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In Search of an Unrelated Epiphany

31. December 2017

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It was the last day of the year, and I intended to end it with an empty inbox. The only emails left were strangers reaching out for help with API comparisons. I enjoy these conversations, but I admit I saw them at that moment as a blocker between me and Inbox Zero. As I prepared […]

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Good Enough Does Not Mean Finished

20. December 2017

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It’s the most famous portrait of the first president of the United States. You’d have never seen it if the artist waited for it to be finished. Gilbert Stuart’s 1796 painting of George Washington went on to be used for the $1 bill. So, if you’ve ever held a buck, you’ve seen his work. Stuart […]

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All I Really Need to Know I Can Learn on Wikipedia

14. December 2017

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Recently I picked up a book I first read in fifth grade. It was a book I really didn’t have any business reading when I was ten years old, but I remember liking Robert Fulghum’s humor in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and its sequels. It also probably helps that […]

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Run Through First Base

4. December 2017

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In baseball, first base is different from second and third. You can touch first, run past it, and still be safe. This rule means that once you hit the ball, your only objective is to run as fast as you can all the way through first base. Paul L Dineen If your hit went right […]

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Practice Subtraction

4. August 2014

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Constraints can make you more creative. When constrained, you consider different possibilities and end up with more and better output. I’ve shared time boxing techniques before, but time is only one kind of constraint. Those in creative industries know this well. Visual artists might choose a restrictive medium. Actors often gather for improvisation, with no storyline determined […]

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100 Day Goals for Team Productivity

1. June 2014

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I’m a fan of time-boxing techniques for creating constraints that encourage me to get things done. The POWER HOUR, for example, has been in my arsenal since 2005, though I don’t use it every day. That’s great for personal productivity, but what about when it comes to motivating toward the same end? Jason Freedman shared the 100 day goals that have […]

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Don’t Bury the Lead

19. May 2014

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I’m an accidental marketer. Before that I was an accidental journalist. One of my most important life lessons that has served me in both of these fields is to not bury the lead (or lede). It comes from a Nora Ephron book, though I first saw it when I read Made to Stick in 2007: […]

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Stop Fishing at the Popular Spots

21. March 2014

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I’m not much of a fisherman, but I go out with my friend Steve every couple years. We usually walk along the river, looking for the bends, where the water gets calm. The first couple spots are usually taken by others casting their flies. The next couple of spots Steve often walks right by, because […]

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How to Show Just Enough Data

10. February 2014

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I love tracking my activity. I’ve been using a pedometer of some sort for almost five years. I even created units for distances I had measured in steps. Now that wearable computing is an accepted trend, I’m excited for our future. There’s one potential downside to devices collecting and presenting data to us—it’s easy to […]

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6 Productive Time-Boxing Techniques

3. February 2014

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Over the years I’ve written many posts about productivity. For starters, it’s a topic that interests me, because I’m always looking to get more out of less (part of why I love Fancy Hands). Also, the tricks to be more productive are usually very simple to apply–and I think Simplicity Rules! The most common and […]

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