Movies are given to us in (usually) 2 – 3 hour chunks. Designed to set aside a whole evening for your entertainment. Conversely, Entrepreneurs and influencers on Tiktok or on Instagram have mastered the quick fire clips and video messages.
Even though there are neuro-chemical tricks going on with Instagram, it is interesting to me that social media often feels like the only form of entertainment that fits into my life right now. To read a book I need to wake up at 5am when the house is quiet. The same with movies or albums. These things need concerted effort from me whereas the Instagram account goes with me wherever I go.
I know this is not revelatory in any way. Mobile phones are convenient…..so what? However when I look at these facts I realize two things. Firstly, I need to manage what’s appearing on my Social media feeds so that the messages I am receiving are of value and not just a trick to keep my brain’s attention. Secondly, I need to make time for books, albums and movies that I still want to have in my life while my kids are young and life is so busy.
That will go some way towards escaping the media jungle of life.
Nearly New Years! Happy Monday chimps.
Weekends turn our house into a jungle. For some reason as a family we fall into chaos – dishes build up in the sink, toys scatter around the house. The garden is no better.
This weekend was particularly bad. At one stage the house and garden resembled the Amazon, and there were two doors that wouldn’t lock, leaving our house vulnerable to…..well to anyone who may have wanted to walk in.
The jungle also compounds. As things get more chaotic, the effort required to bring it back feels greater and greater, and so you just put it off which leads to more jungle creeping in.
But slowly, once the children were asleep, we managed to clean up. I managed to lock up the doors and we escaped the jungle just before bed time. It was a close call though.
Happy Monday chimps.
Sometimes my brain will flick a switch and bail out. Just like a wrestler tapping out of a choke hold, when my stresses build up and become too much, the brain seems to automatically hide from responsibility. It searches memories for simpler times and childhood. Sadness creeps in. The search for distraction and pleasure creeps in. It bails out of life. This happens quickly and quietly.
Inevitably when this happens, and when I take the time to look at my life, I will see a pattern emerging. Usually this “bail out” mindset happens when I haven’t looked after myself in one of three ways. Either I haven’t done any exercise in a while, I haven’t done anything artistic in a while, or I’m not sleeping enough. Or some combination of the three.
So yesterday my brain bailed out. So I ran in the afternoon….yes….endorphins! Then i went to bed early. Today I’ll try find some time to doodle on the guitar or work on the podcast….Yeah, the podcast I reckon.
Do what you can. Which is more than you think.
Daily life can most often be distilled down to a single question: should I keep this alive?
Whether it is a pet fish, a job, a relationship, a website: burn the dead wood.
And possibly the goldfish??
Happy Tuesday chimps.
A big, broad work desk. In a quiet and comfortable office. My ideal workspace is clear of clutter and has access to the net and electricity for the laptop. There’s light enough to see. It smells nice. I have art on the wall.
Setting up my office and desk multiplies out over months and years. Over time, being comfortable at work adds up to a career and my own personal health. In many corporates we are not given the option to customize our workspace, which is a shame. I’m very lucky to have an office at home which I can adjust.
Like anything, a work space is subject to atrophy and creeping chaos over time. Clutter builds up in the most annoying way. If the size of the desk is wrong, or the seating is bad, or the connectivity options are not there it can have a huge impact on what I can achieve on any given day. The balance needs to be maintained or else it will fall apart. Next time you sit down to work, have a run through your senses. What does it feel like, smell like, what can you hear? What can you see around you? (lets assume you eat somewhere else and leave taste for now!).
At one point, I had a bad work chair hurting my back, there was not enough light to see properly, and dead rats in my office roof were stinking the place out. I was one step away from a human rights violation in my own home!
A new roof, some lighting and an ergonomic chair means my big, broad work desk is far more inviting. I have art on the wall. I have music. I have electricity. I have the internet. Most satisfying.
I have spent my working life so far as a generalist. I know a little about a lot of things, master of none. This is not conducive to a driven and purposeful career.
How do you create something essential when you are not a subject matter expert? How do you become essential to a project if you are not the central producer? I see a couple of options.
You can learn. Become a specialist with dedication. Never in the history of the world have we had so many learning resources at our fingertips. You do need the time to dedicate to learning. This gets harder with things like family and children tugging at your attention. Practice makes perfect though, So plugging away at something will make you better, and therefore more marketable.
You can become a coordinator of experts. Imagine a goal and assign roles for those with the expertise to cooperate and create something bigger than the sum of its parts. This is what I have seen in business. The energy to talk and link people with each other is priceless. Having a role in mind for all the experts and relentlessly networking, calling, meeting, discussing with them the best way to achieve that goal. This leads to success.
Today was a good day in a good week. But I’m only realizing now after supper. Strikes me that it often goes that way.
When you are busy, focused and enjoying yourself, almost by definition you stop noticing time pass and stop analyzing what you are doing.
Only looking back now am I surprised at a good patch.
Here’s hoping for more blind, ignorant, closed off, unthinking good patches 😉
The next guest on my podcast has not one but two masters degrees.
I worked with Dan for a couple of years in a corporate, and since then I have always been curious about his LinkedIn bio which reads as follows: “Thinking in curved lines of interdependence rather than straight lines of causality”
I pinned Dan down recently to explain himself. We had a nice long chat which I will release on Friday as the fourth episode in my podcast series.
The world is your oyster. (Or as they say in Kenya, the world is your ostrich). This is a fine saying full of hope and optimism, but how do you know what part of the world/oyster/ostrich to focus on? How do you define scope for your next project?
Scoping your work is probably the most important part. Scope is what lets us understand where to allocate time and resources to a project. It sets the boundaries, and it is very subjective.
How to decide on a focus and a scope of a project then? Stick with what you know. This is hard because the internet and TV can convince you that you know about all sorts of stuff. But to quote Seth Godin: “There’s a difference between being aware of the emergency of the day and having firsthand experience and firsthand empathy for different people in different places.”
Focus then on something which you understand through first hand experience. Perhaps you can show people how to do something (check out my mate Martin’s excellent Vlog series for his art). Or perhaps you know exactly where there is a gap in the market. The point is – take the real, personal interactions you have in the world and grow the project from there.