Monday, May 5, 2008 at 11:27AM
(Note: This week's post is a departure from my signature style - long, link-rich, in-depth, and dry :-) . Since my Big-Arse Text File is getting a bit long in the tooth - 1,800+ ideas - I'm giving a different format a go: A dozen or so short ideas/thoughts that you might like. I'm calling each post an "IdeaLab," with the first being here. And the "0505"? I'm taking a naming cue from Mark Hurst). Your thoughts and IdeaLab contributions are always welcome!
- Put Pocket: When I joked with a good friend about teaching my seven year old daughter to be a pick pocket to make some extra cash, he told me this story: He was playing pick pocket with his son (same age as my daughter) where they try to take something surreptitiously from each other. His son quickly morphed this into put pocket, where they try to deposit something in the other's pocket. This reversal (a good brainstorming strategy - see Notes On The Book "Why Not?") made me think: wouldn't a cultural "giving movement" be neat? Imaging getting home and finding a little something special in your purse, say a faery's wand or polished stone. Might be fun to video the "Put" and share it. A variation on found art?
- FYI Reading file in the bathroom: Like many people, I want to read more. One method I teach clients is to carry an FYI reading file for those "between" moments - e.g., dropping someone off or waiting for an appointment. Along with "rip-n-read" it gives you a way to make progress on non-critical reading. However, since I wasn't using it much I decided to try an "enforced" version: I made myself a captive audience by putting the folder in the bathroom! The rule is to prohibit any other reading material. I found that - hey - with no other choices, and time on my hands, that stuff starts looking pretty interesting!
- Just In Case trash bags: Recently I found myself wishing I had a trash bag with me. I was visiting family in a local city (~200,000 residents) and while at a park noticed some trash. So why not carry some empty ones just in case. Variation: Do the same while biking. I try to remember to do this when mountain biking, though thankfully there's not much to be found.
- Lakein on procrastination: From the classic How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life: Two causes: overwhelming (complex or time-consuming) or unpleasant (odious association, usually emotional). If overwhelming: Use the Swiss Cheese method (poke some holes in it) by just making a start. He calls these "instant tasks," those that take five minutes or less, but make some kind of progress. To use: list some instant tasks, pick the highest priority one, then do it. Rule: They should be easy to start and connected in some way to an overwhelming project. He suggests trying a "leading task" - taking a very small physical step, e.g., sharpen a pencil or move a thing (e.g., letter) to be in front of you. Remove all distractions. Take advantage of your current mood, e.g., if you feel like talking -> talk to someone about a task. Regarding the second cause (unpleasant): 1) Deal with the unpleasantness directly (e.g., fear), 2) recognize the greater unpleasantness that results from delay (risks), and 3) create enthusiasm that counterbalances the unpleasantness (stress the benefits).
- To my TOMBOW MONO MINI CORRECTION TAPE 4mmx6mm 68650: Thank you for being in my life. You are part of my comfort ritual. You help make my perfectionism clear, and managed. I'm curious: What it's like in Vietnam, where you came from? Also, what can *I* do for *you*? Finally, I'd love to hook you up with someone I think you'd like. He's showing a bit of age, and has some baggage, but I think you could learn from each other.
- Best kitchen lifehack tools: Rubber bands and clothes pins. Damn, they're handy!
- Have a project wrap-up celebration: Even for small ones! We often check projects off without much thought, then jump to the next thing. But listen: You did some good work, and were successful. Well done! Recent ones for me: Getting new renters, sanding a door, and healing a broken leg.
- Paths and luck: Two important books: I just finished two one hour book reads, and had my mind blown a bit. Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life talks about structures in our lives and how they shape behavior. Big. Idea. How to Attract Good Luck is a deep discussion of the elements of luck, including 1) being open to it, 2) recognizing it, and 3) taking advantage of it. Interestingly, he says faith is an important component. What's that mean for an atheist?
- Strange But True Tales from the Midwest: Things actually seen on the road: A "Free Lasik" billboard. Hey - what's the catch? My brother wonders if it's good for one eye only. A bizarre recipe: "Chili Tots" - it's a casserole consisting of: two cans of meat chili (no beans), an extra pound of hamburger, shredded cheese, and tater tots on top. It's a feast! Not necessarily a Weight Watchers thing, though. From a series of (disturbing, for me) road signs promoting firearms: Some violence is necessary, and desirable. From a church poster: "Our Faith is Over 2000 Years Old. Our Thinking is Not." I like it (see my thought above re: faith). And 2000 years - that's a *long* time to keep faith. Super impressive.
- The lifecycle of a tooth brush: I'd like a site that lets me describe something in the world (say that I bought or found) and see its life from beginning to end. Even better, I'd like to use this as a deterrent to buying things; if I could see the people involved (and their living conditions) and the resources used, it would certainly give me pause. Kind of a Where's George? for everything. This would have to be done distributed - each person entering information where he or she encounters things. Is this out there already?
- Party picture stickers: I'm sure this is out there, but four or five years ago I thought: Wouldn't it be cool if, during a party (esp. for kids) I could take digital pictures and stick them into a program that would print them out formatted for standard removable labels, say 1" x 2 5/8" size? Party icebreaker: Wear someone else's, with the assignment of finding them and getting to know them. Or maybe wear a handful.
- The only good thing about junk mail...: is it requires the minimal amount of thought! Unlike meeting notes, book notes, emails, etc, it's just "Oh, I can through that out." Bills are in the same category. Remember, the cost of making a decision can be high, and we have to make more of them than ever. (BTW, any statistics on that? I heard a quote that we make 10x more decisions than our parents and 100x more than our grandparents, but I couldn't find a source.)
- "Groove click?": What do you call that point in music - early on in the piece - where it all clicks into place? It's that point in the song when it snaps into place, and gets your head nodding, foot taping, and takes you out of yourself for a few moments. Examples (hey - I'm into rock): "She builds quick machines," Velvet Revolver, at 0:12 by my clock, and "Breed," Nirvana, 0:17. "Groove snap?" Also, do you have any favorites that do this?