How to Win at Work Pt 2
Particularly in creative fields, we often need new ideas, right? I know that if I go on little field trips like to a book store, museum or even just to have coffee with someone out of my office, I will most likely come up with new ideas, right? That getting out of my normal work zone helps me come up with new ideas, and I know this and I have such a hard time going and doing these things during the day because it doesn't look like work, right? It doesn't look like work in the same way that checking my email looks like I'm doing work. So what are you doing? I'm I'm working, but it looks like you're in a bookstore, but I'm working right? I have this conversation going on in my head and it's kind of silly, right? I know I need these ideas and I know how to get ideas, and yet I don't want to be the lightweight who's in the museum during the workday, so it's something I'm working on, but I want you all to take a moment and think about things that you do that fill the pot, right? Things that...
you do that help you come up with new ideas, things you do that you know, always spark a little bit of new thinking, so write down some of those coming in from the internet for that enough says I have a small collection of musical instruments I can't play, I noodle around on them for a few minutes to get my juices flowing nice that's definitely something that's very different than the work you're doing and it will help job perhaps new connections in your brain you have any else that came in, billy williams says. I danced to my favorite jams you dance breaks happening in the jet dance breaks well, these air brakes too, so I mean, we've got breaks and we've got ways to fill the pot and they're often related right? Like if you think about it, you know you can't necessarily go to a museum during your work day, but maybe you could go to the website of ah major museum and look at some amazing artwork so that be a way you could take a break but also fill the pot, get some new ideas or read some poetry online that's where you could take a break but also fill the pot or any other ideas that people have here for for coming up with ideas. Yes, so I do a lot of writing for a lot of different businesses, and one thing that I love to do on a short break is read an actual magazine like a tactile actual magazine take my hands off the keyboard, sit back, which is not the way norm not not leaning over the computer and it doesn't even have to be related to what I'm writing about but I always get ideas from magazines no matter what type of magazine that I read and visual stimulation is just so bad I think I agree with you on magazines I find that I'm reading so much online online you're always following what you know is your interest, right? You're clicking on stories that you know you'll be interested in some people even send ideas to you that are here they know you'll be interested in some websites, but a magazine doesn't have that right, so you stumble on things that you would never I thought about and yet can often spark new connections in your brain so that somebody I should interview oh that's an interesting topic that's an interesting trend I should write about that yes, so along that same magazine thing, I have an app called next issue, which you're able to subscribe for a monthly fee to multiple they have over I think one hundred magazines, so I will subscribe to ones that I may be don't wouldn't pick up at a grocery store so like I'll go through g q and I'll get a great inspiration for a senior boys shoot or, you know, town and country and random advertisements and then I love the house design interior design because these colors and these patterns look amazing, but I'm not actually going to re upholster my couch, but I can get inspired by those those images that someone else did. That is a wonderful idea, so particularly reading through publications that you wouldn't read through normally, so you know, you may not be into horses at all, but it's fascinating to see what horse lovers are into. Yes, I found sometimes just listen in toe, like most are beethoven with something with no lyrics, just the sound it it feels, you know, I can get inspired by different ideas and stuff. Yeah, because it gives you space to think that something else is is different going on in your brain that's wonderful. Wonderful is they're all great ideas. Anyone else wanted to share way they yeah wearing and something about music because I would tend to five in front of computer a lot. I'll get up and put on some music, but it's not always lyric lists, but I was thinking back when it's in grad school when he needed to write and put on classical muse. Yeah, blasting it now I'm blasting at weird student is blasting the classical music a lot of feedback about music chat rooms. People saying they put on their ipod, they go for a walk with music a lot of responses like I think music really does help us trigger new ideas it gets some different part of our brain working than would be otherwise yeah seeing what other people post on pinterest tends tio get me thinking about other things things I would have never thought that go with that person kind of spark some inspiration well, that's the whole idea of the inspiration board right is that you will get new ideas and be inspired so we all have these ideas and of course perhaps sometimes the depressing part is thinking about wins the last time you did this right if you know that blasting the music will inspire you when's the last time you really did that right and sometimes maybe it's a little bit longer than it should have been but maybe we can do it tomorrow or the next day that we can do it at some point during our work week so that's something to keep in mind so that was disciplined for no it's work and what's not so we had discipline one was mind your hours disciplined too is plan discipline three make success