Morning Meetings Only

inksplati:

An interesting way to optimise your peak periods of energy by ensuring that your work period doesn’t get interrupted with unscheduled or not urgent meetings.

Originally posted on David Cummings on Startups:

One of the new experiments I’m trying out is only scheduling meetings in the morning. Using Calendly, I have several different types of meetings configured, depending on the context with most meetings 20-30 minutes to keep them effective. Only, I found that standard rhythm-oriented meetings (like daily check-ins) were often followed by other catch up meetings. Then, afternoons would often be filled meeting with people outside the company and ultimately killing any long blocks of time desired for extended focus.

Here are a few thoughts on morning meetings only:

  • Jumping between doing actual work and meeting about things can be challenging, especially if there’s work that requires deeper thought
  • Grouping some or all meetings into a specific time of day is a good way to maximize personal peak energy times (e.g. if you do your best writing before 10am, you’d want to keep that time of day free of meetings)

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BestTechie Founder Creates KYA Analytics To Provide A Better Understanding Of Your Audience

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

The K-Y-A in KYA Anlytics stands for “Know Your Audience,” and founder and CEO Jeff Weisbein said that’s exactly what he’s trying to help online publishers do.

Weisbein has been in those shoes himself, having created and run the tech site BestTechie for more than a decade (though he took some time away from it to work as an analyst at Mashwork, now known as Canvs.tv). While there are many analytics products out there, he argued that they’re missing something crucial.

“They’re good at numbers, but oftentimes there’s a lack of context to those numbers,” Weisbein said. “For example, you could look at an article and see that it has 10,000 pageviews, but does that mean your audience enjoyed that piece of content, or do they click on it and leave?”

He’s hardly the only analytics maker talking about looking beyond clicks and pageviews. In Weisbein’s case, this basically means trying…

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“But You’re Catholic!”

Originally posted on immoveabletype:

I’ve heard this so many times that it’s come to mean quite the opposite: “I’m pretty sure you’re not actually Catholic.”

Granted, when I was younger, it was for more benign infractions. “You’re so rude. But you’re Catholic!” and “You drink so much. But you’re Catholic!”

These days, I hear it in connection with more contentious beliefs. “You support gay rights? But you’re Catholic!” So as much to clear my own head as anything else, I thought I’d set my thoughts in order in the most public and inadvisable way possible: on the Internet.

My poor decision-making skills have nothing to do with my religion.

What It Means
“Gay” is a weird adjective to use, really, and not just because of the “gay old time” ambiguity. It’s been used to describe such a wide spectrum of things (“gay rights”, “gay lifestyle”), even in the specific context of homosexuality, that…

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10 life changing quotes from The Alchemist

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
This might seem like some kind of poppycock but have you noticed that when you really want something with every fibre of your soul, that things begin to fall into place? It is up to us to keep our eyes open to the world around us to notice the signs or ‘omens’ as The Alchemist described that will help us achieve our dreams.

But you are forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons that I have never known. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don’t want to do so.
The inevitable Regret, the bitter poison to your soul, that will follow when you realise that you have given up following your dream for quickly attained material comfort is not easy to swallow. Would you truly be happy and content if you just settle for the quick win but never try going after your dreams?

So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.
When Santiago meets the love of his life, he is taken aback by wonder of it all. Just imagine, that in order for two people to have met, centuries and centuries of people had to have been born and died, billions and trillions of countless decisions made and influenced that final singular outcome. Every single person you meet in your life has a role to play. It is your duty to understand what it is, and to react accordingly.

There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.
We can spend our entire lives reading from books, in our journey to acquire more knowledge. In The Alchemist, a scholar has spent most of his life reading up on the act of turning lead into gold. He has read every book on the Elixir of Life and the Philosopher’s Stone. When he finally meets the mythical Alchemist and asks him for direction to turn lead to gold, he is only told ‘Go and try.’ He realises then that it was his fear of failure that had kept him back from actually trying to do it himself. His journey to understand alchemy would not be complete without actually doing it! Alchemy is about evolving and transforming into something better. By his action, he transforms and changes, from a scholar to an alchemist.

Making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.
The hardest part of the journey is actually taking the first step. We can spend our whole lives dreaming of climbing Mt.Everest, but if we don’t take the first step of booking a ticket to Nepal or getting out of bed to train, we will never make it to the top. Of course, once the first step has been taken, you will never know what the future holds. The key is to enjoy whatever happens.

People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.
I once read this quote and it has seared itself into my brain, “we deserve everything that we desire in our lives.”

I have inside me the winds, the deserts, the oceans, the stars, and everything created in the universe. We were all made by the same hand, and we have the same soul.
Remember that you are made of the same atoms that make up the stars, black holes, hurricanes, the very fabric that holds up the universe. Within you lies the entire galaxy. You are made of stardust and the burning core of our earth. You have the power to create, to destroy, to evolve. You can be anything you wish to be.

