The power of everyday is an interesting theory.

In writing many of my favourites have regularly spoken about how important their daily habit of writing is, including:

All of the above have other things in common as well they are prolific in their quality and their output as well as being see in as experts in their fields.

Of course there are many areas that would benefit from then’everyday approach. Doing many things everyday certainly has its challenges (and its rewards!) The Miracle Morning tries to address this by getting 6 important items in just one hour (but you need to be up early).

There is also much written about exercising daily and the Run Streak has also become very popular.

Of course there are those who have written against the everyday theory including:

Why not to blog everyday

for my purposes I am looking to do more of the following and the everyday theory may help me

As Google Partner I am a massive fan of the Chrome browser and as a Chromebook user I use Chrome all the time.

I must have about 20 Chrome Extensions installed but only use a small list everyday. One of my favourites which I use and see everyday is Momentum extension . I use it every day as it opens in every new tab with a fantastic picture and the all important question ‘What is your main focus for today?’. There are other features but the question is the one I want and try and answer every day and every time I open a new tab it reminds me of my answer.

Momentum Chrome extensiion

OK I am not the first person to say this and many have tried and failed to fix it.

Before looking at why email could be broken it is worth looking at why it is so popular and useful (and yes it is useful):

  • It’s quick and easy
  • You can send to many people at once reducing any duplication of effort
  • It’s cheap
  • It’s private
  • There is an expectation of an instant response

Now let’s have a look at some of the reasons why email is not so great:

  • It’s (too) quick and easy, too easy to send an email when may another method of communication may be better (e.g. a telephone call).
  • You can send to many people at once reducing any duplication of effort, this can often mean that multiple people can be included who often do not need to be. Of course if you are on the first email of the chain you are probably on the last reading each one just to check that you were mentioned or required
  • It’s cheap – that’s why we have so much spam! 2 millions emails sent who cares it’s cheap.
  • It’s private – two main disadvantages a) some people may say things that they would not say in public but funny when gets sent or forwarded to people you may not expect. b) more importantly much of what goes on in emails, in organisations and projects, would benefit many others hence why so many emails are forwarded
  • Expectation of an instant response – many of us are stuck constantly checking email because we thing that an instant response is expected.

So what’s the answer? Clearly email is not going away any time soon and neither should it but I think we would benefit from changing our attitude to email and reducing the amount of email we send and finding better communication platforms. Email coming in from externals is often to be welcomed especially if it is from customers and prospects but what about internal email. The larger the organisation the more of the email that can be generated internally with multiple cc’s (and probably more bcc’s than is good for us). Even in SME’s internal email can blight your inbox with either irrelevant information that very few people need or very important information that everyone needs to see but can’t because it is in your email.

In the last 10 years we have seen Social Media become a formidable public communication platform. I would imagine that a lot less email has been sent because of Facebook (there has to be some upside) and thank goodness it has reduced the dancing cat videos in my inbox.

So could Social Media platforms reduce email in organisations. Clearly much of what is said (typed) is not for public consumption, mainly for boredom reasons as much as competition, but there are many private social media platforms for corporates. It is great to hear that Automatic has no internal email at all, as all in-house communication (which is across many countries) is done on P2 a WordPress blog which is customised for that very purpose. There are also many other platforms out there with Slack (great name) possibly leading the field with a corporate twitter-like microblogging platform.

So next time you are about to hit the ‘send’ button, with multiple cc addresses, stop and think is there a better way for me to communicate. I for one think that ‘yes’ maybe the answer.

I am looking for tools to improve my Colemak typing.

There are many good typing tutors out there, my favourite online is Typing Club. Unfortunately Typing Club does not help you with the Colemak keyboard layout. Of course you could use Typing Club but practicing with the DF adn JK keys makes no sense when not on a QWERTY keyboard.

Looking for typing tutor for Colemak was not straight forward but I did find TIPP10. TIPP10 appears very functional with lots of options, including a Colemak keybpard and event allows you to create your own lessons. The Colemak Website lists Colemak lessons that can be copied and pasted into TIPP10.

TIPP10 with Colemak layout
TIPP10 even shows a very handy Colemak layout

I recently attended a Chris Williams Goal Setting Workshop. Chris is famous for his goal setting (and goal getting) workshop and is truly inspiring as he definitely practices what he preaches. Loads of great ideas on the workshop that I will no doubt mention in future blog posts but one idea that really resonated with me was ‘DES’.

Chris explained how important ‘DES’ was to achieving our goals especially for busy entrepreneurs. Below is the acronym explained:

D = Delegate
E = Eliminate
S = Simplify

As we look at doing all the tasks we have to do each day what tasks can we eliminate completely, if we can not eliminate the completely can we simplify them and the big one for me can we delegate them?

Thanks Chris.

focusI recently attended an event with Rob Brown, the well known expert on referral marketing, who introduced me to the idea of picking three words to focus your year,

The idea is from Chris Brogan’s blog where he has been picking his own words and encouraging others to do so as well for many years.

Rob supplied us with a fantastic list of words although of course you could pick any. My final selection is

  1. Focus
  2. Team
  3. Leverage

This is just a quick post to get the words written down and I will be writing more in 2014 on each word and what it means to me and my goals in 2014

Creative Commons License photo credit: kruder396

Just discovered the Pomodoro Technique which is based on working exact 25 minute stints and taking regular breaks. I can definitely see some advantages with this although from my first few attempts I can say it is harder than you would first think. Link below to more details which includes excellent documentation.