possible discipline for know what's working and what's not and disciplined five is to practice this is probably the one that I'm actually most excited about this is the one I love to talk about and this is because so few people do it. So few people consciously practice at their jobs, and yet we would all be better if we did so. Athletes practice musicians practice, but do you practice at your job? Practice means actively trying to get better at the skills associated with your job. So many jobs feature skills that you use repeatedly, things you do repeatedly, and by getting better at this skills, you can become more efficient at what you do. So just an example from my own life. When I first started blogging, I really kind of considered it a side project, all right? It was tangential to writing articles and writing books. Everybody told me I should do it. It's a good way to build up your platform and engage with readers, but it didn't seem like anything more than that that's what it was, it was marketing, but I kept at it. I kept at it, and I started to notice something which is that a few years of writing five hundred to eight hundred word posts daily had made me much, much faster at writing five hundred to eight hundred word essays, and since I do that a lot for various publications, I had found a way to do my job much faster. Blogging for me was writing practice was practice crafting essays it was daily writing practice and it was making me better at my job so I want you to think about what skills that you use every day to think about what skills you use repeatedly in your job and I'd like to start writing some of these down up here so if people at home want to start sending some of these in in the chat rooms and people here can just calls him out we've got the microphone or you could shout loudly but things you do often in your a line of work writing what else do we have so photography building financial models ok financial models statistics okay tracking, tracking statistics, tracking statistics ok, I'd say persuasive writing in specific okay persuasive writing we've got karen hansen online says editing photos okay editing photos customer service writing to tell someone they're special had help from a special customer service writing volunteering in a specific thing I'm volunteering I do a lot of photography for everything that my kids need a parent volunteer for uh I just I'm the photographer here the photographer so event photography then making ah videos okay making videos angelina tangerine on the internet says building servers and computers okay, we also have leslie b on the internet who says financial report okay, um I would add a few to hear uh we've got public speaking public speaking does anyone have to do that in their line of work um others we could think about would be delivering feedback to employees not something people often have to do in their line of work running meetings describing your product and comparing it to a competitors cold calling reaching out to a new client do you have one in say speed reading but we good comprehension speed rating all right so these are all skills that we use repeatedly and our jobs and they are all things that we could practice to get better on so I want us to think about that what we could do with these to actually practice them so let's let's think about it if if what we're doing is uh let's let's say public speaking that's an easier one to start with so if you have to do a lot of public speaking for your job how could you practice public speaking what would practicing public speaking look like somebody have that yes give your speeches that you need to dio too in the car in the shower on video too your kids stuffed animals just doing it but also trying to find ways to add a little bit of the public hurt to it without having it the thousand people that you may be speaking tio so maybe see if you can talk at a coffee shop and you have some poetry there so make it small steps to make to eventually get their rights so speaking in front of fewer people first yes, I was going to say something like join an improv group or something where or even an acting curbs you're using other words you don't come up with the words but you're practicing the comfort level and speaking in front of you in front of an audience joining toastmasters toastmasters that's another good way maybe I could videotape myself and I could watch it I could listen to a type of myself and say hmm I'm saying the word weii tio often and this tape maybe I need to think about a strategy when I say what I'm really trying to dio so thinking about that let's say one of these others um way could look at let's let's say editing photos how could we practice editing photos that's a trickier one here from our photographer here I think just volunteering well, you signed up to do things for the kids schools or what have you you have to edit him? Yeah, yeah, I would also say at it photos that are not for someone else so at your own photos a lot of time will take a lot of pictures, but if they're not for a client you won't actually do anything with um yeah, but you khun experiment with different work flows yeah, these are great it's a great so those are all good ideas and I see them kind of getting at a couple of ideas that I think we should keep in mind in the first what we are all saying is volume right? You want to do a lot of whatever it is that you are practicing there is no substitute for volume volume actually kind of produces its own quality there is one study where groups were groups of students or truth told to create sculptures and one group was told you're going to be judged on your highest quality work so produce something really good for us and the other group is told, well you're just going to graded on your sheer quantity of output right? So make a much as you can that's what your great it's going to be based on what I