Daily Rituals. Oliver Beckman reviews Daily Rituals, a new book by Mason Currey. The expected chapters—”be a morning person” and “learn to work everywhere”—are joined by the less expected “practice strategic substance abuse.” I find the following to work sometimes for me: “…absolute freedom from distraction may not be as advantageous as it sounds. One study recently suggested that some noise, such as the background buzz of a coffee shop, may be preferable to silence, in terms of creativity; moreover, physical mess may be as beneficial for some people as an impeccably tidy workspace is for others.” Everyone has to find their own way. But find it.
Don’t Over-Think It. I’ve pointed to the popular Tumblr blog When You Work at a Nonprofit in the past. If you’ve not been there, check it out. But I’ve also run into a blog post by Leah Neaderthal about how it came about. There was no strategy with metrics to measure results. “We just decided to do it one day, and we did it in about an hour. We tweeted it out and it took off from there,” she says. In her post, Don’t Over-think It, Neaderthal offers Steps for Trying Something Without Over-thinking It:
- Use technology to run a small test
- Make it measurable
- Just start, then use results to make your case
- If it doesn’t work, that’s OK too
- Don’t stop testing
Instead of investing hours of time or waiting months to “get things set up”, use new technologies to allow you to get set up quickly and with very little cost. There are tons of consumer technologies that are easy to set up, and you shouldn’t have to pay more than $20/month for just about anything you want to do. Even at that price, the benefits of a small investment of $240 per year far outweigh the cost.
“Let’s just keep asking ourselves this question: ‘Is what I’m about to do strengthening the web of connections, or is it weakening it?’” ~ Margaret Wheatley