more conscious choices. It also requires the capacity to focus in a more absorbed and sustained way, which takes practice and commitment in a world of infinite distractions.
deep_learning  discernment  distractions  focus  immediacy  information_overload  insights  instant_gratification  monotasking  reading  reflections  relevance  thinking_deliberatively  Tony_Schwartz  wisdom  work_life_balance 
january 2014 by jerryking
Staying Focused
December 2013 | Harvard Business Review | by Adi Ignatius.

In “The Focused Leader” Daniel Goleman posits that a primary task for leaders is to “direct attention” toward what matters—so it’s imperative that they stay focused themselves. Building on neuroscience research, he argues that “focus” isn’t about filtering out distractions as much as it is about cultivating awareness of what truly matters. The executive’s goal should be to develop three things: an inward focus, a focus on others, and a focus on the wider world. The first two help to build emotional intelligence, while the third can help in devising strategy, innovating, and managing.
attention  distractions  editorials  emotional_intelligence  filtering  focus  HBR  incisiveness  inward-looking  leaders  people_skills  self-awareness  serving_others  strategy  the_big_picture  think_threes  what_really_matters 
december 2013 by jerryking
Two ‘fired guys’ poured ambition into Steam Whistle - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 03 2013 | The Globe and Mail | WALLACE IMMEN.

Steam Whistle is a case study for entrepreneurs trying to carve a niche in a competitive industry, says Eric Morse, associate dean of the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, who oversees the school’s Quantum Shift program for entrepreneurs.

“They figured out what they wanted to be good at early on, and that’s not always an easy thing to do,” Dr. Morse says. “Entrepreneurs are often throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall to see what sticks.”

“Don’t vary until proven necessary,” is another lesson this emphasizes, he says.

It actually takes more focus and dedication to stay successful once you have initial success,
Wallace_Immen  craftsmanship  entrepreneurship  entrepreneur  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  beers  Steam_Whistle  brewers  partnerships  variations  focus  dedication 
october 2013 by jerryking
The Hidden Costs of Starting a Company - NYTimes.com
June 3, 2013 | NYT | By ADRIANA HERRERA.

A friend of mine, Bobby Matson, founded Startups Anonymous with Diego Prats. They are both entrepreneurs who persevered over the challenges of a failed start-up. Startups Anonymous is a Web site that aims to help start-up founders and employees connect anonymously with serial entrepreneurs about the real challenges they face. After being live for just a few hours, the site had received more than 40 e-mails from founders all over the world eager to connect with someone — an indication of how many isolated people there are trying to figure out the challenges that come with building a start-up.
running_a_business  start_ups  work_life_balance  focus  entrepreneur  hidden  serial_entrepreneur 
june 2013 by jerryking
Faced With Overload, a Need to Find Focus
May 17, 2013,|NYT |By TONY SCHWARTZ

Here’s a radical proposal: Don’t check your e-mail at all tomorrow morning. Turn it off entirely. Instead, devote a designated period of uninterrupted time to a task that really matters.

For more than a decade, the most significant ritual in my work life has been to take on the most important task of the day as my first activity, for 90 minutes, without interruption, followed by a renewal break. I do so because mornings are when I have the highest energy and the fewest distractions.

I’m doing it right now, but in all honesty, it’s gotten tougher in the last several years. My attention feels under siege, like yours probably does.
focus  work_habits  information_overload  self-discipline  discipline  personal_energy  willpower  what_really_matters  self-regulation 
june 2013 by jerryking
The Power of Concentration - NYTimes.com
By MARIA KONNIKOVA
Published: December 15, 2012
focus 
december 2012 by jerryking
Analytic Thinking and Presentation for Intelligence Producers.
The importance of a title
How to gist your reading (actually a very helpful section)
The need for focus and clarity
“If you can’t summarize your bottom line in one sentence, you haven’t done your analysis.”
One idea – One Paragraph
The inverted Pyramid writing style, i.e. begin with the core assumption.
The importance of precise language (no jargon, no abbreviations, allow no possible misunderstandings)
Again, there is nothing earth shattering, but it is an interesting read.
DEVELOPING ANALYTICAL OBJECTIVITY
The part that I found most interesting is the section entitled “Developing Analytical Objectivity.”
In a world filled with talk radio and infotainment, it is an important point to raise awareness about.
We have talked extensively about the cognitive nature of our brains and some of the fallacies and tricks our brains play on us – especially in the political arena.
This warning given to some of our country’s brightest thinkers acts as a reminder that if the smartest person in the room must protect against biases, so must we.
focus  clarity  strategic_thinking  critical_thinking  security_&_intelligence  writing  presentations  howto  sense-making  objectivity  biases  Philip_Mudd  analysts  misunderstandings  intelligence_analysts 
october 2012 by jerryking
The Focused Factory
May-June 1974 | HBR | Wickham Skinner
HBR  manufacturers  focus 
august 2012 by jerryking
Eight Principles of Strategic Wealth Management
August 09, 2006 | Knowledge@Wharton | by Stuart E. Lucas.
1. Take charge and do it early.
2. Align family and business interests around wealth-building goals and strategies.
3. Create a culture of accountability.
4. Capitalize on your family's combined resources.
5. Delegate, empower, and respect independence.
6. Diversify but focus.
7. Err on the side of simplicity where possible.
8. Develop future family leaders with strong wealth management skills.
wealth_management  rules_of_the_game  Wharton  personal_finance  wealth_creation  accountability  strategic_thinking  leadership_development  simplicity  JCK  business_interests  family_interests  diversification  focus  Michael_McDerment  aligned_interests 
august 2012 by jerryking
Do you have the attention span of a squirrel?
Jul. 29 2012| The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Squirrel-like behaviour kills productivity, contributes to the erosion of depth in knowledge work, and hurts personal creativity. (And it’s not only the boss – staff can also exhibit squirrel-like behaviour.)

