Productivity, unsolicited advice, work

Lessons from #ReutersReplyAllGate

Thomson Reuters

Note: This post reflects my personal opinions, and not those of my employer.


You know that you work at a big company when the Wall Street Journal covers your email problems.

Thomson Reuters is a conglomerate with about 50,000 employees across the globe.

Thomson Reuters is different than other conglomerates like Berkshire Hathaway or Samsung, because it has a standardized set of operating principles, consistent branding across divisions, and shared IT and HR resources.

My company apparently also has massive shared listservs.

I first noticed the problem after glancing at my email around 8 a.m. yesterday. I somehow had 54 emails despite being at inbox zero the night before. Continue reading “Lessons from #ReutersReplyAllGate” »

blog theory

Why I’m Taking More Selfies

dallascity

I’ve started taking more selfies.

I actually hate taking selfies. I find the practice narcissistic, socially awkward, and oftentimes tacky.

I have an acquaintance who constantly takes selfies. His Instagram account consists of variations on the same picture – duck-face selfies.

josh-duck-face

Going to brunch with this guy is terrible because he likes editing photos on his phone more than talking to the people at the table.

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You know there’s a problem when you knock over mimosa flutes while extending your arm for a selfie.

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Simply, awful. Continue reading “Why I’m Taking More Selfies” »

Productivity, work

Deliberate Practice

performance and productivity quote

“If you just show up and work hard, you’ll soon hit a performance plateau beyond which you fail to get any better.” – Cal Newport

Deliberate Practice is one of the most important concepts in Cal Newport’s book, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You.”

Deliberate Practice is what separates amateurs from professionals, and key to avoiding a career plateau.

My college literature professor Lindsey Tucker described a career plateau perfectly: “Just because there’s a continuation doesn’t mean there isn’t stagnation.”

In other words: It is possible to do the same thing for years and never gain meaningful expertise.

This is one of the reasons why “years of experience” is a stupid job posting criterion.

The Comfort of Mediocrity

Amateurs stay in their comfort zone.

  • The mediocre karaoke singer does not spend time practicing difficult songs.
  • The weekend basketball player does not do repetitive drills.
  • The middling office worker waits for company-mandated training instead of proactively learning skills.

Deliberate Practice is a method of avoiding stagnation by systematically improving your skills.

This practice is all about stretching your limits beyond your comfort zone. Continue reading “Deliberate Practice” »

art, Dallas, Life, Oak Lawn

Exploring Dallas

Klyde Warren Park
roswitha white

Mom in the lobby of my building – iLume in Oak Lawn, Dallas. The chairs are oversized.

Mom was in town this weekend, so we explored.

Dallas is hard to compare to other cities – it’s huge, but not walkable or historic like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Dallas is also not as touristy as Miami, and scale of everything prevents it from being quaint like Minnesota.

Perhaps Dallas is just special.

We spent the weekend touring various neighborhoods, including Uptown, Oak Lawn, Highland Park, and downtown.

Klyde Warren Park

Food trucks by Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas, Texas. The Hunt Oil Building is in the background.

Dallas Skyscraper

Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, with the Museum Tower luxury highrise building in the background.

Dallas Museum of Art

Exploring the Dallas Museum of Art in downtown. I love this painting.

Continue reading “Exploring Dallas” »

Books, Productivity

Avoiding Slumps in Productivity

ShorpyVP

I hate wasting my time.

Misdirecting my effort is one of my biggest pet peeves and phobias. (There is nothing worse than realizing you wasted hours tilting at windmills.)

The fear of wasting time makes it really easy to fall into inaction. I often accomplish nothing because I have used all of my time researching, planning, and hand-wringing.

The result is that I end up doing exactly what I fear: wasting time.

Tyra Banks Crazy Gif

Brenda Ueland touched on this paradox in her classic book If You Want to Write:

“When you will, make a resolution, set your jaw, you are expressing an imaginative fear that you won’t do the thing. If you knew you would do the thing, you would smile happily and set about it. And this fear (since the imagination is always creative) comes about presently and you slide down into the complete slump of several weeks or years – the very thing you dreaded and set your jaw against.”

Continue reading “Avoiding Slumps in Productivity” »