Improving My Running

Muybridge_runner

I run one or twice a week, not far, often just a few kilometres. Despite that, I’m always on the look out for running tips. Ironically, a book on meditation and running by  Sakyong Mipham got me interested in the mechanics, while another called “ChiRunning” by Danny Dreyer provided the details. Their tips were: Continue reading “Improving My Running”

What I’ll Be Reading/Listening/Watching On My Summer Holiday

Soley

I’m about to take time out for my summer holidays. I like to fantasize about what I’ll get up to; that is, before reality hits and I end up doing admin, some DIY and vegging around. Here’s what would be on my fantasy list: Continue reading “What I’ll Be Reading/Listening/Watching On My Summer Holiday”

Weniger Aber Besser. Less But Better.

Braun_SK_2_Radio

The above utterance of Dieter Rams best sums up his approach. He was the Chief Design Officer at Braun, the German consumer products group, from 1961 until 1995. His aesthetic and influence can be seen today in Apple products. As for his philosophy he outlined ten for good design, these included: Continue reading “Weniger Aber Besser. Less But Better.”

Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 2)

Drucker-portrait-bkt_1014

In my last post, I summarised half of Peter Drucker’s amazing “The Effective Executive“. The post introduced the context, and discussed two of five essential practises of effectiveness: knowing where your time goes and focusing on outward contribution. In this post, I complete the summary with the remaining practises. Here goes: Continue reading “Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 2)”

Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 1)

Drucker

Written in 1967, Peter Drucker’s “The Effective Executive” has to be the best management book ever written. All other ones are simply a footnote to his book. His recognition that firms which employ knowledge-workers require fundamentally different management techniques to those that employ manual workers was far ahead of his time. His recommendations on how to be an effective executive is still as relevant to any organisation today as it was then. Best to read the book, but here’s my summary (part 1 below, part 2 later): Continue reading “Double Your Effectiveness At Work (Part 1)”

A Technique For Producing Ideas

Bulb

The best book I’ve ever come across on coming up with ideas is a very short one called “A Technique for Producing Ideas” by James Webb Young published in the 1940s. The summary of which is:

“An idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements”

“The ability to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships”

His 5 step technique is: Continue reading “A Technique For Producing Ideas”

8 Books To Read

Owning Earth

1. Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull. One of the founders of Pixar describes the secret of their success including turning Disney Animation around. It comes down to focusing on how people interact with each other. Their “braintrust” meetings are a core part of this where ideas are debated, but the idea-owner can ignore or take on whatever he or she wants.

Continue reading “8 Books To Read”

Napoleon As Management Guru?!

Napolean

Yesterday, I attended a talk on Napoleon by the British Historian Andrew Roberts at the School of Life BusinessWise conference. Napoleon of course is known to some as one of great military commanders in history. But this time, Andrew Roberts instead focused on his broader leadership style and character. This is what I took away from the talk:  Continue reading “Napoleon As Management Guru?!”

Doubling My Productivity

Bundesarchiv_B_145_Bild-098967,_Aufnahme_der_Bundesrepublik_in_die_NATO

Since the start of the year, I’ve been tracking my every work activity using an app called Toggl. What surprised me was the amount of time I spent on just two activities: email and internal meetings; neither of which are particularly value-added or productive. The problem with an email habit is that I have the itch to check every 10-15mins, which interrupts my flow, and time is needed to gather momentum again on any piece of work. Moreover, my inbox is a list of other people’s priorities, not mine [1]. Continue reading “Doubling My Productivity”

11 Ways To Improve Your Work/Life From Books I’ve Read Recently

1. Demote the importance of email. Your inbox is other people’s priorities (Craig Jarrow, Time Management Ninja)

2. To make networking successful, follow up is everything (Jayson Gaignard, MastemindTalks)

3. Scaling requires grinding it out and pressing each person, team, group, division or organization to make one small change after another (Robert Sutton, Hayagreeva Rao, “Scaling Up Excellence”)

4. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do (Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”)

5. Unless you give at least forty-five minutes to careful, fatiguing reflection (it is an awful bore at first) upon what you are reading, your ninety minutes a night [of reading]] are chiefly wasted (Arnold Bennett, “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day”)

6. The acid test for creativity is simply stated: has the domain in which you operate been significantly altered by your contribution? (Howard Gardner, “Five Minds for the Future”)

7. Keeping things “just in case” indicates a lack of trust in the future…Good things cannot easily come into your life if you block the flow of energy by persistently clinging to outdated clutter (Karen Kingston, “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui”)

8. Judging is what the mind does, I discovered. But what you can begin to do is write your judgments down and question them. That will give you a sane and happy life (Byron Katie, “Who Would You Be Without Your Story”)

9. Great presenters have the ability to tell you something you already know, in a way that gives it new and more powerful meaning (Jon Steel, “Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business”)

10. What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do (Timothy Ferriss, “The 4-Hour Work Week”)

11. “Politics is when people choose their words and actions based on how they want others to react rather than based on what they really think” (Patrick Lencioni, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable”)

Bilal