Podcast recommendation: Seth Godin on The Hedonic Treadmill

This episode of Akimbo is a thoughtful look out our tendency to seek more of what we like – whether loud music or extreme sports or money or beauty. In a nutshell:It’s almost inevitable that we’ll experience diminishing satisfaction from a given amount of whatever brings you pleasure, so we’re always seeking to turn the dial to eleven (out of…

Some questions

Who for? Who will you serve? What do you think they need, what do they want, and what story will you tell to align the two with what you offer? What contextual factors and wider systems do you need to take into account? How far? Which pieces of the puzzle will you take responsibility for? What will you do to…

Contextualising best practice: one size does not fit all

Here’s another example of how “best practice” is context dependent, this time in responses to the Covid-19 crisis: What’s the point? The point – especially for those working with poor or marginalised communities – is that standard “best practice” from other contexts is unlikely to transfer directly to where you’re working. Education, health services, housing policy and politics don’t occur…

Living beyond urgent

There’s a great collection of old Seth Godin articles for Fast Company magazine. Here’s an extract from one I wish I’d successfully inhabited in 2019: If It’s Urgent, Ignore It

Questions from today

Which jobs absolutely must get done today? Which jobs can we (must we) push back – and to when? Who is waiting for my input? What’s the minimum I can give them so that they can do the maximum without me? How can I make the process and decisions explicit so that in time they might do it without me?…

The monkey and the oranges

The monkey appeared by the fruit bowl, snaffled two armfuls of oranges and made a clean getaway before any of us could react. It legged it for the wall with swaying, monkey gait… but had to climb a tree to make good its escape. The monkey did its level best to run up the tree, leaving arms free for the…

William Slim on inheriting a mess

It is one thing to know what is wrong; it is another to put it right. I have no doubt whatever that Hutton, if he had been given even a few months in which to prepare, would have corrected much of this and a lot more too. But I was to find, as he had, that to retrieve the past…

Clarity. Simplicity. Focus. Action. (Redux)

Do you know what you need to do? Can you tell the difference between what’s important and what might be nice one day, and what’s piffle? Do you focus your attention on a maximum of three important goals at a time? Do you get them done? What are you going to do now?

Tim Ferriss on time management as priority management

This is a piece of advice from The Four Hour Work Week that I need to re-learn and re-apply on a regular basis: Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant.…

A frog a day…

Killing “big frogs” (sorry Kermit) has become a shorthand among a group of friends of mine for getting important done. I trace it back to reading Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog! a few years ago, but it might have stranger and deeper roots – if so I look forward to being corrected in the comments. I was feeling frustrated today…