Why not leverage procrastination instead?

October 8th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Came across this brilliant article recently through a friend on how to better handle procrastination that you’ve just got to check out!

You’re familiar with procrastination right? You know, that horrible habit you just can’t kick that seems to eat away at your time and productvity. Well turns out you don’t actually have to stop procrastinating (as I myself have tried hopelessly to do in the past). Instead, why not leverage it to be even more productive?

It’s a brilliant idea put forward, brilliant in its own blatant simplicity. Instead of starting at No. 1 on the list, why not start at No. 2? The whole thing is explained pretty thoroughly so I won’t go into more here (go read the article!), but I can tell you how true it has actually been for me so far.

This posterous in itself was started as a product of procrastination. If you don’t believe me, check out my first post on it. My most recent result of procrastination too, was the building of our Share Goodness website (here) as a departure from the old blog. This one was done in the middle of my dissertation writing period, when doing my dissertation just became too big a task to do right then (sound familiar?).

These are proof that the method can actually work for me at least, and now that I’m aware and can apply a bit more structure to it I’m excited to see what new levels of productivity I’ll be able to hit, and whether I’ll finally be able to do away with that procrastination bug once and for all!

As the article quotes:

“… anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.” — Robert Benchley, in Chips off the Old Benchley, 1949

Article: Structured Procrastination

Find the next story!

October 8th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I’m extremely delighted, and almost ashamed to be posting this.

Delighted because I can share this amazing talk with you. It speaks of the danger of having only one story of a place, a situation, a culture or a people. It highlights how easily we can be oblivious to the real facts of a subject, and how our views can be skewed by what stories we’re exposed to. It encourage us to dig deeper, change our pre-conceptions and to find another story!

Ashamed because I too have fallen prey to the ‘single story’ phenomenon in the past. Most notably with the mis-conceptions she speaks of with Africa, and on my own of the Arab world. Though not so badly off since some level of intuition and common sense always told me what I saw wasn’t all to it, I still did form certain perceptions of these places largely based on the mass media I was exposed to. After meeting people from these places and actively searching for ‘other stories’ though, I’m happy to say my conceptions have been breaking over and over again, and I’ve now developed a hunger for finding that ‘next story’ with different cultures and situations around the world.

So what pre-conceptions have you found to be massively wrong recently? I guarantee you’re probably walking around with one or two you hadn’t even realised before.

 

Getting my entrepreneurship fix (at #ECForum)

September 28th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Great day at Entrepreneur Country’s #ECForum. Here’s some and one-liners I picked up from the talks there:

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Financial services industry is ideally meant to be ‘in service to industry’ [Julie Meyers]

 

On capital availability: Capital usually follows good ideas, so focus on building the idea [Julie]. Be mindful of current economic conditions though, and take on ‘rainy day’ capital when there’s a surplus (when it’s cheap) [Chris Bowden].

 

Still looking for a ‘safe job’? What is that exactly?: It’s one where you have control in your own job [Chris Bowden] (Also see HBR: 

On equality…

August 16th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Take from it what you will. I know it couldn’t be more timely for me…

Excerpt from this blogpost: On devictimising ourselves
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… following the advice of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, mentioned in their 2010 book, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is better for everyone, p236:

“The key is to map out ways in which the new society can begin to grow within and alongside the institutions it may gradually marginalize and replace. That is what making change is really about. Rather than simply waiting for government to do it for us, we have to start making it in our own lives and in the institutions of our society right away. What we need is not one big revolution but a continuous stream of small changes in a consistent direction. And to give ourselves the best chance of making the necessary transformation of society we need to remember that the aim is to make a more sociable society, which means avoiding the disruption and dislocation which increase insecurity and fear and so often ends in disastrous backlash. The aim is to increase people’s sense of security and to reduce fear; to make everyone feel that a more equal society not only has room for them but also that it offers a more fulfilling life than is possible in a society dominated by hierarchy and inequality.”

 

Gotta love Kickstarter!

July 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

No seriously, you really do…

I recently received packages for two projects I backed a while ago. The first was Frank Chimero’s book The Shape of Design back in Feb 2011, and the second was Safwat’s (& James’) screen printing project. 

I’ve got to say, there’s not much else that can match that feeling you get when you receive something that you saw through from beginning. I mean for someone to include you on their journey of creation that you know was only possible because of others like you all coming together to contribute, and then to receive something tangible at the end… not much can compare.

Also, how do you say no to pitches like this that show real effort, creativity, and love.

There’s also that amazing personal touch that the project creators include that do pretty well at conveying their appreciation.

Frank included signatures, hand-written thank-yous, and a Twitter account for the book with lots of character.

If the future is headed toward crowd-funded creation and collaborative consumption, then it’s a future I don’t mind at all being a part of.

Ciao for now, off to see what other cool things are happening on Kickstarter 😉

p.s. Frank’s kickstarter video is worth a watch too.

Blurring day and night

July 17th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

[Heads up, a bit longer than my usual posts]

Been such a while since I’ve done some casual writing. I’m fresh off a friend’s posterous and while I am ridiculously busy right now, I’ve decided to steal some away time to pen (type) some of this down.

So blurring day and night, what’s that about?

