Thoughts About Words

From Thoughts About Words by Jaimee Newberry:

I shared my talk, “NoExcuses” recently, wherein I made a point about choosing the word MAKE time, instead of FIND time. If you try to find time, you’re more than likely never going to locate it. And if you’re lucky enough to locate it, it’s more than likely not sustainable. When you MAKE time, you own that time for as long as you continue making it. “Making” time implies intention. “Finding” time is passive.

I believe this is the #1 thing holding people (me) from launching side projects, building habits, and getting changes to stick. I need to stop waiting for free/down time to make progress. I need to start making time.

On a related note, how great is the #tinychallenges idea? I am definitely going to use it to help me accomplish more on my Love List.

The Great Myth About Getting in Shape (and Every Other Goal)

David at Raptitude has a great take on goal/resolution setting:

The great myth about goals is that they require us to trade quality of life now for quality of life later. This doesn’t work unless you’re a robot. We’re too interested in keeping our lives enjoyable. You cannot voluntarily make all your days worse for months in the name of optional rewards in the future. A good goal has to improve your life now, and nearly every day between now and the final result. The long-term reward is never going to drive you to keep living a life you don’t like in the short term.

Something to think about when I review my Love List and goals for this year.

Zen Habits Trio for the New Year

Leo Babauta posted three articles this month that have some great tips to start 2016 off on the right foot:

My favorite tip (one that I plan on trying this year to accomplish my Love List):

  1. Monthly challenges with weekly focuses. The problem with a year-long resolution is almost no one can really stay focused for an entire year. But if you break it into monthly challenges, then it’s much more doable. For example, if you want to get into shape, do a January challenge to go for a walk every day, or run three days a week.

To help build habits and reach goals, Leo suggest creating rules or triggered behaviors:

A rule in this case is an action you do after a specific event happens, as consistently as you can, which will lead to your goal happening.

Some examples for different goals:

Write a book: When I turn on my computer, I will shut off the browser and all other programs but my text editor, and write for 20 minutes.

Seventeen great tips to help you declutter your life and get organized, particularly this one I use:

Get yourself organized at the start and end of a day.

At the start of each workday, I review my todo list and calendar to map out the day. Then at the end of the workday, I review the calendar for the next day and move forward anything I didn't get done to get a head start on tomorrow. So helpful!

Time and Attention

When information is cheap, attention becomes expensive. — James Gleick

The Back to Work episode Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys, touched on one of my absolute favorite topics: time and attention. Specifically a new (to me) aspect, which Merlin called the Attention Stack.

Attention Stack

  1. Attention
  2. Cognition
  3. Thoughts and Feelings
  4. Decision Making

So the basic idea behind the Attention Stack is your attention defines your cognition (the ongoing process of collecting knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses), your cognition helps define your thoughts and feelings, which result in your decisions.
Continue reading "Time and Attention"

The difference between time and attention – Signal v. Noise →

Jason Fried shared some great insight on time and attention today:

What I don’t have – and what I can’t squeeze in – is more attention. Attention is a far more limited resource than time.

My only complaint is when he said time and attention "aren't even related". Not true!

They are related. Time is the total number of hours and minutes available to you. He's correct to say that attention is far more limited, though. You have sleep, meals, and required meetings/errands/appointments/etc. The time left is what you have available to divide up as you choose. Attention is what you choose to do in that time.

And that's where things get challenging.

Building Better Defaults

Great inspiration from Shawn Blanc:

Doing a little bit on a regular basis is far more powerful than doing a whole lot at once. It’s also far more sustainable.

But we despise doing a little bit on a regular basis. We live in a culture that craves microwave results. And thus, we have acquired a thirst for instant gratification.

His email newsletter is amazing. Do yourself a favor: click through, read the latest, and subscribe.

Mindy Kaling's Guide to Killer Confidence

Mindy Kaling's advice is stellar:

Confidence is just entitlement. Entitlement has gotten a bad rap because it's used almost exclusively for the useless children of the rich, reality TV stars, and Conrad Hilton Jr., who gets kicked off an airplane for smoking pot in the lavatory and calling people peasants or whatever. But entitlement in and of itself isn't so bad. Entitlement is simply the belief that you deserve something. Which is great. The hard part is, you'd better make sure you deserve it. So, how did I make sure that I deserved it?


People talk about confidence without ever bringing up hard work. That's a mistake. I know I sound like some dour older spinster chambermaid on Downton Abbey who has never felt a man's touch and whose heart has turned to stone, but I don't understand how you could have self-confidence if you don't do the work.

There you have it, kids... confidence = entitlement + hard work. The last part of that equation gets forgotten quite often, unfortunately.

Removing Yourself From the Echo Chamber

Great ideas and direction from Shawn Blanc's email newsletter:

The inspiration and motivation needed for your best creative work will not come from the echo chamber. 

  1. Limit your feeds and inboxes. Subscribe only to the people and sources of input that enrich your life and give you the motivation and tools to do your best creative work. 
  2. Seek out inspiration from offline sources. Such as books, nature, conferences, silence, prayer and meditation, relationships, journaling, building your own projects, etc. 
  3. Create something every day. Write in your journal, come up with 10 ideas, take a photograph, draw a sketch, etc. 
  4. Curate what you share. Be a source of motivation, encouragement, and equipping to those who follow you. Put thought into the work you publish. Even your tweets and Facebook updates can be nuggets that motivate, equip, and encourage.

Permission to Let Go - The Minimalists →

Great, quotable post over at The Minimalists:

Like your stuff? Keep it!
Find value in that wardrobe teeming with unworn clothes?
That closet brimming with mismatched bath towels?
That basement abound with un-played-with toys?
That garage stuffed with collections of trinkets?
That shelf overrun by dusty DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes?
Hold tighter if you feel so inclined. Permission granted.
You have permission to keep anything that adds value to your life.
And you have permission to keep anything that doesn’t.
But you also have permission to let go.
You have permission to clear the clutter.
You have permission to remove the excess—the clothes you don’t wear, the junk you don’t use, the things you hold on to just in case—and focus on what’s truly important to you: health, relationships, passions.

Step one is selling the records I don't listen to any longer...