had independent observers experts study these artworks the highest quality ones the ones they found most innovative and best we're all in the quantity group right there on the stall in the quantity group and that's because quantity creates its own quality as you see what works and you see what doesn't and you try new things and try them again and iterated on that until they become better and better it's better so quantity creates its own quality and second you need tight feedback loops or one of the reasons would videotape ourselves speaking is so we can see how do we act what do we do? What are our annoying little ticks that air driving everyone crazy at home? I should probably get rid of those before my next time I'm videotaped what am I saying too often? Am I speaking too fast on my speaking to slow? You can't know that unless you hear it because we're not aware of how we're doing it in the moment but there's lots of other ways you can seek feedback I mean certainly when I'm blogging I know that my readers will tell me if I've said something stupid they will write comments very quickly to tell me that I've said something stupid but beyond that I can see through metrics right? What headlines get the most clicks? What headlines engage people the most that's certainly why the title? What the most successful people do before breakfast is how I'm writing about this topic let me tell you it clicks a lot better than use your morning as well in case anyone is wondering about what sells on the internet, use your mornings well doesn't not work as well as what the most successful people do before breakfast. So it's kind of like a skier in a wind tunnel he's adjusting himself as it gets the feedback seeing what makes him go faster so we can adjust it you don't have to spend all your time practicing, you don't have to even spend that much time practicing you can a lot of the professional athletes and musicians I've interviewed probably spend about half their time practicing and that's because so much of their job is tied up to their performance in stuff that can't necessarily be repeated if they do it wrong in the moment. So that's why performance is so critical to their job, but on the other hand, a lot of us have jobs that are partly about performance too. You know you're giving difficult feedback to an employee, you can't repeat that you do it wrong, you screw that up, you can't repeat that, so it behooves you to practice it beforehand, and I'm not saying that you have to spend half your time practicing. I know that's not gonna happen, but even a few minutes a day can go a long way because almost nobody does this almost nobody practices consistently and consciously and their jobs and people who do have a major competitive anish over time. If you spend time trying to get better at your job, you will in fact get better at your job and that is how you win the discipline six discipline six to pay in so this discipline sounds a wee bit more cryptic, I know, so I'll start with a little story to explain it, so I write for fortune magazine's website and I also like to collect old magazines and I wrote a piece for fortunes web site a few months ago that looked at a story from fortunes archives from nineteen, forty six, nineteen, fifty six. So story would that ran in fortune in nineteen fifty six, and this piece was called twenty minutes to a career, and it was written in nineteen fifty six, and it looked at the class of nineteen fifty six so people graduating from college in nineteen fifty six, it was kind of a optimistic time in the american economy and big businesses scaling up. They were scaling up, and they were hiring thousands of young men from the class of nineteen fifties six. It was all men in the class of nineteen fifty six is a little funny reading this story you're like, you know, I think women got degrees into but nobody cared eso anyway, big businesses scaling up and hiring thousands of men from the class of nineteen fifty six. But there was this inherent tension because, as fortune explain for many of these young men, a brief interview would settle their jobs for life because some companies would hire men a few years out of school. But most wanted to hire right then, and they hewed closely to a policy of promoting from within. And so the year of graduation was the year of decision. I think that's what the article said the year of graduation is the year of decision except of course we know now that it wasn't it couldn't have been we've all watched what happened in the american economy in the world economy over these last few decades and these men from the class of nineteen fifty six many of them could not have retired around the year two thousand from the companies that hired them in nineteen fifty six because those companies don't exist in their same form that they did in nineteen fifty six or don't exist at all you know companies had no longer just promote from within professionals have reacted quite rationally to this fact and switched jobs every four years or so and many of us don't work for organizations at all so I know obviously I'm preaching to the choir here about how we're all free agents now we're all free agents now but here is the broader point it is no longer sufficient to be employed you need to remain employable ok we have to remain employ a bull and that means monitoring that excellent concept known as career capital your career capital is the sum of your experience your knowledge, your visible skills your network when you have a lot of career capital you can trade it in at any point for a new opportunity you can trade it in to take your career to the next level or even to take a break without destroying your ability to earn a living successful people develop the discipline of paying into this account every single day deposits can take many, many forms so visible pro folio visible portfolio is a deposit on your