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The Art of Taking Action: Quotes and Notes

Welcome to the fourth and final part of The Art of Taking Action series, in which I share a few other ideas from the book I found useful – from Krech and a few of the other contributors.

In part one I wrote about the central ideas in the book The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, by Gregg Kech, in part two we explored musician Shinichi Suzuki’s thoughts on procrastination and part three considered the stress of not getting things done.

This time, I’ve collected some more of the best ‘notes and quotes’ in a wee magazine for you – just click the link below to view it in your browser.

Read ‘The Art of Taking Action: Quotes and Notes

https://readymag.com/474321

By the way, I first heard about Gregg Krech on my friend Greg Berg’s excellent podcast Life on Purpose, and today I found out that he’s returned to the show to record another fascinating conversation – both are essential listening for anyone who has found this series helpful.

If you don’t like the magazine format, read on below as usual!

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The stress of not getting things done

Welcome to part three of The Art of Taking Action series.

In part one I wrote about the central ideas in the book The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, by Gregg Kech, and in part two we explored musician Shinichi Suzuki’s thoughts on procrastination.

In another excellent essay in the book, Trudy Boyle shares her research on stress, and is keen to point out that not all stress is bad for you – in fact, it’s a normal part of life to some extent, as without some stress we probably wouldn’t achieve anything at all.

There are definitely some stresses which we want to avoid though. Stress caused by procrastination can be particularly harmful to our mental and physical health.

Boyle describes something that feels quite familiar to me – Any fellow freelancers/creative professionals will probably also relate!

“My number one stress creator is not completing a task I have set for myself or following through promptly. The stress is compounded when I take on more than I can deliver in the allotted time. And my final penchant, which makes up what I call my “stress triangle, is to ignore the whole lot until the last sixty seconds!”

But does this matter, as long as we get the work done ‘just in time’? Maybe some of us are just wired to do things at the last minute.

Mountain Shores mini podcast: is it a good idea to give your all?

Now and again I record a podcast with my pals Fabian and Michael (with various special guests) called Mountain Shores.

Well, we hadn’t recorded in a while despite the fact we meet most weeks over Skype for a chat. So we decided to try something different and record a “mini” version of about ten minutes length.

Fabian provided us with an interesting bite-sized topic to discuss – whether giving our all is a good idea. After all, if Michael Phelps wasn’t giving his all when he won all those gold metals as he’s recently claimed, then what hope is there for the rest of us?

Listen below and read the show notes over at mountainshores.net

Why ‘Grit Conquers All’ when it comes to creative work

“An ounce of practice is generally worth more than ton of theory.”

E.F. Schumacher (author of the book Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered)

At last year’s Small is Beautiful conference in Glasgow, the first speaker was writer and author Jocelyn K Glei, who at the time was Founding Editor and Director of Behance’s 99U.com and also edited their excellent book series.

C.A.K.E: The Final Frontier (a Bite-Sized Course for Bloggers)

In ‘Getting Geeky’ (episode 8 of the Mountain Shores Podcast), Fabian Kruse, Michael Nobbs and myself talk about the advantages and disadvantages of getting lost in creative flow, how to delight customers with high quality ice-cream, and whether our mindsets can make a difference to our earning potential.

You can also hear a bit more about The C.A.K.E. method, a bite-sized course that Fabian and I are offering to bloggers who want to have (more) fun and get more done.

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Tiny Office TV: Five Tips for Focusing on Your Creative Work

I’ve been experimenting with short, rather silly videos on Instagram and Vine. I like the fact these are very limited in terms of length (Instagram videos can’t be any longer than 15 seconds, and Vine videos can’t be longer than 6 seconds). I also like the fact that there’s no real editing or uploading to do, unlike the Ditch the Day Job Diaries, which take ages.

So far, I’ve got six tips for you (although the last one is VERY daft indeed). Vine videos play automatically I’m afraid, and to hear the audio you may have to click on the ‘unmute’ symbol in the top left corner.

Want to see more? Keep an eye out for the hashtag: #tinyofficetv

Tiny Office TV trailer:

Tip #1: Turn off social media notifications

Tip #2: utilise the self-control app to get your work done quicker

Tip #3: keep a captain’s log (not that kind of log)

Tip #4: Take a dance break

Tip #5 (in 5 parts): Sometimes, to be your own boss you have to kick your own arse. (Or, if you don’t sit down to do it, the work ain’t gonna get done.)

Apocalyptic Accountability – A Conversation

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Photo by badjonni


If you’re reading this the likelihood is the world didn’t end on 21st December 2012 as the Mayans predicted. Although it’s still possible at the time of writing, just less than 30 minutes before the bells toll to midnight on the 20th. But assuming that it doesn’t happen, it’s still an inescapable fact that 2012 is almost over.

Time for some Friendly Accountability

My pal Fabian and I have been holding each other accountable in a friendly way most of the year so we thought it was a good time to discuss how things have gone, and look forward a little to how we can wrap things up and make improvements in 2013.

It’s a tester for a possible regular podcast where we would invite others to reveal their tips for people who want to be productive whilst still enjoying life, so it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on whether you would be interested in hearing more.

Hope you enjoy the conversation!

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p.s. I can still learn a thing or two about getting things done from Fabian, that’s for sure. His post went up much earlier today, and so I’ve copied the show notes from him: