Monday, March 29, 2010

Slow it down on contact

- I don't have time! my world moves fast!
- I got to act! we got to do at least something!

heard it? seen it? believed it? did it? lived it?

Smart individuals often confuse sense of urgency with anxiety. Sense of urgency is not about an itchy feeling to do something, not about doing something because somebody has got to do something, not about demanding that others do something, not about holding others responsible for not doing something. It is about recognizing the issue, making sense of it, knowing it needs to be fixed, understanding if it needs to be fixed ASAP, learning how to fix it, figuring out action plan, involving the stakeholders, getting on the same page, and then, only then, it's about doing something meaningful about it. Something meaningful may sometimes be no thing at all.

If your world moves much faster than those of others around you you'll inevitably end up striking them as it spins, especially so if you don't slow it down on contact.

Hit the brakes, slow it down, allow a gentle touch and a little longer engagement with the worlds of others and open a whole new world of zero damage accomplishments. And then spin it fast, as fast as you can so you can do more and ship more and deliver more and earn more and enjoy more. You rule your world. Don't think you rule those of others.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Two sentences

How likely are you to try to follow this advice? How likely are you to stick to it?

These guys also have three, four, and five sentences to make it a gradual transition from the cluttered way you're emailing today. If you have hard time, try changing your habit in a Zend way.

I don't think following a 2 sentence rule all the time every time makes sense, but uncluttering your emails sure does. And it starts not with how long you let your emails grow, not with the way you organize and manage your inbox. It starts with how often you decide to write and send an email (actually, it all starts with how often you decide to read your email but that's a different story).


With more exposure comes more visibility, more involvement, more open doors, more communication. Your common sense is awake at least as much as you are, an urge to jump in on all ridiculous stuff that's flowing through your inbox is irresistible. Your opinion matters. Your input is essential. Or so it feels. Oh, and everybody around you is an idiot. Ok. Rewind the last one.

Your opinion matters when you were asked to express it - it's a lot more likely to generate a meaningful action as somebody is tuned in listening.

Your input is essential when it brings in something valuable, something new, something undiscovered, something unique. It's even more essential when it brings fuel to the decision process. And it's even more essential when it connects people, makes two idle substances diffuse and react.

But what matters the most is your action, your contribution. Sending an email is not an action, it's a mere illusion of acting. So don't. Do not send it until it brings value. Do something instead and delete the email you just wrote unless you can prove to yourself it matters.


Try the "two sentences" and learn with me to unlove the Send button, then move on to unlove the Reply All.

p.s. true jedis know how to unlove starting their mornings with reading emails from their iPhone. I am not a true jedi yet.