account. One of the great things about writing is that my work is out there in the marketplace speaking for me and my ideas and situations where I cannot possibly be there. You know, people are listening to my audio books in the car I'm not there, but my ideas air there, right? So publishing books is a deposit in the career capital account or think about lewin fam we looked at the children's book recently, she's not here she is not here, but her ideas and her pictures are here out there in the marketplace, speaking for her when she's not around s o that's why people in all sorts of fields will write books and articles and stuff for industry publications. Industry websites keep blog's and so forth, but writing or illustrating isn't the only way you could make such deposits. Any concrete evidence of what you've done like a number or accomplishment you can point to and say I did that might think like something I can pin on pinterest that is career capital going to a conference that's career capital learning a new skill that's career capital and of course, your network is a big one, right? Who you know who you've making the time to get to know introducing to people who should know each other. That is a huge deposit in your career. Capital account, they're both happy, and they see you as someone who makes things happen. That is a deposit in your account. So one person I interviewed told me that career capital is things that increase our exposure and broaden our scope. I really like that phrase. What have you done today to increase your exposure? Oh, and broaden your scope. Take a moment and think back over the last few days. What have you done to increase your exposure and broaden your scope? People are listening to this learning new time management skills. Hopefully that's a good deposit and someone's career capital account. Maybe you've introduced people. Maybe you've met someone new, all things to think about that if you're at home, send a quick text mess such to someone renew that connection, check in and see how you're doing. If you have a tendency to shirk this discipline because life is busy, we all do that, right? Life is busy, you could actually start a deposit list. Toe hold yourself accountable to this kind of like you're putting money into your checking account. You have a list of the deposits you've made, you could make a list of deposits into your career capital account as well. So write down something every day, some interaction turned from mundane to meaningful some evidence of your abilities sent out into the universe. Some connection you made, and maybe you'll never need this capital, but certainly better to be richer than to be poor, right? So that was disciplined. Six we talk through them here of discipline one is to mind your hours discipline to is to plan discipline three makes success possible discipline ford know what's working and what's not disciplined. Five to practice discipline six pay in and finally discipline seven pursue pleasure. This is an awesome photo I love way heard pursuing pleasure in this photo. So we have this funny belief about work. We think it isn't supposed to be fun, and that is crazy. We spend too much time working for it not to be fun for it not to be enjoyable and having fun actually makes us better at our jobs. We work hard when we're happy we work hard when we're thinking about our jobs in the shower, because we want to be thinking about our jobs in the shower. We love our jobs so much that we are thinking about it in the shower as opposed to thinking about you know what's on television well so what does make us happy we all have different ways we like to work I'm kind of an introvert actually so I'd be I'd go nuts if I had to talk to people all day if I had to constantly meet with people again and again I would find that crazy was someone who's more of an extra very would think that was absolutely awesome but here's something that we suspect makes all of us whistle while we work we need to be making steady progress toward goals that matter to us and that may sound a wee bit fluffy but there is some research into this so teresa ama bill of harvard business school and stephen kramer has a developmental psychologist and analyzed about twelve thousand diary entries that people kept about their work days and their moods at work and they looked at the top scoring day so the days that people can't characterizes their most productive their best days at work and they realize that those days we're highly likely to be marked by little winds small winds things that got done little victories we finish this project today we set a goal to call three new prospects and we talked to them all we figured out a new marketing angle in this meeting those were the good days right days we made progress toward goals than matter that mattered to us and those were incidently better days those were much better days than things that you more obviously think of us being good, right? So even praise from a boss progress was better than praise from your boss it's not that you wanted to be criticized by your bus but it was better to score these little winds that's what made work meaningful was better than parks so the things that are good days are not the days when the foosball table shows up at the off office. It is not the day that your boss brought m and m's for everyone. I mean, people like that people do like that, of course, but it's not what really joy at work comes from we like to win, right? We like to win. Humans are happy when we are winning, so we need to figure out how to structure our days so we get this pleasing sense of progress, right that we keep winning, we are on a roll, we're completing something that is difficult but it is doable we are making it happen and we need to set that up for our employees as well so I want you to think back over the past few days broadly think about when you were happiest at