Well the office is coming together, and I had a great talk recently with Jason Resnick. We’re working on something for Black Friday to help you get clients and make sure that you have the time to do your marketing duties.

It’s far to easy to know what you should do to get clients, and then always let those activities fall off so they never get done.

What I Shipped

Up in Canadaland Monday was Thanksgiving. I did have to put a bit of work in because I had to spend a surprise day off taking a child to the hospital for tests. I wrote about the work you’re willing to do to achieve your goals.

On Tuesday I looked at Unread my favourite iOS RSS client, and talked about some of the problems with it. Evidently the keyboard command thing is high on their list, or so they tell me.

Are you willing to tell clients that you don’t know? That’s what I talked about on Wednesday, and that experts are willing to say “I don’t know”.

On the GoDaddy blog I wrote about direct marketing tools you can use to help your business.

Friday Five

1 .Shawn Blanc on Overwhelm

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then perhaps you feel as though you have been given too much. In fact, you’ve been given so much that you’re to the point of feeling buried and drown beneath a huge mass of stuff — from urgent issues, undone tasks, incoming requests of your time and energy, and more. And as a result you feel overpowered and defeated.

Shawn has a great short post on dealing with overwhelm. It came at a good time for me as I’m feeling overwhelmed right now. I was even sketching out a post on dealing with overwhelm the day before I came across this post.

Make sure you take a moment to put your tasks/things in the matrix he provides and maybe start to get a handle on the things you’re doing.

2. Cory Miller on the Power of Smiles

Cory says smiles are free and in his words:

I could feel the warmth, the acceptance, the recognition back to me. Little pings from one human to another. And it felt … good. Really good. The light of others humans signaling to me and a resonating glow turned on inside of me.

I try to do this all the time. I also try to respond warmly and strongly when the coffee shop attendant asks how I’m doing. Usually I say something like “I’m spectacular, how about you?”

It’s amazing to see the face of the person I’m talking to light up.

How did you make someone light up today? How are you going to make someone light up today?

3. Paul Jarvis on Being “known”

I feel some of this as I write across multiple topics. I’ve been told many times that I need to stick to a tighter lane of content, but I’m interested in so many things and they all come together to make the business/freelance content be what it is for you readers that come for it.

Paul Jarvis talks about being known and his struggles with it. This one particularly resonated with me:

Known people who voice a political opinion are frowned upon and told that they should just shut up and do the thing they’re known for and stay in their lane. It’s not like they’re also well rounded human beings with ideas, opinions and voices on many more subjects than they’re known for, right?… I’m not exactly Bono-level in my penchant for talking issues, but they do come up in articles or on Twitter and I always get the same response about sticking to my lane. Oh, and feel free to swap out political for religious, social, or economic as well.

Second was this one:

Known people can’t make mistakes, even small ones like typos, without being blasted for it. I received 100s of emails from people saying they don’t trust my writing because I made a spelling mistake or that I can’t be the expert I apparently said I was because an email of mine from years ago has a URL in it that’s now malfunctioning.

While he cites an email link, Malcom Gladwell dug deep into what our memories do and how fragile they are. It’s likely that the big figure who embellished a story, wasn’t lying. Their memory is as broken as ours and they made a mistake.

Okay, I almost said there was a 3rd, 4th, 5th thing…so really pretty much every single point he makes is awesome and you should read his post.

4. On kids and screens

Doug has a short summary of some myths about kids and screens. The one I struggle with is number 3 that screen time is wasted when compared to outside time.

I have the article Doug referenced in my queue to read so we shall see if my mind is changed. I’ve watched my 4 year old when she gets a screen and turns into a zombie. I’ve also watched her climb at the park and work out problems playing with other kids.

I find it hard to believe that one type of interaction isn’t much more valuable to her development and that activity doesn’t involve screens.

5. The survey says – we check email too much

Adobe did a survey and in total we check email 5.6 hours a day.

Holy crap this is crazy. I just checked Screen Time on my phone and my 7 day total is 5 minutes. Now my phone is not my main computing device.

Checking in with my iPad I have a total of 3 hours of email in the last 7 days.

I do like seeing my numbers be so low. No there is not email on my Mac because it hasn’t been turned on this week.

Here is Cal Newport’s conclusion on email and it’s value…rather lack of value.

No one doubts the reality that it’s more efficient to hit “send” than to print a memo or mail a letter, but as observations like the above become more extreme, the claim that email is a straightforward productivity booster has become increasingly indefensible — the dynamics at play are more complex and decidedly dire.

We cannot, in other words, escape the necessity to radically rethink how we work in the age of computer networks. To use a metaphor appropriate to the October season: survey results like those reported by Adobe are making it unmistakably clear that Frankenstein’s digital monster has escaped the lab.

Thanks to Cal Newport for pointing this out to me.