Why You Will Gain Freedom with a Set Creativity Schedule

Create an oasis of quiet by creating boundaries of space and time.

Ira Glass not only hosts the popular public radio show, This American Life, but also writes, edits, performs, produces, and manages. There’s plenty of work to keep him busy, which is why he confessed to Lifehacker that his worst habit is that he procrastinates … by working.

He explains:

Ira GlassIn addition to being an editor and writer on my radio show, I’m also the boss, and deal with budgets, personnel stuff, revenue and spending questions, and business decisions… [W]hen I should be writing something for this week’s show, I’ll procrastinate by looking over some contract or making some business phone call or doing something else that actually isn’t as important as writing.

When you’re wearing lots of hats, the temptation to procrastinate by working is high, and it’s usually creative priorities and projects that wind up getting the short end of the stick. The double whammy is that not only do you feel guilty and demotivated for not getting to priorities, you also feel worse and burned out from working so much anyway.

In order to reliably get to your creative priorities, the solution is to carve out a deliberate creativity schedule. Without it, the work you put off will be creative work as other tasks seem easier to get through and justifiable, to boot, as part of your job.

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Productivity and Happiness at Work: The Best of the Internet

PUBLISHED by catsmob.com

This dog’s ready to rumble! Now read the best of what we shared on the interwebs this week:

Breaking the Bad Meeting Habit

How ShopLocket uses iDoneThis to Maximize Progress

What a messy desks says about you

Do —> Measure —> Learn faster

The Grumpy Employee’s Guide to Being Happier at Work


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Break the Bad Habit of Ineffective Meetings

Why do we continue to have bad meetings? Seriously, 99% of the human population seem to hate them, and there are surveys showing again and again that there are x many meetings everyday that cost gabillions of dollars worth of wasted time and productivity.


Is it some horrible concoction of misplaced optimism that this time it’ll be better, resigned acceptance that this is a required dog and pony show — the business world’s tradition of dance, monkey, dance — and a massive buildup of bad meeting history that’s created such intense inertia that only superheroes can help us pull away into the light?

Imagine that a group of you had to build a doghouse like Snoopy’s, and you got a toolbox, some wood, and pencils and paper. Your team is revved up about this cool doghouse, you can envision it, you have all these super useful tools, but all your team does with the pencils and paper is doodle pictures of cute dogs instead of making a blueprint or marking down measurements. Then when you run out of paper, you ask for more paper — only to doodle more pictures of dogs.

That’s how we’re treating meetings. Meetings are a helpful tool to decide and plan things. But misused, they’re just a bunch of meaningless doodles that don’t lead to anything being built and Snoopy with no place to live.


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Management, Leading and Success: The Best of the Internet

Weekend edition of link love! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week! 

8 Myths Startup Founders Hate

LinkedIn CEO’s Unconventional Meeting Technique

Brainwriting:  the solution to brainstorming’s loudmouth problem.

12 Things Successful People do Differently

3 Differences Between Managers & Leaders

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LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s Unconventional Meeting Technique

Silicon Valley is all about metrics, metrics, metrics. The numbers tell us what’s wrong, and then we fix them. That’s why I was surprised to learn that the CEO of one of the Valley’s flagship companies has a different perspective on what’s important to discuss at weekly staff meetings.

Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO on sharing small wins to start meetings

While Valley dogma says that meetings must be kept as short as possible and that discussions must focus on hard numbers and data, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner avoids talking about metrics at all when starting off meetings. Before getting down to focused business talk, Weiner actually requires every person in the room to share something that’s soft and mushy, not rigorous and quantifiable. He asks each of his direct reports to share their “wins” — “one personal victory and one professional achievement” — from the past week.

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Don’t Let Others Define You: The Best of the Internet

BearsHappy Friday! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week!  

Innovation doesn’t require a fancy degree & high scores.

How to defend against power-play meetings.

What you do doesn’t define you.

The slightly crazy ways Buffer builds an awesome company culture.

Take back control of your attention with conscious computing!

Supercharge your content marketing.

Dundee’s Tip of the Week:  Need to personalize your timezone settings? Head over to email settings.


On Defense Against Power-Play Meetings


Almost all meetings are just power-plays in disguise.

Years of my life have been wasted in useless meetings. At a large company, meetings are standard. Get a few people together to talk about a problem. Sounds easy, right?

But instead of a quick resolution, you have to book a conference room for two days from now. Then, you invite stakeholders. Someone suggests so-and-so should attend too. More invites.

When you finally meet, what happens? Nothing, because everyone ends up in a power-play.

Let’s take a look at three common useless meetings and ways we can fix them.

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How C2I Intel Overcomes the Knowledge Gap to Deliver the Lowdown

Knowledge is power, and when you’re an entrepreneur and running a small business, it’s a challenge to get sufficient people-power to catch all the relevant information and news out there. We talked with Michelle Frome, president of C2I Intel, which solves that problem by delivering that knowledge directly, providing competitor and industry intelligence to help companies gain a leg up.


Michelle’s path to providing the business scoop was indirect. Brought on by a company to help build an electronic medical record product, she found that she needed a way to keep track of confusing and evolving regulations, as well as keep up with competitors. She worked with programmers in Vietnam to create the technology that would automate much of that work. With the medical records project up in the air, Michelle and her team decided to focus on developing the software for business intelligence instead, bringing in review teams to help target, tailor, and finetune the research.

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How Mozilla Foundation Navigates Across Teams

The Mozilla Foundation has a super software team working on projects that range from Popcorn (a video remixing application) to Thimble (an easy-to-use web page maker) to Open Badges (a digital badges system that support learning and achievement).

Developer Jon Buckley talked with us about the struggle to align three teams when Mozilla Foundation wanted to integrate Badges into both Popcorn and Thimble. Combining multiple product worlds could very well collide into chaos and confusing communication, but Mozilla Foundationis seeing smooth sailing.

Status update discussion used to fall to a weekly call, which was time-consuming, while a shared mailing list was only used periodically for such purposes. The Mozilla Foundation teams soon turned to iDoneThis to coordinate communication for people spread across time zones and for cutting across teams.  “You don’t have to worry about being in the same room at the same time. That asynchronous nature of updating people is very helpful.

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How Sourceninja Gets an Extra 7 Hours of Productivity Every Week

We went through AngelPad with the guys at Sourceninja, so we’re proud that they’re one of our oldest and most loyal customers.  Sourceninja is worry-free open source management made simple.


One of the first lessons of AngelPad that the founder Thomas Korte impressed upon us was to maximize every minute of every meeting, because time spent in meetings has a multiplier effect.  Every meeting costs the number of minutes it takes multiplied by the number of people in the meeting.

For the Sourceninja team, this used to mean 20 minute standups for their four-member team on a daily basis.  20 minutes five days a week for four people multiplies out to close to 7 hours per week spent in their daily standup.

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