What unlocks you?

A good read, a daily meditation, journaling, a simple contemplation, a trip overseas—it’s the moments of rest and reflection that shape you. Head down in the sand or at the desk at work can be expansive but exhaustive. We need more activities that generate thinking without thinking, unmoored from the depths of the laborious ritual.  […]


Constraint is freedom

More often than not we aim for freedom from constraint. No one likes to be nailed down to a particular way of doing things. But on some occasions, constraints can be freeing.  For one, deadlines are great motivators. We’d never get anything done without any pressure. Writing is difficult enough — put a cap on […]

Home is work. Work is home.

Home is work. Work is home. With the smartphone, we straddle one foot in and out of the office at the same time. There is no real freedom, no way to untether from the tyranny of the desk.  We are addicted to being ON all the time.  But the phone is not the new cigarette, […]

No hard feelings: Embracing emotions at work

Authors and experienced designers Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy have collaborated on a book that offers strategies and guidance on how to deal with toxic workplace culture. Entitled No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work, the book implores us to detach ourselves from the seriousness of work and pursue a […]

A simple way to set your focus for the day

Although you can download all the productivity apps in the world (and I have), no app will make you care about what you have to do like the Rule of 3. The rule is dead simple: 1. At the beginning of every day, mentally fast-forward to the end of the day, and ask yourself: When […]

Choose something and act on it

Theory versus the execution, the latter almost always presents the stumbling block. The start is what stops most people. The work-resistance was so overbearing for Hitler to become an artist it was easier for him to turn into an absolute maniac.  But work not need be a psychotic obsession. We must take it in stride, […]

Faith can move mountains

“There is a positive correlation between the fear of death and the sense of unlived life,” writes Oliver Burkeman in The Antidote (Amazon). Futuring is a tough business. We toggle between our present number of choices along with desires and goals that reinforce the prioritization of time. Knowing that we can’t do it all, most people […]

Aiming for the start

Always preparing, practicing, aiming, but never actually doing. Tackling heaps of emails instead of taking on tiny productive actions that drip toward your long-term goal.  The heart to start and the mechanics of a working process are not something you learn in school. Habits may be copped from others but discipline is self-taught.  All hard […]

What does it mean to do work?

The word ‘productivity’ was originally an agricultural term meant to assess the output of farmers. As technology replaced field labor and allowed people to move into cities, productivity turned man into a machine. Instead of plowing the fields, people cultivate threads of emails. They label manila folders into ten different categories. Indulging in the work-related […]

The biggest productivity tip of 2019

The biggest productivity tip anyone can offer is to do it now. No more waiting, no more excuses, no more muses. The biggest productivity trap is to postpone, to wait until all conditions are ideal before getting started. Perfection is a recipe for disaster. Words mean nothing without action. Once you realize such a banal […]

Live to work and work to live

We love to feel embattled because we like to think we labored for it. If we haven’t struggled, we haven’t yet lived. The urge to grind away at the remarkable supersedes trepidation. So we feel the fear and do it anyway. “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: No fear. I mean, really – […]

When in doubt…

Let your art make the rounds. Don’t hide it. Don’t try to be everywhere. Pick a place and be consistent. Rules are recommendations. Feel free to break them, recast, and remix them. Rest when you’re underperforming. Don’t quit. The muse is nonexistent. Inspiration is bunk. Habit is a bicep curl for the brain. I hope […]