Right now, I’m in the middle of working on three big projects and one smaller one. I’m passionate about each of these and could easily spend my time on any one in particular so you can imagine the time suck these 3.5 are having on my life.

 

The first is putting together a new website and some fresh new content for our non-profit back home.

It’s just inching past a year old now and has grown unbelievable quickly in that time! We’re now at that point where we need to start organising all our projects and blog posts, and presenting them in a properly designed format, and so I’ve been tweaking wordpress themes, reading up and writing content, and getting the old Twitter going again. It’s tedious work, but it’s amazingly fulfiling and fun.

 

Discussion panel, & Francine via Google+ at screening

I’m also really passionate about getting down into this, and I’m even hoping I can get some framework from the mix of theory and research to use within our community planning actions.

 

And what about that smaller thing?

 

Well it’s actually two! One is the groundwork for a design business I’ve been helping a friend set up back home. They’re at that stage now where they’re bringing in one or two clients and there’s a lot of administrative work to be done to get it up and properly running (legal contracts, accounting systems etc.).

The second is plans for growing out TEDxNottingham, attracting a city-wide team, and introducing the event to as many and varied groups as we can in Nottingham, all in the build-up to next year’s event. All this while still doing some final work to get the videos from our last event edited and pushed out there (no small task in itself).

 

With all this work it’s no wonder I’ve been losing track of day and night. I’ve slowly pushed my sleep patterns to roughly somewhere between 7am and 3pm now. It’s all work that I love doing though and I think I’m just at a really high intensity point where everything is temporarily converging. Looking forward to a bit of a lull after the next couple days, but for now, back to the drawing board!

What else have I got locked away up there?

July 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Strangely enough though, when I put the cursor in the field a name popped into my head that felt unfamiliar yet strangely right. “Great, I’ve got a username and no password…”. When I put the cursor into the next field though, another word pops into my head. 

“There’s no way this is going to work” I’m thinking to myself and yet sure enough though, when I hit enter I’m in!

Now this is just weird because I can’t even remember what host I have this on or when I bought it. A little more digging through emails and GoDaddy nameserver info and I finally figure out my hosting account, but it was so strange how almost unconsciously I was able to recall these details.

Even stranger, the invoice on the account says I bought it less than two months ago. Makes me wonder, what else have I got locked away up there?!…


Source: Flickr hey__paul

‘Below the Line’ wrap-up

May 20th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s been just over a week now since I did the ‘Below the Line’ challenge and now would be as good a time as any to look back and see how exactly that was. To quickly recap, the challenge was 5 days of eating on only £1 a day.

Before actually diving in, I figured this wouldn’t be too difficult given the amount of food I was able to pick up for my fiver. I made the challenge about being more aware of what I ate but boy was I wrong. 

Capture

To be honest, the hard part wasn’t really not having enough food. What I didn’t expect I think, was that feeling of just not being satisfied. It’s amazing how much we take the nutrient content of what we eat for granted. For £5, there’s not a lot of room for high quality food and so I was down to pretty much carbs and really small helpings of fruit. I can tell you that this was not fun and I felt pretty weak for a lot of the week. 

What I also didn’t expect was how annoying it is to not be able to have something when you wanted it. The convenience of picking up something at the shop or popping something ready-made in the microwave or oven just wasn’t there, and having to stick to the times when you’d have meals so as to not run out was pretty inconvenient too. 

I’d say what was the most annoying was the shocking drop in productivity from having to think of food this much. I usually try to cram a lot of things into the day, but between planning meals and thinking about what I wanted to eat right then, there wasn’t a lot of room left for focusing on other stuff.

 

So what did I get from doing all this for a week?

 

Well first of all, I appreciate what I actually eat now a lot more than I ever used to before. I appreciate too, the luxury of not having to think of food that much during the day at all, leaving time for me to do so much of the other things I want to.

It’s also given me a little insight, however humble, into how people who actually have to live in this situation probably feel on a daily basis. This last bit is especially valuable since often a major problem is just that lack of having to really care about what happens to those outside our immediate influence.The experience though helps to bring that outside reality a bit closer to home.

If there are a bunch of people out there who also experienced this as I did, then you can be sure that some positive must come from it towards helping those who we set out to understand in the first place.

 

.. and it’s on this last point that I’m excited to see what comes now, both from myself and others who’ve joined in on this experience.

More hubs and pecha kucha!

May 12th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Apparently it’s a method of presentation where the speaker is allowed 20 slides with 20 seconds per slide. It looks to be a good complement to the unconference style we’ll be using (number 4 on this spectrum).

My own proposed bits I’m thinking of:

  • Actions from TEDx’s geared toward local community (a model for)
  • Agriculture related issue I’m curious to explore back home

But then in an unconference style setting you never know what you’ll discover!

Heading off in a bit, looking forward to what comes of this…

The building needs work…

May 10th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

… as does every company in there!

To me it feels like what a hub should be. A messy, unfinished work-in-progress that’s still quite well put together and creatively presented. Don’t get me wrong, the place is done up very nicely from floor to wall. It’s just that little extra deliberate touch that makes it stand out.

Maybe it’s a lesson for any incubator-type space that would be tempted to go that entirely clean-cut, corporate route. What is it that you want to be communicating/encouraging in your inhabitants exactly?

Source: Flickr fallenfactorycompany