Creativity Productivity & Work

How to Write Well (or something like that)

Write short sentences like this. You will be better understood. Repetition gets boring though. Simple writing works best for business emails but not for creative literature or opinion pieces.

If you’re supposed to write like you talk, then writing should be more like playing music. It ebbs and flows, as does the way you speak.

If there was one right way to do things, there wouldn’t be poems, graffiti, or alternative music.

The only prescription is your own intention, to be expressive or lean in (dangerously) to what you’re told.

“Language is not constant. Change is—and anxiety about change is constant too.” 

Johnson: Language Anxieties
Productivity & Work

Unknown Future

“The challenge of our unknown future is so much more exciting than the stories of our accomplished past.” – Simon Sinek

Don’t confuse apprehension with excitement.

It’s exciting to venture into the unknown. It’s exciting to reset the career button, to reevaluate what you’re good at and what you really enjoy doing. And if you still can’t figure it out, travel!

“When in doubt, travel.” – Expa

But don’t forget to come back and face the reality of life. Nothing good ever came that easy.

Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Science

How to be Productive: Turn up the Volume!

As I wrote this week, audio is becoming a popular way to learn new things.

But sound also helps as a working tool, not in the forefront but in the background. Like these:

  • Soccer games on TV make great background noise. It’s commercial free and the announcers raise their voice when a play is worthy of looking.
  • Music makes good background noise. If you’re writing or coding, they say that listening to the same song on repeat helps build flow.
  • The noise in coffee shops has always been a favorite place for people to work. It turns out that the coffee shop makes just the right type of ambient noise conducive to studying and creativity.

Noise is only intrusive when you can’t tune it out. It’s the silence that’s boring and distracting.

Creativity Productivity & Work

Staying a step ahead

via giphy

Creativity is supposed to be messy. But it’s not intended to be so messy that things get disorderly and the plot gets lost.

Creativity generates more questions than answers. Doubt surrounds it, as does the audacity to take risks.

Risks are tricky because no one wants to fail. Failure leaves a permanent stain. But failure is also the only way to stay a step ahead.

“One of the things about failure is that it’s asymmetrical with respect to time…we don’t actually call something educational until after it happened.” – Ed Catmull

The easiest way to think creatively and risk failure is to think different, to go the opposite direction from everyone else. You can also tap into creativity by connecting disparate ideas/things and molding them into new ones. Constriction helps inspire creativity too; dealing with you got forces simplification. Thinking inside the box pushes outside the box thinking.

Planning a creative project is only helpful if it kickstarts a build. The hard part after starting is knowing when it’s time to pivot and try something else.

While creativity is unpredictable it also opens the door to change. In other words, start and figure it out along the way.

Epic interview

Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Sea Moments

You can freeze time by doing something you enjoy.

You can get out of your own head by meditating or listening to music.

You can sit down and have tea with your fears and worries, accepting them as they are.

You can defeat the resistance by simply starting your work.

You already know what you want to and where you want to go. The challenge is selecting the right wave to ride out.

Creativity Productivity & Work

In Conclusion

Leading up to a conclusion may lose the audience’s interest.

Consider moving the summary to the beginning and offering everything upfront.

Then, unravel the details and show people how you got there.

Storytelling in presentations, movies, books, can be more effective when the answer follows a big reveal.

So reverse it: Spill the beans and connect it all back.