work what were you doing when you were happiest at work I'll give you a minute to think about this to write this down when you were happiest at work and hopefully we'll get some ideas and from the internet to when people were happiest at work some for you right? Okay um leo williams says when I was alone in the office and left to manage myself, I had space to myself to think in concentrate and that's when she felt that's how she felt happiest when she had space to think and concentrate so this person wants to have a bit more solo time too think real deep thinking time have any others? Leslie b says I'm happiest when I'm contributing or when watching my team do a great job at a presentation s so you can see that they're winning you can see other people are winning hopefully with the coaching and the management that you've you've given them yes on monday I had a photo shoot with a chiropractic office and one of the models that was there was talking about how she never looked good and photos and she had a friend who is a photographer who had to take like five hundred to get a good one of her and being able to turn my camera around saying look at how gorgeous you are right the second and seeing her face just light up that just made my entire day that's it was amazing that's wonderful so you were winning in that moment to your wedding showing off your skills as a photographer but also making a difference in someone's perception of herself yes, I have I have teoh one from my previous career when I used to develop clothing for a company and my when I felt really successful was in something an idea completely came up with from the beginning to the end we got those initial sales in and they were awesome I mean, that was such a great feeling like well, I had a really good idea like other people thought so too on by second wasn't isn't social media when I d'oh posts and it's very immediate at this great feedback because you get a lot of hits or you get a lot of comments and that's such a great feeling and when the client is happy and they see that that I'm doing that for them as them oh my gosh that's a great feeling to get wins you see that you're making progress you see that you're winning yeah, those are all great uh yeah yeah I was talking to a busy executive who was really burnt out and then I just kind of started you know, explaining to him all these ideas I ran across and and all these, you know, tips that he can do in it it's kind of it feels really good because he has these ah ha moments and he's like wow you know that could really work for me I can really do these things so I think just adding value to people's lives and doing that in person is I really enjoy that. Yeah wonderful one more what is leading a workshop I was told by the people hired me that if you're the employees were reluctant to participate and I was a little apprehensive is like oh, here we go because I know how those go but it turns out that I just decided not to directly address it I was just gonna be myself do the program and they actually loved and they participated way more than they ever have in any other program and I got the feedback that they were totally nervous assuming that this program was put on because they were in trouble it was it they were there because the company want to support them yeah and just getting the feedback that the abs really enjoyed their time and I enjoyed it joined back will this was bring on someone we looked and scored that victory of turning reluctant people into a happy people that's great we have more coming tomorrow surely get another few finance grad says when fixing problems is taking initiative on issues other people were either too busy or too tired to take a look into so that sense of fulfillment yeah, wonderful d k reached says when I got a new client or when someone who ordered my stationery told me how much it mattered to them too isn't one of my car I love that I love that says when I'm able to solve a problem and what seems like a tight corner that has significant effects good. So you know, if you haven't felt this way at work in a while, it may be time to change a few things, right? But for most of us, if you think about it, they're probably a million ways that we can spend more time at working work, feeling this way, how we felt when we were happiest and less time feeling other things, right? We can turn the job we have into the job we want, we want to spend more time in the state of celebrating our little winds, of scoring our little winds and there's lots of ways we can do that. I mean, maybe it involves working with different people who are more into that idea more supportive, maybe over time, we can create our own colleagues, create social networks of people who bring out our best selves, we can work on different projects, right? Some projects weaken structure to have more of that sense of progress, we can think hard about how to drum up the work that we want to do we could even change how we frame our work, right? So we're not just making stationary, we are creating the thing that somebody is writing on to send a n'importe message, something that really matters to them and when we pursue pleasure than hard work doesn't actually feel like hard work. All right, it feels really, really lovely, right? As lewin fan put it, we do these things, there's nothing we can't get done, so this has been a great discussion. We can have another question or two if people have them, I would love to talk that through I also want to make sure that I put this up there because I want to continue this conversation with everyone who's been has been turned into end in today I I'm on twitter probably more than I should be. Uh, it will catch me on twitter at times that I should not be a twitter like eight a m in the morning when I'm on my way peek productivity time, it said then I'm on twitter, but I'm also over at my website and would