“So the next time one of your staff comes up to you to initiate a conversation, ignore your phone when it rings,” he advises managers. “Look away from your laptop. Close the lid if you have to. When a rude co-worker tries to butt in, tell her you’ll get back to her. Focus on the person in front of you.”
focus  productivity  monotasking  attention_spans  squirrel-like_behaviour 
july 2012 by jerryking
Self-discipline sets the road to success
Jul. 29 2012 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

See this (http://changethis.com/manifesto/96.01.SelfDiscipline/pdf/96.01.SelfDiscipline.pdf)

The paradox principle: Do the difficult things now, and things will be easier in the long term.

The buy-in principle: The more you have invested in something, the less likely you are to let it fail.

The magnification principle: If your focus is diluted, so too are your results.

The creation principle: There is a four-step process to getting things done: You think it, you speak it, you act it, and it happens.

The harvest principle: Focused effort is amplified by appropriate timing and regimented routine.
Harvey_Schachter  self-discipline  focus  self-control  affirmations  routines 
july 2012 by jerryking
Maximizing Money
June 11, 2008 | WSJ.com |By EDWARD KOSNER
How to Get Rich
By Felix Dennis

Beneath the braggadocio and buffoonery, Mr. Dennis's book is full of cold-hearted advice for succeeding in any field, some of it familiar, some quite sophisticated. He harps on the essential virtues of stamina, persistence and focus, and on the paramount importance of execution. "If you never have a great idea in your life, but become skilled in executing the great ideas of others," he says, "you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams." It's good to panic in a crisis, he says, because it focuses the mind on what has to be done. Grovel for capital if you need to but always remember: "No deal is a must-do deal."
United_Kingdom  entrepreneur  book_reviews  howto  advice  sophisticated  stamina  persistence  personal_enrichment  focus  execution 
june 2012 by jerryking
Six Things All CEOs Can Learn From Mulally | ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive Magazine
Six Things All CEOs Can Learn From Mulally

June 27 2011 by JP Donlon

1. Display courage in the face of adversity.
2. Focus is everything.
3. Simplify.
4. Use the Outsider Advantage.
5. Reward transparency and collaboration.
6. Stay inventive during tough times.
Alan_Mulally  simplicity  Ford  Boeing  leadership  tips  courage  innovation  transparency  collaboration  CEOs  hard_times  adversity  focus  outsiders 
november 2011 by jerryking
Lessons from Private-Equity Masters
June 2002 | Harvard Business Review| by Paul Rogers, Tom Holland, and Dan Haas.

The Four Disciplines of Top Private-Equity Firms

Define an Investment Thesis

Have a three- to five-year plan

Stress two or three key success levers

Focus on growth, not just cost reductions

Don’t Measure Too Much

Prune to essential metrics

Focus on cash and value, not earnings

Use the right performance measures for each business

Link incentives to unit performance

Work the Balance Sheet

Redeploy or eliminate unproductive capital—both fixed assets and working capital

Treat equity capital as scarce

Use debt to gain leverage and focus, but match risk with return

Make the Center the Shareholder

Focus on optimizing each business

Don’t hesitate to sell when the price is right

Act as unsentimental owners

Get involved in the hiring and firing decisions in portfolio companies

Appoint a senior person to be the contact between the corporate center and a business
HBR  Bain  lessons_learned  private_equity  metrics  investment_thesis  measurements  dispassion  incentives  constraints  leverage  focus  sweating_the_assets  unsentimental  debt  owners 
november 2011 by jerryking
Big Law Firms Try New Idea: The True CEO - WSJ.com
JANUARY 22, 2007 | WSJ |By NATHAN KOPPEL
Big Law Firms Try New Idea: The True CEO
New Style of Leader Focuses On Managing Business -- Leaving Others to Log Billable Hours

