This post is a complete departure from most others in that it is not my usual writing. Instead, it is a pause. A reflection on a moment.
Last week my wife, Christina, and I were invited to a reception for the newly formed Cayman YMCA. Christina is a director of this outstanding organisation. Among her many qualities, my wife is known for her organizational skills and for always being on time for events. It was no surprise when we got there a few moments after 6pm that we were the first in attendance. We often are. Of course the caterers were still setting up, but that is not all that unusual. However, around 10 minutes into our chat with the hostess I started to realise we were the first there not because we were early, but because we were really early. On casually asking, we learned to our embarrassment that the event started at 7pm. We were an hour early. What to do? The photo above is the answer. It was taken during that unexpected time together. We excused ourselves and stepped out to the terrace to take in the view. Together we had 45 minutes to sit, talk and enjoy the most beautiful of sunsets.
Unexpected time was the perfect time for us that evening. Sometimes we need that, don’t we? Moments to unplug on one level and reconnect on another. Have you had unexpected time lately, and did you use it wisely?
Have you ever felt like you have come completely off your tracks? Projects just not getting done in time, disconnected from your routine, commitments not being met? Of course you have. We all have, and I have too. In fact, I have been off track for the past few weeks (probably months) now. Let me tell you three tips I used to step back and take control again. Read on.
I read a ton of blogs across a wide spectrum of subjects. One could say they are my resistance. I like to think I am learning and fine tuning my research into procrastination. Seriously though, from these blogs I pull ideas that I want to apply in my personal life. I have written about a few of these and, honestly, I’m not doing that great in any. So many thought leaders in the world of blogging say that you have to be honest, real, and open in your writing. Well, this is me ‘fessing up. It is also me passing on some steps that I am working on to get back to my commitments. If you are in a rut and off track a bit, hopefully my experience is of some help in getting you realigned.
So, what happened?
I try to write about topics related to leadership and productivity. Normally this means that I end up banging out posts before or after work, and on weekends. I call it ‘captured time‘. I enjoy the process, but I never stopped to think that sometimes what I enjoy may be considered and encroachment into the total switch off time of others. This realization came to me while driving with my daughter to go spend some daddy-daughter time by the fountain at Camana Bay. Read on.
We had an hour to kill waiting to pick up my son, Ryan, from an activity so Taylor and I decided to go and chill for a bit and watch the kids play in the fountain. As we drove there together my normal Sunday blogging ideas (or lack thereof) started to invade my mind. What was I going to write about? How was I ever going to find the time, what with this non-productive visit to the park and all?
If you have started a small business (or a personal brand) you have been through the process of the startup. You work on the business plan. You solicit finance, stock or equipment perhaps, and the perfect location. The one element that will define and position your business in an ocean of similar businesses is the one so many leave to the end of the startup process. The logo. I recently discovered a way to make this process really quite inexpensive and fun, giving you incentive to place this crucial element earlier in the development pipeline. Read on.
Logo Tournament is one of a few similar operations online. Some others I looked at are Logo My Way and 99 Designs. These sites allow you to detail the requirement for your logo project (and in some cases much more including stationary, websites, and flyers to name a few) and post that detail on their system. This project brief is then accessed by a worldwide network of graphic designers. The designers submit logos to you for consideration in a rolling contest ending with your selection.
I know what your thinking. This subject has been done, and done well, by so many others. In fact, when I Google ‘best iPhone apps blog post’ I end up with a return of 189,000,000 posts. So what can I add that’s a bit different here. Well, this post is not going to dwell on the standard apps that, in my opinion, everyone with an iPhone (or iPad) should have. Dropbox, Twitter, Evernote, Reeder, Skype, LinkedIn, Flipboard FaceBook, IM Pro, Hootsuite and Buffer are key productivity and social apps that most readers will have already installed. Lets talk about some that are a bit off the beaten track.
So, considering that an app is really a tool (hence the photo above) to do something, what are four that I recommend?