My two grandfathers lived in a very small East Texas town, perhaps several hundred houses in town and the neighboring countryside. One grandfather was a railroad section foreman, the other a subsistence farmer. Both worked hard with their hands. While they certainly used their brains in their work, the demand they placed on their brains was certainly different from what we do today in our “always-on” lifestyle. While they had the daily newspaper and radio, we have at our fingertips essentially instant access to each other as well as to the world’s knowledge and activities through our ha
Goals & Practices
Six months ago, at the beginning of the New Year, the first Tuesday Reading, I Resolve To …, focused on New Year’s Resolutions. This has been my custom. In that essay, I referenced research reporting that though 57% of the individuals surveyed were confident that they would be successful in achieving their goals, only 12% actually were successful. This, our July 4th holiday last week, as well as an essay
We are born problem solvers! From the moment you wake in the morning until you are fast asleep at night, you are at the ready, just waiting for the next problem to arise.
Now, some of the problems are simple and repetitive, like, for example, what do I do when the alarm goes off signaling that it’s time to get up? Or, what route do I take to go to work today? In such simple instances, our brain is ready to serve up a solution: “Let’s do what we did the last time this situation arose.” Sounds a lot like a habit, doesn’t it?
A few years ago, Charles Duhigg, who you likely know through his earlier book The Power of Habit, was interviewing people at exceptionally productive companies for his 2016 book Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.” As he did this, he often asked for help in solving a family problem: How could he and his wife (who also has a demanding job) and their two sons, now ages five and eight, regularly eat dinner together?
Today’s Tuesday Reading, Slow Down, is an essay by Jason Murray, Network Architect at the Washington University in St. Louis. [He may be reached at email@example.com.]
His essay first appeared as a program reflection earlier this year.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." — Ferris Bueller
As young children, one of the first things we began to do after we had learned to talk is to ask questions. Our brains thirst for information, for knowledge, to understand. Paul Sloane, author of the Innovative Leader, tells us that asking questions is the simplest and most effective way of learning.
I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t had some difficulty successfully meeting some, or even most, of his or her goals. Perhaps it is a large, long project and although you were enthusiastic about the project at the beginning, by the mid-point, it seems dull and boring. Or, perhaps it is a simple task you need to complete, but it’s boring or time consuming and you keep ignoring it.
Stop it! It simply isn't good for you.
In last week’s Tuesday Reading, Busyness as a Proxy for Productivity, Shane Anderson, talked about his multitasking in meetings in order to meet deadlines and complete his work. He discovered, when he stopped multitasking, that there was a lot of important content in the meetings that he simply was unaware of because at that moment his brain was otherwise engaged.
Today’s Tuesday Reading, Busyness as a Proxy for Productivity, is an essay by Shane Anderson, Director, Solution Architecture in the Business Solutions Group at Yale Information Services. The essay first appeared as a program reflection earlier this year.
Before I began the MOR Leaders Program, I was struggling to get important work done. I was going from meeting to meeting with no transition time. I was chronically late to meetings. I was “multi-tasking” in meetings to meet deadlines and complete my work. I was stressed and people knew it.
Most of us firmly believe that there is a linear relationship between the hours we work and the productive results that we generate, at least to the point of sheer physical exhaustion. Research has begun to show, however, that it’s more complicated than that. That, in fact, the stressors that keep us from focusing and generating results, kick in much earlier.