The “Killer App” For Career Advancement

A great episode of the accidental creative by Todd Henry. My summary follows:

Spoiler. Its thought. It’s taking "time to think deeply about the problems you are facing, the relationships that you are you’re dealing with at work or personally. Taking the time think about the problems that you’ve been handed by you manager… Taking the time that is absolutely necessary to distill the noise we encounter on a daily basis into something actionable, something meaningful something that will have help us progress toward our ambitions."

It is about turning knowledge and noise into wisdom. We need to stop reacting to everything and step back and think deeply about it.

I guarantee you that if you walk into a meeting and you say, here is what we should do… and here is are the reasons why we should do it… and here is what I think the potential outcomes are… If you are able to give that kind of a response in a meeting because you have have actually spent time thinking and developing your thoughts and really exploring. Then your manager will say, who are you and where can I get four more like you? Because that well reasoned response is very rare.

So how do we build thought time into our lives? Mr. Henry offers four ways:

  1. Plan it. Try to do it during the hours most likely to be interrupted.
  2. Be consistent. Rituals can be important.
  3. Keep yourself in the dark room and play. Staying in a place of uncertainty that is uncomfortable. Don’t gravitate to the first answer. Deal with ambiguity and uncertainty. Train yourself to look for deeper answers.
  4. Synthesize thoughts. Look for bigger patterns. Connect domains.

"The goal is to develop responsiveness not reactivity. We want to be able to respond meaningfully with wisdom to problems, not just react to them. "

Overcast® Link


Start Today!

Great advice from Joshua Becker on starting today. Don’t wait. Today.

But how? Here are some helpful ideas to get you started, right now, today:

  1. Make one small step
  2. Remind yourself of all the reasons to start right now.
  3. The next time you feel the urge, read a helpful article.
  4. Find external motivation.
  5. Set a reward for yourself.

Finding Your “Sweet Spot” of Effectiveness

An excellent episode of the Accidental Creative podcast by Todd Henry: Audio (Overcast)Transcript

Having worked with and interviewed hundreds of professionals, I’ve come to believe that each person also has a “sweet spot”. It’s comprised of the situations and activities where they are maximally effective, and where they create the most unique value for their effort… Here are a few of the key insights I gained about finding your sweet spot:

  • To find your sweet spot, you must act first and sort later.
  • Your sweet spot is not always something you enjoy.
  • Finding your sweet spot is not necessary, which is why many people never do it.

How to Succeed at Work: Focus!

Shane Parrish for Farnam Street:

The Premise

As I looked around, I noticed that the most successful people I know have one thing in common: they are masters at eliminating the unnecessary from their lives. The French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry hit on the same idea, writing in his memoir, “Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.” This principle, it turns out, is the key to success.

The Method

Here’s one method to help you choose what to focus on and how to use your time (it’s a mix of time blocking and a variation of Warren Buffet’s two-list system):

  • Step 1: Change how you think about your day. Think of your day as having 96 blocks of energy, with each block being a 15-minute chunk of time.
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  • Step 2: Write a list of all the goals you have.
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  • Step 3: Circle your top three goals.
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  • Step 4: Eliminate everything else

Conclusion

It’s all about FOCUS.

Farnam Street Principles

Farnam Street via Art of Manliness:

All that we write about, think about, and strive to achieve is inspired by one or more of the following principles. We hope they offer some clarity about what our community believes, and perhaps some direction as you carve your own path.

  1. Direction Over Speed
  2. Live Deliberately
  3. Thoughful Opinions Held Loosely
  4. Principles Outlive Tactics
  5. Own Your Actions

Farnam Street is Shane Parish’s blog about better thinking and better decision making. Not sure how why I’ve never come across this before, but it’s now in my RSS feed.