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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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Get Better By Doing More

27. January 2014

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We all know that to get really good at something requires practice. The popular notion is that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. In my experience, it takes considerably less time to become noticeably better. And noticeably better is good enough for most people. It turns out that quantity and quality are not always […]

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Seven Years Ago Today the iPhone Wasn’t That Great

9. January 2014

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On January 9, 2007 Steve Jobs announced the iPhone. This device, and the other phones and tablets it has inspired, clearly changed the way many of us live our lives. At the time it was impressive technology, but there were many problems with it. To me, the most impressive thing about the last seven years […]

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Start at the Very Ending

23. November 2013

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Let’s say you’re visiting a friend in a nearby city, driving by car to get there. How do you know when to leave? Well, that depends when you want to get there, right? For some reason, when planning a trip it is natural to work backwards from the end result. If you want to arrive […]

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How I Saved $39,420 by Not Buying a Domain Without a Prototype

14. October 2013

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Just about every day I have at least one new idea. New ideas feel really good. With a new idea, everything is possible, nothing can stop me and there are no barriers in the way of everybody instantly seeing its value and adopting my new idea. Along with every idea comes a name. Names are […]

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