Orrick Chairman Ralph Baxter Jr. hasn't practiced law since 1992. He spends his days traveling to the firm's 18 offices world-wide, scouting lawyers and other law firms, meeting with clients and communicating with colleagues. He holds quarterly town-hall meetings via videoconference for Orrick's roughly 1,000 lawyers and sends out informational Webcasts more frequently.

As law firms have grown larger and more global in recent decades, more have followed Orrick's path. Their leaders increasingly resemble public-company CEOs, focused on managing others at the firm. Other professional firms have navigated similar changes; the big accounting firms, for example, have long been run by full-time managers.

"Ralph Baxter is the epitome of the 21st century law-firm leader," says David Wilkins, the director of Harvard Law School's Program on the Legal Profession. "Firms that have radically moved themselves up the prestige ladder and the profitability ladder and expanded their geographic scope have had full-time leaders," he says.
law_firms  CEOs  Orrick  best_practices  Big_Law  prestige  focus  professional_service_firms  scouting  HLS 
november 2011 by jerryking
Our fascination with the well-to-do: The money myth;
Feb 12, 2002 | National Post. . pg. SR.1.FR| Deirdre McMurdy

Inherited wealth continues to be relatively rare. About 80% of the country's millionaires represent first-generation wealth.

It's worth noting that it isn't the option-soaked corporate fat cats or the sharp-shooting lawyers who earn the biggest bucks: small business owners and entrepreneurs are four times more likely to be millionaires than those who work for others. They usually do it, furthermore, by retaining a narrow focus on their objective and working extremely hard in low-glamour Old Economy industries like packaging, auto parts or waste disposal.

For the most part, these are frugal folks who live modestly among us and quietly manage their holdings. And that's not just the case in Canada. American sociologists Thomas Stanley and William Danko -- who wrote the 1999 bestseller, The Millionaire Next Door -- found that most millionaires live in homes worth less than $300,000, drive three-year-old U.S.-made cars and never pay more than US$400 for a suit....Within the genus of millionaires, the Bay Street and Wall Street crowds are a distinct species. Those who have coined it in capital markets are a breed apart -- and certainly not representative of most millionaires...But our admiration for wealth is not without its caveats. Some forms and display of money are more inspiring than others. We may aspire to the toys and the lifestyle, but stock-market fortunes are subtly less respected than those garnered through manufacturing or more traditional methods. Accurately or not, the view tends to prevail that market millionaires have been lucky in a game of chance.
ProQuest  high_net_worth  myths  small_business  entrepreneur  owners  capital_markets  unglamorous  modesty  frugality  hard_work  focus  obsessions  industrial_economy  fascination  inheritors  first-generation  founders 
october 2011 by jerryking
How to Get Focused and Make More Money
Jul/Aug 2010 | Business Owner (Riverside) pg. 12| Anonymous.

