Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

No easy answers but a few helpful questions

January 1, 2015

While catching up on some reading over the holidays, I came across some posts that have at least two things in common for me: Unanswered questions can inspire us to move forward. And — to borrow a thought from writer and speaker Seth Godin — saying “no” can be the foundation that supports our “yes.”

No New Year’s resolutions for this columnist
I’m going to pass on making New Year’s resolutions this time around. Instead, I’ll take Rilke’s famous advice about “living the questions,” and carry into the New Year a few of the wonderings Hillman’s poem evokes in me:
• How can I let go of my need for fixed answers in favor of aliveness?
• What is my next challenge in daring to be human?
• How can I open myself to the beauty of nature and human nature?
• Who or what do I need to learn to love next? And next? And next?
• What is the new creation that wants to be born in and through me?
        Parker J. Palmer: Five Questions for Crossing the Threshold. Read more

There is no arriving when it comes to writing
In writing, there is no arriving. There’s always the drive to write a better article, blog post, poem, or novel, next time.
Not to get all heavy, but as the Kabbalists say, we never kill time here on Earth. It’s the other way around: Time kills us. And we never know when that’ll happen. The turning of the year brings this unavoidable fact to the front of my mind.
        So, knowing that your time is limited, what sights do you want to see on your journey? Where do you want to be sure to go? These are the questions I’m asking myself as I contemplate my plans for next year. ….
        Carol Tice: Why Your Writing Journey Matters. Read more

There is no WAY to succeed at writing …. but there are many ways. …
Nobody can tell you how to succeed at writing (even if they write a book called “How To Succeed At Writing”) because there is no WAY; there are, instead, many ways. Everyone I know who managed to become a writer did it differently – sometimes radically differently. Try all the ways, I guess.
        Becoming a published writer is sort of like trying to find a cheap apartment in New York City: it’s impossible. And yet…every single day, somebody manages to find a cheap apartment in New York City. I can’t tell you how to do it. I’m still not even entirely sure how I did it. I can only tell you – through my own example – that it can be done. I once found a cheap apartment in Manhattan. And I also became a writer. …..
        Elizabeth Gilbert: Thoughts on Writing. Read more


You may be more creative than you think

January 26, 2014

Eureka! Surely you have experienced that moment. After hours, maybe days, of seeking an answer to a problem, you had to set it aside. You had other things to do. And then, while driving, shopping, or pouring a cup of coffee, the answer appeared out of the clear blue sky.

The clear blue sky? Not really, says David Burkus. “It came from inside your brain and had been germinating (actually incubating) in your subconscious.” Burkus — an author, educator, and founder/editor of LDRLB, an online publication named for a contraction of “leader lab” and focusing on leadership, innovation, and strategy — has been studying creativity for several years. ….

If you are the one with the idea, he says, be advised that the world won’t beat a path to your door. It will probably beat your idea down or ignore you. But he urges you to take heart and persist. Most great ideas eventually get adopted. When pitching the idea, he suggests that it will be perceived as more practicable if you connect it to more familiar ideas, such as previous successful projects or similar works.

If you are the person being asked to consider a new idea, Burkus says your challenges are just as great. In a TEDx talk at the University of Oklahoma this past January, he invited the audience to consider several questions: How am I viewing this idea? Am I clinging to a status quo that is not helping our problems anymore? Is this bias coming through? Am I valuing the old at the expense of the new?

Burkus shares his insights on 10 myths about the creative process in  “The Myths of Creativity:The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas”


Just Found Out about free listings with Green Resources New Jersey

January 1, 2012

Just found out that Green Resources New Jersey is compiling a Green directory and offering free listings in its publication through the month of January.

A listing includes your name and logo, address and phone number; your mission statement or purpose, and a brief description of your offerings.

A few of their clients include: Martindale’s Natural Market, Springfield, PA; Green Hospitality, Failte, Ireland; Historical Society of Princeton, NJ; and Fernbrook Farms, Chesterfield, NJ.

To learn how to enter your company or organization, visit the Green Resources New Jersey website.

Getting more work done

December 31, 2010

Jason Fried doesn’t like business meetings. Why? Because, he says, “Meetings are places to go to talk about things you’re supposed to be doing later.”  The problem with this process is that it disrupts work flow. If you’re in the midst of a creative or logical endeavor, you must interrupt your course of action, however productive it may be, to attend the meeting.

What Fried does like is uninterrupted blocks of time.  Having an entire morning or afternoon dedicated to the project at hand gives you time to settle in and focus your energy on getting the job done. Too often, a person who spends his or her day in a business office ends up with, not a work day, but work minutes.

 That’s why work doesn’t happen at work, argued Fried in a presentation so titled, given to a TED audience this past October on the website.

 In addition to formal meetings, there are other interruptions such as mandatory lunches, informal sessions, phone calls, etc. 

 Solutions for Managers
For a manager desiring more productivity, one obvious solution is to allow people to work from home, at least on a part-time basis.

 For work done at the office, Fried suggests:
– Cut back on the number of formal meetings. Fried claims that managers would probably be surprised to learn how many meetings are not necessary.
–  Make use of collaborative software, email, and messaging systems so people can share ideas and tasks without the need for everyone to assemble in one particular place for a set time period.
– Have a “no talk” day or a “no talk” morning at least once a month. The intent is for everyone to have a period of time to just work on his or her project without interruption. 

The best gift a manager can give a worker is a block of uninterrupted time, insists Fried. His final comment: “I think it’ll pay off in the end.”

To listen to Fried’s presentation, visit the TED website, Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work.

This blog is an excerpt from Getting More Work Done published on