“My Heart Is Afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”
We are so afraid of hurting ourselves, our heart, that we build an armour around us. Yes, this keeps us safe, protected from the terrifying world out there. But this also keeps dreams, love, and hope from within our reach. The image of suffering is most likely to be over hyped by our imagination. Imagine the worst that could possibly happen, and as long as you or anyone else wouldn’t get physically harmed in the process, just go ahead and do it.

“Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.” The boy remembered an old proverb from his country. It said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.
We usually give up because we think our efforts have been futile. Ironically, our end goals would have been the closest at the point of time we decided to give up. Nothing worthwhile in life has ever come easy, it has to be fought for. You will be tested by the universe and you must withstand the trials that you will no doubt face. When you eventually get what you have been fighting for, the feeling that envelops you will be worth it.

As he mused about these things, he realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasure.
You may not be able to control what happens in your life. But you are always in control of how you choose to respond to the situations. It is your attitude that will influence your perspective on things, and in turn how you feel in your soul. Like attracts like. So if you tend to react negatively, most likely, you will also receive negative reactions. Stay positive, and you will see the tides changing and eventually realise that the universe has always had your back, and been quietly conspiring to help you achieve your dreams.

Bouncing back from failures (Part 1)

Day 1: Dreamer Vs Builder

Personally, I am a dreamer by nature. I am easily excited by the prospect of new ideas and new problems to solve. The ideation process that leads to the solution can keep me up for nights until I have cracked it. But the issue occurs during implementation: I find myself getting caught up in other new problems, to see through till the end for the current problem.

I am not alone in this. Many if us face the same issue of getting distracted and not finishing up the loose ends of our projects. So how can we improve on this?

I have found that breaking a singular goal into smaller actionable tasks allows me to quickly work towards something and more importantly achieve it. The satisfaction I get from finishing it, spurs me on to the next goal lined up!

Day 2: Appreciation

Do we take the time to appreciate the work that our colleagues do everyday?
We have a tendency to get caught up in our own rat race that we don’t realize the amount of work on our team mates’ plate.
So today (and forever more) show your appreciation to your team. Your company won’t exist without the people in it, working their asses off to build the greatest version of your product.

Day 3: What has happened to Passion?

When did we stop being passionate? When did it become uncool to have passion? Yes, it is a much easier way to live life, showing everyone how much you don’t care about an outcome; whether you win or lose, you remain unaffected. But are we really living, when we remain in this state of ennui?

As someone who has been called “energiser bunny on steroids”, I know how much more colourful and exciting life is when you live it passionately. So go out there and shout your excitement about a falling star, or whatever it is that makes your heart sing!

I leave you with this quote from a wordsmith and all round panty-drop causer (Tom Hiddleston) who said the following during one of his interviews and I have taken the words to heart.

“I gave myself permission to care because there are lot of ppl in this world who are afraid of caring or afraid of showing that they care; because its uncool, it’s uncool to have passion. It’s so much easier to lose when you show everyone how much you don’t care if you win or lose. It’s much harder to lose when you show that you care. But you will never win unless you also stand to lose. Basically, don’t be afraid of your passion, give it free reign and be honest. work hard and it will all turn out fine. We all have 2 lives, the second begins when you realise you only have one.”

Day 4: Stop drowning!

There will be times when it feels like you are drowning in a swamp, be it in your personal life, or in professional life when you are working on projects.
Take 3 steps back, take deep breaths, and think of the following:
– Figure out what you are looking for (aka The Compass)
– Once you know what you are looking for, it becomes easier to identify how to get there (aka The Map).
– More importantly, you can identify when you have reached your milestones (aka The Treasure).

Day 5: Feedbacks

Suddenly you find your heart beating just a tad faster, your palms slightly sweatier. But why do we get nervous when we think about someone giving us feedback? What are the thoughts going through your head just before you meet someone for a feedback session? Do you hear doubts and thoughts of “they hate it. They are probably gonna say, you suck!”
I have found that if you separate your sense of ego before your feedback session and simply approach it with a desire to learn from the session, you benefit much more from that interaction. Also the voice that you hear in your head is a projection of your own insecurities, and if you can identify them, you can stop yourself from projecting them onto your critic.

Just remember that if someone is actually taking their time to give you constructive feedback, it means that they genuinely care about the issue that you are talking about.

So listen, don’t take things personally, learn, grow. Become better.

Day 6: Embrace change.

Change can terrify us. Because you never know what the outcome could be. You can choose to hide and stay stuck in the present state or you can choose to go charging into the new unknown, soul blazing. You will either fail or you will emerge triumphant. Either way, you know you have given it your best shot. Either way, you will come out of this changed. Transformed.

Day 7: Never assume!

We tend to make assumptions about things in our life. That’s normal. It’s easier to make quick decisions based on our past experiences or knowledge that we gained than having to pay attention and figure things out. But we can make mistakes when we assume. Some mistakes are more costly than others.

For example, I assumed that my hair stylist would charge the market rate but I was dead wrong. Ended up paying 500+ for my hair treatment. All because I didn’t ask, based on an assumption.
So painful lesson here: Never make assumptions!

#30BouncingBackDays is dedicated to discussing failures and how we can bounce back from them. Every week, a collated list will be posted. Share your stories in the comment section!