Business owners should keep a daily log of three things: bookings, cash collections and owner withdrawals. Setting goals and having focus are important. When you're busy, all prospecting goes out the window. You must deliver your service and handle administrative duties such as collections, but your job is to figure out how you can get the work done and also continually focus on growth. Business owners also tend to get distracted on all kinds of things that don't contribute directly to booking revenue and taking more money home.
ProQuest  JCK  strategic_planning  focus  financial_management  self-discipline  self-employment  entrepreneur 
october 2011 by jerryking
Up, up and away; Pop-ups
Nov 6, 2010 | The Economist | Independent galleries, theatres,
bars (not always licensed) & front-room restaurants, all with
intentionally short lifespans, have been popping up suddenly, often
overnight, in the hipper parts of British cities for several yrs. The
exigencies of the recession encouraged retailers to emulate them: the
previous govt. set up a £ 3m fund to fill empty shops; landlords became
willing to sign short-term leases. Last yr. the people behind an
ice-cream brand named The Icecreamists ran a pop-up shop, complete with
in-house band & catwalk shows, inside Selfridges in London.The
brand's slogan-- to "liberate the world one lick at a time"--wouldn't be
out of place at Banner repeater. Founder Matt O'Connor says his 1st
pop-up let him launch his brand for a 1/10th of the normal cost, while
testing product ideas. For established brands, the format provides a
direct way of interacting with customers, turning each day's trading
into a consumer focus group.
ProQuest  marketing  trends  United_Kingdom  branding  market_research  product_launches  focus  retailers  experimentation  pop-ups  ice_cream 
november 2010 by jerryking
In praise of power seeker
Oct. 19, 2010 | G& M | Harvey Schachter. 7 qualities
build power: ambition, energy, focus, self-knowledge, confidence,
empathy, & capacity to tolerate conflict. Unlisted is intelligence
(overrated).Power must start somewhere,“People err in choosing where to
start accruing their power base.The common mistake is to locate it in
the dept. dealing with an org.’s core activity/skill/product – the unit
that is the most powerful at the moment,” The problem is that’s where
one encounters the most talented competition, well-established career
paths & processes. Further, what’s vital to an org. today might not
be in future. To move up, seek unexploited niches where one can develop
leverage with less resistance & build a power base in activities
that will be important in future. e.g., Robert McNamara & the whiz
kids at Ford built their power base in finance, acctg. & control
functions, rather than eng. allowing McNamara to become the 1st non-Ford
president. Wherever you start – stand out!
ambition  conflict_toleration  core_businesses  empathy  focus  Ford  Harvey_Schachter  influence  leadership  movingonup  Niccolò_Machiavelli  overrated  Pablo_Picasso  personal_energy  power  Robert_McNamara  SecDef  self-confidence  self-knowledge  unexploited_resources  whiz_kids 
october 2010 by jerryking
Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything - Tony Schwartz - The Conversation
August 24, 2010 | Harvard Business Review | by Tony Schwartz.
Here are 6 keys to achieving excellence: 1. Pursue what you love.
Passion is an incredible motivator. 2. Do the hardest work first.
3. Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no
longer than 90 minutes and then take a break.
4. Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses. The simpler and more
precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments. Too
much feedback, too continuously, however, can create cognitive
overload, increase anxiety, and interfere with learning.
5. Take regular renewal breaks. Relaxing after intense effort not
only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolize and
embed learning. It's also during rest that the right hemisphere becomes
more dominant, which can lead to creative breakthroughs. 6. Ritualize
practice
hbr  tips  self-improvement  JCK  intensity  focus  feedback  disconnecting  Tony_Schwartz  passions  excellence  practice  rituals  intermittency  creative_renewal  breakthroughs 
september 2010 by jerryking
Unboxed - Yes, People Still Read, but Now It’s Social - NYTimes.com
June 18, 2010 | New York Times | By STEVEN JOHNSON, Nicholas
Carr's new book, “The Shallows,” argues that the compulsive skimming,
linking and multitasking of our screen reading is undermining the deep,
immersive focus that has defined book culture for centuries.
Distractions come with a heavy cost--studies show how multitasking harms
our concentration. But we must also measure what we gain from
multitasking....The problem with Mr. Carr’s model is its unquestioned
reverence for the slow contemplation of deep reading. For society to
advance as it has since Gutenberg, he argues, we need the quiet,
solitary space of the book. Yet many great ideas that have advanced
culture over the past centuries have emerged from a more connective
space, in the collision of different worldviews and sensibilities,
different metaphors and fields of expertise. (Gutenberg himself borrowed
his printing press from the screw presses of Rhineland vintners, as Mr.
Carr notes.)
cognitive_skills  collective_intelligence  collective_wisdom  Communicating_&_Connecting  connected_learning  contemplation  cross-disciplinary  deep_learning  discernment  distractions  focus  Johan_Gutenberg  Kindle  metaphors  multitasking  monotasking  Nicholas_Carr  reading  solitude  Steven_Johnson  sustained_inquiry  thinking  thinking_deliberatively  worldviews 
june 2010 by jerryking
Author Nicholas Carr: The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains
May 24, 2010 | Wired magazine | By Nicholas Carr. Adapted
from The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. "There’s
nothing wrong with absorbing information quickly and in bits and pieces.
We’ve always skimmed newspapers more than we’ve read them, and we
routinely run our eyes over books and magazines to get the gist of a
piece of writing and decide whether it warrants more thorough reading.
The ability to scan and browse is as important as the ability to read
deeply and think attentively. The problem is that skimming is becoming
our dominant mode of thought. Once a means to an end, a way to identify
information for further study, it’s becoming an end in itself—our
preferred method of both learning and analysis. Dazzled by the Net’s
treasures, we are blind to the damage we may be doing to our
intellectual lives and even our culture."
Nicholas_Carr  information_overload  brain_imaging  cognitive_skills  focus  thinking_deliberatively  skimming  squirrel-like_behaviour 
may 2010 by jerryking
Corner Office - Tachi Yamada and the Importance of Undivided Attention - Question - NYTimes.com
Feb. 27, 2010 | NYT | Adam Bryant's interview of Tachi Yamada,
M.D., president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global
Health Program.
* Don’t micromanage, but have microinterests.
* Every moment counts, be 100 % in the moment.
* Intelligence = complex abstract thinking = human relationships. Look
for people who’ve moved.
* Humour, is an underestimated and important value.
* Leadership, in order to connect with groups of people, requires giving
of yourself.
* Turn battleships by making directional commitments and staying the
course,
* In giving feedback, the positive messages get lost in the one negative
message, and the negative message gets garbled.
* Figure out what your North Star is.
* Be open to new challenges.
* If there are 10 tasks in an overall project, identify the most
critical task among those 10. What is the one thing that everything
else hinges on (i.e. the linchpin)? Invest time in understanding that one thing. Then,
if/when the problem occurs, it usually occurs there.
billgates  philanthropy  CEOs  linchpins  Managing_Your_Career  career  feedback  hiring  leadership  focus  slight_edge  rate-limiting_steps  affirmations  humour  commitments  priorities  bottlenecks  abstractions  moments  attention  North_Star  monotasking  mindfulness  living_in_the_moment 
march 2010 by jerryking
The Age of External Knowledge - Idea of the Day Blog
January 19, 2010 | NYTimes.com.

