Here are my 5 Tips of the week:
- Plan For Productivity. During the pandemic, I’ve had numerous discussions with individuals about how to stay focused on the work that is most important to them. My own productivity has suffered as I am easily distracted and drawn towards the news of the day or things that are unrelated to me getting my best work done. If I don’t have a plan for how to use my time, I waste it.
Tip: Over the next week, try focusing on three things: 1.) When you wake up every morning, chart out how you will spend your time for the day. 2.) During the day, chart how you actually spent your time. For example, I’ve given myself a 60-minute working block for this newsletter. Sometimes I can finish it in about an hour, sometimes, it takes me 2-hours, it just depends on my flow. With that said, I won’t actually know how much time I spent unless I chart my time as i go. 3.) Before you set your schedule for the next day, review how everything went the day before to inform your next planning steps. Simplicity is the key. Here’s a great post by Tim Urban who simply breaks down the day into a series of 10-minute blocks.
- My Twitter Problem: Two-weeks ago, I moved away from social platforms like Facebook and Instagram and, for some reason, gravitated towards Twitter. While I rarely used twitter before two-weeks ago, over time I did manage to follow a number of political pundits and sports reporters that fed my habit of wanting to know up to the minute information about politics and Michigan football. I would regularly take in information but rarely participate in the social aspects of the platform. I would hop on my phone during downtime and endlessly scroll through the news that was not really news because nothing changes much over a 24 hour period. Twitter wasn’t social for me and I simply wasn’t using my twitter account in the best way possible.
Tip: I recently read this article by Andrew Leese and it’s pure gold. In the article, he describes how he systematically changed his twitter feed with a few easy steps. I followed his advice and it has fundamentally changed how I use twitter. It’s no longer a pit of angry people trolling one another, I’ve replaced my feed with advice in the areas where I need help in my life and career. Not only is it refreshing, I actually want to engage with my community.
- Politics, As Usual: Politics can be overwhelming, especially when we’re a week away from a major election that will determine the future of our country. Putting that aside, I often struggle with where to draw the line when it comes to sharing my political views in my writing. Here’s a post I wrote on the inauguration day of our current president over three years ago. I try to stay away from politics and instead choose to share thoughts that will help you as an individual get ahead.
Tip: I just read this great post by Ash Ambridge who discusses whether or not to talk politics as a part of your business/brand. What I love about the post is that when it comes to politics and speaking your truth, Ash highlights that it’s actually more about how you show up than it is about taking a particular stance. My suggestion is that you focus on building community instead of drawing a line in the sand based on your political beliefs, especially when it comes to your online presence. You’re not going to get
- Back To Life: Going to the gym, eating out and even going to the movies are not activities that I can imagine myself doing in our current situation. And yet, in most parts of the country, businesses are open and ready. In this article by James Surowiecki, he discusses the challenges of ‘Demand Shock’ on our economy; Everything is open but people are too scared to go, due to the pandemic.
Tip: Though it will take time, we will get back to normal. Start making a reemergence plan now with a list of things you will do first when this is all over. I also find it helpful to have a timeline that is not date specific but tied to when things happen. (For example, I’ll travel six-weeks after I receive a vaccine.) I’d also encourage you to consider the things that you might want to keep after this is all over. (For example, I’m liking the fact that I can watch new releases from the comfort of my couch.) My very first stop when we come out of this thing will be a live performance!
- Value Your Time: Twenty-somethings (yet again) seem to be bearing the brunt of a major economic downturn, which means that you have to be more focused than ever on your income. My instinct in these situations is to hope that it will all work out and I continue to hold that belief. The only way to have hope is to fully understand your financial situation.
TIp: Knowledge is power. Take the time to research and learn about where you are right at this moment from a financial perspective and chart your income. I wrote this post to help, which includes a simple spreadsheet to help you think about and compare your various sources of income. I’d also encourage you to check out my latest podcast where I discuss the virtues of setting up a ten year plan.
Things I Loved Last Week!
- Gregory Porter has a new album out and it’s outstanding. Here’s the title track, check it out!
- My favorite site for learning about the history of an artist, organization or business.
- This fascinating infographic about conspiracy theories by Abbie Richards (@abbieasr) on Twitter.
- An interesting perspective on community as related to capitalism.
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