10 Ideas Worth Sharing This Week

Ideas about life, productivity, marriage, and more.

Each week I share 10 ideas with my newsletter subscribers. Following is this week’s newsletter — sign up here to get future issues.


“Everyone is not supposed to be the same.” — Beyonce

Life is simple. Try not to complicate it.

This phrase came to me a few weeks ago and rattled around my mind last weekend as I had an incredible time at my wedding.

As things swirled around me throughout the weekend — which felt like a high school, college, and family reunion combined with a wedding — it would have been easy to get caught up in the stress of everything that accompanies such an event.

But every time anxiety started to seep in, I was drawn back to that phrase — life is simple, try not to complicate it.

Because at its core, everything happening around me was simple — people I love celebrating my marriage to a woman I love.

It would only be complicated if I chose to make it so.

And that’s true of most life experiences — even those not nearly as happy as a wedding.

No matter what happens in our lives, we can choose to keep it simple or complicate it.

I recommend simple.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. HOW TO MAKE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEED MORE INTERESTING

“If you set a goal for what you hope to get out of time spent on social media — or different goals for different platforms — you’ll be much more likely to get it.”

You know the feeling when you scroll your social feed and wonder why there’s nothing compelling in it? Here’s how to fix that.

In this post, I suggest six simple things you can do to improve your social feed including to follow curators instead of publishers and to browse with intention.

2. HOW TO COME UP WITH A GOOD IDEA IN FOUR SIMPLE STEPS

“The first thing you need to do is create boundaries within which you are going to explore. Otherwise, you can get lost in the wilderness.”

The process of generating new ideas can seem elusive, but this video from filmmaker Kirby Ferguson simplifies it.

He points out the basic elements of creativity are copying, transforming, and combining and demonstrates how you can use your conscious mind to feed your subconscious mind the material it needs to generate new ideas.

3. HOW TO SEND BETTER EMAILS

“An email is an imposition on a person’s time. Writing to someone is saying ‘I know you have a finite amount of time and attention today, and in life, and I’m going to take some of it.’”

Want to cut the amount of time you spend on email in half and send more effective emails in the process?

This Atlantic article from James Hamblin shares the tricks he uses to improve his email usage including rules like no signoff, no greeting, and keeping emails to three sentences or fewer.

4. CHRIS BAILEY IS A PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW

“There are three different factors that contribute to how productive you are on a daily basis: How you manage your time, how you manage your energy, and how you manage your attention and focus. Where these three things overlap, that’s how productive you are.”

Chris Bailey is an author who extensively studied productivity, conducting a series of experiments in his own life to optimize how to get the most out of his activity.

In my profile of him, you’ll learn 100 hacks to be more productive, five simple ways to get more done every day, how to eat mindfully, and more.

5. THE THING YOUR TO-DO LIST IS MISSING

“If you confront yourself each day with reminders of only the least enjoyable parts of your job, it’ll probably wind up sapping your motivation to come to work.”

Even though I recommend Done Lists as opposed to To-Do Lists, if you’re going to keep a To-Do List, here’s a solid tip to improve yours.

This Fast Company article points out most people only fill their To-Do Lists with the tasks they most dread doing at work and explains how a different approach to your list can make you happier at work.

6. FOUR TIPS TO RESIST DISTRACTION

“Make sure the most important thing stays the most important thing.”

It’s easy to get distracted, but it may be just as easy to stay focused.

This Eric Barker post lays out four tips to maintain your focus from various experts including to control your context and make deliberate decisions.

7. YOU NEED TO MOVE MORE — HERE’S HOW TO DO IT

“The solution to sitting isn’t to stand. It’s to move. All day. The stillness is what’s killing us.”

Your standing desk isn’t going to save you.

This Outside magazine article makes the somewhat obvious point that most of us don’t move nearly enough during the day, but more helpfully it also offers up a specific outline of what ongoing daily movement could look like in a typical day at the office.

8. HOW TO AVOID BURNOUT

“In order to be your best, most productive self, you must honor your needs as an individual first.”

If you feel overwhelmed by work, this one’s for you.

In it, Elle Kaplan offers suggestions for how you can “make self care non-negotiable” and learn how to say no, avoid the trap of eating lunch at your desk, turn off at the end of the day, and more.

9. HOW TO FIND YOUR MAGIC

“Magic is far and away the most valuable asset of the Creative.”

Technology will continue to change the way we work and it’s likely a time will come when it can do your job — with one exception.

Todd Brison argues the one thing technology won’t be able to usurp from you is the “magic” you can bring to your work and in this post he breaks down what you can do to increase your magical powers.

10. YOU CAN’T STOP TIME, BUT YOU CAN SLOW IT DOWN

“If our experience of time passing were reliable, we wouldn’t need to check our clocks and watches so often.”

This Fast Company article explores what you can do to alter your perception of how time passes and trick your brain into slowing down time.

Specifically, it points out how paying closer attention to things and entering a state of emotional arousal can impact your perception of time.

I ASKED, YOU ANSWERED

Last week I asked what advice you have for a person getting married.

Here are a few answers that stood out:

“Always remember that long lasting relationships don’t just happen. You make them happen.” — Hugo Ferreira

“Revel in how each of you knows different things, instead of ‘How could you not know that?’” — James Amos

“Remember that love is a verb, a thing you do.” — Joanna Morefield

“Put a new roll of toilet paper on the toilet tank as soon as you realize the current roll is getting low. This is true love.” — Laura Whitman

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

What’s your best time management tip?

Post a response with your answer and I’ll share some of the responses in next week’s newsletter.