Today’s idea: Filtering, not remembering, is the most important mental skill in the digital age, an essay says [JCK: filtering =discernment]. But this discipline will prove no mean feat, since mental focus must take place amid the unlimited distractions of the Internet.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Now, anyone with good critical thinking skills and the ability to focus on the important information can retrieve it on demand from the Internet, rather than her own memory.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Edge, the high-minded ideas and tech site, has posed its annual question for 2010 — “How is the Internet changing the way you think?”

David Dalrymple, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, thinks human memory will no longer be the key repository of knowledge, and focus will supersede erudition. Quote:...... The bottom line is that how well an employee can focus might now be more important than how knowledgeable he is. Knowledge was once an internal property of a person, and focus on the task at hand could be imposed externally, but with the Internet, knowledge can be supplied externally, but focus must be forced internally.
cognitive_skills  critical_thinking  discernment  distractions  external_knowledge  filtering  focus  ideas  inner-directed  tools 
january 2010 by jerryking
Niagara's Business Leader - an Interview with Brian Babcock from The Business Link
August 2006| First published in The Business Link, | By Adam Shields

1) be determined and focused 2) be determined and focused and finally 3) be determined and focused.
Brian_Babcock  interviews  introspection  serial_entrepreneur  ksfs  focus  overachievers  high-achieving 
march 2009 by jerryking
reportonbusiness.com: Gimme much more
April 25, 2008 G&M column by DOUG STEINER

We all want more information about everything. Yet we often can't get the precious data we need to make good financial decisions, or we don't bother. ...."ANALYZE BEFORE YOU INVEST." We agreed that we didn't heed that advice often enough. But to ABYI, you need hard data, and few companies have ever been eager to disclose it......In 1930's Ontario, companies were only required to table their financial results at their annual meeting, so managers held the meeting in an out-of-the-way place. In 1945, the Ontario Securities Act finally required any company selling shares to the public to provide full and plain disclosure of key financial information in its prospectus.

It wasn't until 1958 that Ontario required companies to file prompt reports of any "material change" in their business. Insider trading on the basis of information not available to the public wasn't outlawed until 1966.....regulators only enforce rules or draw up new ones after problems arise. To act pre-emptively would be hellishly unproductive, and might prompt companies and capital markets to move elsewhere........Better disclosure can help both investors and executives....Even without disclosure rules, you can dig up lots of information about the executives of companies in your portfolio. Last year, U.S. academics David Yermack and Crocker Liu published a study that compared the size and prices of houses bought by CEOs with their companies' share prices. The duo used the excellent U.S. real estate site Zillow.com and other public sources to gather data. On average, the bigger and pricier the home purchased, the worse the subsequent share price performance.

I like to invest in companies where I know the senior managers, and I'm lucky to know many of them. In some cases, much of the information about their character appears in the media. I prefer executives who don't have big photos in their offices of themselves with politicians and other notables. I like CEOs who drive older cars, work all the time and have no hobbies. Boring, focused and cheap.
data  Doug_Steiner  disclosure  '30s  insider_trading  CEOs  mundane  prospectuses  cost-consciousness  focus  unglamorous  boring  investors 
february 2009 by jerryking

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