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    Things that matter

    Seth Godin has published a free ebook, "Things that matter". It contains over 70 short essays from todays leading thinkers. Definitely worth a read. I found resonances in many of the entries however the following extract from Howard Mann caught my attention as its a phenonmena I see growing daily.

    We walk the streets with our heads down staring into 3-inch screens while the world whisks by doing the same. And yet we’re convinced we are more connected to each other than ever before. Multi-tasking has become a badge of honor. I want to know why.

    Howard Mann in Things That Matter

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    Doing one thing at a time

    The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time:

    Excellent reminder from HBR to focus on doing one thing well

    Tell the truth: Do you answer email during conference calls (and sometimes even during calls with one other person)? Do you bring your laptop to meetings and then pretend you're taking notes while you surf the net? Do you eat lunch at your desk? Do you make calls while you're driving, and even send the occasional text, even though you know you shouldn't?

    Well, sometimes… The post finishes with some suggestions for managers

    • Maintain meeting discipline
    • Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day
    • Encourage renewal ….It's also up to individuals to set their own boundaries.
    • Do the most important thing first in the morning
    • Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically
    • Take real and regular vacations 

    (Via HBR.org)

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    Diversify your dreams

    Great post from HBR that calls out the danger of simplifying your dreams down to a narrow outcome that can setup a black and white success or failure scenario. One tool they describe to help avoid this is the "folder of gratitude"

    Diversify Your Dreams

    So how do you start moving from one dream to many? A practical tip I've seen work well is to develop a "folder of gratitude," a constantly-updated list of all the things in life you're grateful for. Chances are, many of the things on your list correspond neatly with your underlying passions. Then, take your list and amplify these passions with intelligent experiments. Test and invest in your areas of interest, and cultivate the joy of learning from failure

    (Via HBR.org)

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    Healing power of chooks

    This post has been in my mind since I saw a wonderful program ABC TV. The program “Rare Chicken Rescue” has two themes, one is depression and the other is about rescuing rare chicken breeds. Both subjects are interesting however it was the role that keeping chickens played in rescuing Mark Tully from depression that really struck a chord.

    When we lived on the North Coast of NSW we kept about 20 odd chickens and 3 ducks. Watching this mob of birds going about their daily activities was a source of endless fascination for us. If you slow down and observe with curiosity their individual characters become more apparent. Chickens have an astonishing range of movements and noises when they allowed to follow their natural patterns. I can easily understand how watching the birds can bring someone out of a downward spiral and gradually lead to some relief from symptoms of depression.

    As anyone who has allowed chooks to free range around their garden will know, they have an uncanny sense of which beds to head for to disperse carefully mulched delicate plants. Roosters also seem to be able to get over just about any fence and into a vege garden.

    One of the experiments we trialled was the use of “Chook Tractors”. This is an idea popularised by Bill Mollison in the Permaculture books. The version we used was a chook dome made of poly pipe and chicken wire, that was rotated over half a dozen circular vege beds (as described by Linda Woodrow in The Permaculture Home Garden). One additional benefit of the dome was that it was easy to sit next to and watch the chickens go about their business.

    Resources

    Finding Optimism - an award winning blog aimed at helping depression suffers and their helpers, also links to their excellent software package for the Mac that provides an easy way to maintain a daily record of your mental health symptoms and the various triggers that are associated with with them.

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    How to accomplish more by doing less

    Rings true to my own experience How to Accomplish More by Doing Less

    It's not just the number of hours we sit at a desk in that determines the value we generate. It's the energy we bring to the hours we work. Human beings are designed to pulse rhythmically between spending and renewing energy. That's how we operate at our best. Maintaining a steady reservoir of energy — physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually — requires refuelling it intermittently

    Stress isn't the enemy in the workplace. Indeed, stress is the only means by which we can expand capacity. Just think about weightlifting. By stressing your muscles, and then recovering, you gradually build strength. Our real enemy is the absence of intermittent renewal.

    (Via HBR.org)

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    Models for decision making

    I like this introduction to decision making techniques at Creative Market.

    "Some decisions appear to be relatively straight forward until you take a step back and look at the entire picture with a fresh perspective. You may notice that there are a variety of factors that actually impact a choice or decision that you did not notice before."

    The post also features a nice mind map example from Learning Fundamentals focused on personal actions for reducing climate change impacts.

    I find the iPad an ideal tool for mind mapping especially with the power of iThoughtsHD.

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