There’s a reasonable argument to be made that the words “too much of a good thing” lie at the foundation of many of our personal struggles, especially the ones related to our focus and productivity. Here are a bunch of articles about how doing too much, or too little, of things and their effect on your motivation, sanity, and happiness.
The founder of the awesome design community Forrst calls shenanigans on the idea of work-life balance, and instead opts to focus on work-life harmony. For many of us, the line between “work” and “life” is fuzzy at best. But the basic premise remains the same. You can’t let yourself get consumed by your job. Bubs perhaps sums it up best with the line “The best CEO I can be for my company is to be the best Bubs I can be for myself.”
Let’s be real here for a second, most people don’t enjoy the office curmudgeon. The guy who says all your ideas suck and there’s infinite reasons why anything new that gets proposed should NOT be done tends to not win the popularity contest. But having someone on your team that’s default answer is “no” can be a powerful filter. It sets the bar high, and makes you examine all angles of an idea to make it more bulletproof. Just try not to be too much of a jerk about it. 🙂
Stories of monumental effort can be inspiring and dramatic, but I think they are often far from instructive. Here’s an interesting blast from the past (from 1995) about the lead up to Netscape’s IPO and it’s filled with multi-day work sprints with no sleep, throwing chairs in frustration, and ultimately a really successfull IPO. I’ve heard various flavors of this story over the years and even spent a good bit of time at a hyper-growth startup that touted it’s workaholic culture as one of their defining characteristcs. I’ve also seen a lot of these companies burn out hard. It’s a real tightrope, and one that I’m not really sure is necessary. Still, it makes for a good read.
99U is the education arm of the Behance network. This series of videos features talks by influential leaders on business and productivity. It’s inspiring stuff, and it would be pretty easy to spend a whole day soaking it all in. Remember, small doses. 🙂
Social media gets a bad rap when it comes to your productivity. It’s great. It really is. You can be connected to people, ideas, and conversations in a way that you never could before. But it’s terribly easy to overload on it. Here’s a humorous infographic breaking down the different types of unhealthy relationships with social media.
Speaking of things that get a bad rap, productivity-wise. The people over at icanhascheezburger are wagging an “I told you so” finger at the rest of the world right now. Their mission to “make everyone in the world happy for five minutes a day” now has some science to back it up.
Last but not least, here’s an interesting poll on LinkedIn asking people what gets in the way of their productivity. Turns out, most people feel overwhelmed by communications at work (shocker, I know). Email, instant message, meetings are all necessary to keep a business moving (although some have tried to get by without it) But it’s one of the easiest things to end up gorging on without realizing it. Click the image for the full results (requires a LinkedIn login to view).
Have a happy and productive week, everyone!
p.s. A quick RescueTime related note: we just released a new way to track offline time that we’re pretty excited about. Have a look at it here.