From Personal

A Stolen iPad — Not: A Cascade of Judgment Errors

I have an active mind — sometimes too active. On a recent trip to the local Apple Store I got caught up in the elevated buzz that surrounds the release of new iPhones. When I discovered that my iPad was missing from my purse I compounded a cascade of errors in judgement to end up looking and feeling like a fool. Upon reflection, I learned a lot, not the least of which was to not jump to conclusions. Doh!

Impulse Control

My dad was always trying to make people laugh, often with corny jokes and bad puns. His standard farewell when departing a social gathering was always, “We’ll see you in the spring if we get through the mattress.” Ba-dump, bump! He often proclaimed that he was on a “see food” diet. Reaching for whatever food was in sight, he would explain simply, “Whenever I see food, I eat it!” Ba-dump, bump! Always there would be the slight pause and the nascent grin as he waited — and hoped — that you would get the pun. My dad passed away this…

Elevated Metabolism

I am struck by the word “metabolism.” It’s such a great word. It denotes a process in which an organic system transforms inputs and raw materials into energy. Our bodies take proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and transform them into tissue and stored energy. An “increased metabolism” is one in which this transformation process is occurring at an elevated rate. My work life has a metabolism as well. I take the raw materials of ideas, knowledge, experience, responsibilities, and expectations and transform them into service, relationships and results. An “increased metabolism” in this realm would be to produce more energy and…

No to 1,000 Things

As part of the rhythm of my productivity, I declare a “Theme for the Week” each Monday morning. At a 50,000 foot level, it helps me remember what I deem to be important that week. It’s what I’m working on.

The first Theme of the Week for 2013 is adapted from Steve Jobs. He has been quoted on multiple occasions as having said that the hardest part of good design is saying no to a thousand things. He said that it is not enough to be brilliant in figuring out what goes into your product. You have to be ruthless in paring down and leaving out what doesn’t belong.

It occurs to me that life — and especially productivity — thrives on the same principle.

Top 5 Guiding Principles of 2011

I have always found myself operating from a core set of operating principles — or “first principles,” if you will. Here are my guiding principles for 2011.

  1. Do the important stuff first
  2. If I want to read more, read more
  3. Pay attention
  4. Listen to my own voice
  5. Relationships matter

A Ringing Anniversary

Three years ago today I woke up in a hotel room in Warrington UK with a shrill ringing in my right ear. Imagine the smoke alarm going off in the hall. Now imagine that you can’t escape the sound. In my pursuit of relief I have been seen by:

  • Three general physicians
  • Four ENT’s (ear, nose, throat specialists)
  • Two hearing specialists
  • One acupuncturist
  • One chiropractor
  • Two dentists

I have had a half-dozen hearing tests and three MRI’s. After three years, all that I know for sure is that what I have is called tinnitus and that the medical system is badly in need of repair.