Posts Tagged 'work'

Life is too short to be busy

“A ‘Busy’ Trap” is a great article for the NYT by Tim Kreider which everyone should read.

Brecht Vandenbroucke

[…] It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

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

[…] Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.

(via nytimes.com)

Papercut at its best

An older video but just found it in my unpublished drafts and it is still impressive and thus worth to share.

 

Do more of what makes you happy

Sounds easy, but often we let ourselves get distracted by other things which we think is better or more prestigious, by what we should do or by what we think brings in more money. This applies to companies or business cases too. However, I am personally convinced that if you do what you love and where your passion lies in, without listen to other people around you, then everything else follows: prestige if you want, money, success, happiness, self-fullfillment.. As for companies, I believe if the basic customer need is fullfilled and how the customer wants it, then everything else follows too (success, money, brand value, sustainable relationships..) – just look at the iPhone and the time before the iPhone in terms of accessing the internet.

Maria Popova from Brain Pickings put together a great list of seven thinkers on these ideas – here a snapshot of the full article:

  1. PAUL GRAHAM ON HOW TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE
    “Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like. If you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious.”
  2. AlAIN DE BUTTON ON SUCCESS
    “One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.”
  3. HUGH MACLEAOD ON SETTING BOUNDARIES
    “28. The best way to get approval is not to need it.
    This is equally true in art and business. And love. And sex. And just about everything else worth having.”
  4. LEWIS HYDE ON WORK VS LABOR
    “Work is an intended activity that is accomplished through the will. Writing a poem, raising a child, developing a new calculus, resolving a neurosis, invention in all forms — these are labors. There is no technology, no time-saving device that can alter the rhythms of creative labor. When the worth of labor is expressed in terms of exchange value, therefore, creativity is automatically devalued every time there is an advance in the technology of work.”
  5. STEVE JOBS ON NOT SETTLING
    “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
     
  6. ROBERT KRULWHICH ON FRIENDS
    “If you can… fall in love, with the work, with people you work with, with your dreams and their dreams. Whatever it was that got you to this school, don’t let it go. Whatever kept you here, don’t let that go. Believe in your friends. Believe that what you and your friends have to say… that the way you’re saying it — is something new in the world.”
  7. THE HOLSTEE MANIFESTO

Blood brother trailer

“Blood Brother” is a documentary movie about the young American Rocky Braat travelling through India to make an impact by helping HIV infected children. The trailer is moving and promise a wonderful documentary.

Blood Brother is the story of group of children infected with HIV and Rocky Braat, a disenchanted young American drifting through India. He wanted to save them all, but in reality he couldn’t cure even one of them. He had to stay. It’s a hard life. He faces opposition in many forms. He lives in a concrete hut. Sometimes, he is close to despair. But working with the kids gives him a sense of purpose. The truth is, he needs them as much as they need him. They teach him, daily, that love is the only thing that makes life worth living.

The happy secret to better work

While browsing through the TED talks I stumbled upon this video. First I thought I do not want to see another “how-to-be-happy” instructions but finally gave it a try after reading the intro. And it was totally worth it and thus the reason I want to share it. Not only because Shawn Achor’s speech is hilarious and he could easily work as stand-up comedian, but most importantly because he uses a different viewing angle to look at happiness. Watch and think about it!

7 simple tricks to be productive

Sounds simple and straightforward but most people tend to forget the tricks in the jungle and hurry of the daily work. Doing a few of following points and got substantial productivity improvements back as a result!

  1. Work backwards from goals to milestones to tasks. Writing “launch company website” at the top of your to-do list is a sure way to make sure you never get it done. Break down the work into smaller and smaller chunks until you have specific tasks that can be accomplished in a few hours or less: Sketch a wireframe, outline an introduction for the homepage video, etc. That’s how you set goals and actually succeed in crossing them off your list.
  2. Stop multi-tasking. No, seriously—stop. Switching from task to task quickly does not work. In fact, changing tasks more than 10 times in a day makes you dumber than being stoned. When you’re stoned, your IQ drops by five points. When you multitask, it drops by an average of 10 points, 15 for men, five for women (yes, men are three times as bad at multitasking than women).
  3. Be militant about eliminating distractions. Lock your door, put a sign up, turn off your phone, texts, email, and instant messaging. In fact, if you know you may sneak a peek at your email, set it to offline mode, or even turn off your Internet connection. Go to a quiet area and focus on completing one task.
  4. Schedule your email. Pick two or three times during the day when you’re going to use your email. Checking your email constantly throughout the day creates a ton of noise and kills your productivity.
  5. Use the phone. Email isn’t meant for conversations. Don’t reply more than twice to an email. Pick up the phone instead.
  6. Work on your own agenda. Don’t let something else set your day. Most people go right to their emails and start freaking out. You will end up at inbox-zero, but accomplish nothing. After you wake up, drink water so you rehydrate, eat a good breakfast to replenish your glucose, then set prioritized goals for the rest of your day.
  7. Work in 60 to 90 minute intervals. Your brain uses up more glucose than any other bodily activity. Typically you will have spent most of it after 60-90 minutes. (That’s why you feel so burned out after super long meetings.) So take a break: Get up, go for a walk, have a snack, do something completely different to recharge. And yes, that means you need an extra hour for breaks, not including lunch, so if you’re required to get eight hours of work done each day, plan to be there for 9.5-10 hours.

(via inc.com)

stop motion at its best

The following video is a senior work of Bang-yao Liu at the Savannah College of Art and Design. It reminded me of my works at studies meaning the increasing pressure by coming closer to the deadline. However, for this video 3 month of work and more than 6.000 post-it notes were required.

deadline: the making of


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