love to chat more about projects and how your time management journey is going, tio but but earlier and it was just simply they were requesting that website that you mentioned earlier in the day. That keep tracks accountability so if you don't do something yes so that was stick s t I c k, k dot com so two k's little little confusing but stick dot com is an accountability website and then a question from biggie what to do with the waiting time in between tasks and change over okay, waiting time at work? Well, certainly, if you do keep this list of bits of time for bits of joy so things you can do in a small amount of time waiting time, you can use one of those things, right? So maybe it's taking a few deep breaths or thinking about someone you love, we're sending a text message to check in with a child or spouse or a friend. Those are all things you can do during wait time that will make it much better than just twiddling your thumbs. Its so keep that list that bits of time for bits of joy list. So you talked this morning about how most of our energy comes around eight o'clock in the morning. What if you're one of those by model people that you get that burst of energy? A p m two on you smooth, smooth that out, you know that may just be who you are, all right, but whatever we find out about ourselves we can learn to work with and so you plan for that time in the morning you plan what I'm gonna do it my most productive times of the day so I happen to know that my most productive time is around eight a m so I planned my most important task but time may be your lucky person gets two times right so you can do something amazing in the morning and something amazing at night and then maybe you can figure out a way to have a little bit of downtime in the middle of the day right? So instead of grabbing that coffee in the middle of day maybe take a nap maybe relax read do something that's a little bit slower to get that energy going again later I actually have a question for you for those of us who have to be a work very early in the mornings I happen to be one of those people who I am very productive earlier in the day but when you have to be at work a time that's so early what's something you could do there to maintain that productivity later in the day to maintain it later in the day well, you need to manage your energy and there are ways you could do that all those breaks we talked about earlier those air often things that can energize you and so when you find yourself lagging say, well, what could I do right now to change my situation quickly and often it is this something as simple as going for a walk around the block so moving your body is a huge energy boost that in and of it self can often buy you another hour beyond what you would have had in terms of focused energy eso certainly I think I referred to a study earlier that tracking people's energies through the days and they found if you did one of these micro bursts of energy right you were actually twice as energetic on the one to ten point scale an hour afterwards as you had been before so it lasted a full hour you still had that boost from before. So trying to structure those into your days little breaks little bits of time for bits of joy to keep yourself going I think we have one more question for you from sharon she says sometimes we make a schedule and I know we hit on this a little bit but it's come up a bunch and I know a lot of people want to know they say they make a schedule but with a baby it's too hard to stick with any kind of routine any tips on that? Any tips on that? Yes well babies are their own little people and they do not always want to follow whatever schedule you have created and if the child is young enough, sometimes you just I have to go with that right? There are seasons of life and if you have a newborn there's only so much you can do but I certainly found that when I had newborns I would really get into setting incredibly limited to do lists for myself so really I mean three things a day including like life maintenance stuff that I would try to get done but the funny thing wass I was actually getting a fair amount done because I would do aimed to do three things and say, well, I know I can on ly do three things today beyond the care of this child but I'm gonna get all three things done right? And then you do the next thing you know, you do three more things so set very, very short to do lists in twenty four hours though, and if you have a baby you often see many of those twenty four hours you can get a lot of those things done. Do we have any more questions from our audience here? Great head. How do you feel about the two done list? Sort of I've been reading about that it's more productive to write down your accomplishments at the end of the day versus trying to come up with a short to do lists versus I've had marathon to delis and have been frustrated that I did fifteen of twenty seven items well, you I don't think these things have to be either or like I certainly loved the idea of celebrating our accomplishments at the end of the day, I think that's a wonderful idea, you can send that around to your colleagues, right? There's a couple laps that do this that you can celebrate your winds at the end of the day. This is what I did today, but that doesn't preclude you from also setting out to do things in the morning as well, and maybe you'll reach that magical state where those two lists match, right? That is a wonderful state when the to do list at nine a m matches the two done list at five p m but yeah, I don't think those air either or so, so especially if you're creating a very limited to do list, you can certainly do those three things, and often, you know that look at the two done list, those air things that really did have to happen, so put the things that really did have to happen on the to do list, make it an honest list, and then you have but