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Archive for the ‘Motivation’ tag

Embrace Grit, Enjoy the Journey, and Always Be Reading (Sunday Reads #11)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.

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Getting Creative Work Done

If you struggle to declutter your magazine pile, a technique called ABR – Always Be Reading may be for you.  As someone who spends many hours a week focused on helping people read more (with a Kindle preferably) this approach sounds interesting, and is actually pretty aligned with what I personally do.

Are you a manager?  Your late-night or very early-morning emails may be hurting your team.  Being always-on hurts team results in a big way.  I’ve been in the habit for years of delay-sending the email I write after 6:30pm on Friday or over the weekend until late Monday morning.

If you’d like to form successful habits, you need to know what motivates you.

A recent study showed that heavy cellphone users report higher anxiety levels and dissatisfaction with life than their peers who use their phones less often – and another showed a correlation between stress levels and the barrage of alerts and notifications.  This app automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone or iPad each day and helps you set limits.

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Written by Mike Torres

March 22nd, 2015 at 8:47 pm

Keep the Plates Spinning

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For those who haven’t heard the phrase “keep the plates spinning”, it refers to a circus trick involving about a dozen spinning plates on the end of poles (see photo to the right).  The performer has to keep all the plates spinning because if any one of the plates slows down too much, it’s going to fall off the pole and smash into pieces on the floor.  It’s fun to watch.  The performer is constantly evaluating which plates are OK and which are trending towards disaster, and they’re making second-to-second judgments about how best to keep all the plates spinning together.

Sound familiar?  Replace “performer” with your name and replace “plates” with responsibilities like work, family, or personal health.  We’re just like those circus performers, running between our various responsibilities and commitments to keep them spinning just enough so they don’t fall off the sticks.  Focus too long on one plate, no matter how important it seems, and you’ll find that the others will crash to the floor.  Try and keep them all spinning at the same high velocity and you’ll almost certainly collapse out of exhaustion – it’s not sustainable. 

While focus is about choosing a few things and doing them well, it’s rarely about choosing just one thing and doing that one thing well.  That’s impossible to do – I can be a good father, but if I fail miserably to earn a paycheck, my daughter doesn’t eat.  I can be great in the office, but if i don’t take care of myself physically and emotionally, I won’t have the energy to keep it up for very long (and while my daughter will eat, she wouldn’t know me from Stanley).  We have to be multifaceted to some degree in our day-to-day approach.

So what do you do if you want to keep the plates spinning at various speeds consistently?

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Written by Mike Torres

April 22nd, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Productivity

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