We’re getting close to Christmas and I’m prepping content while I’ll be off which means just after Christmas I’ll start the year with a content break. In fact, there will likely be a fairly big content revamp for me coming in the months ahead. To see it starting make sure you tune in to my video next Thursday to see my content planning process.
The biggest problem with most people’s productivity is that they don’t do their review. Monday I tackled what a good review looks like and how to stage it so you don’t get overwhelmed.
If you’ve got habits to build or break then you should read Atomic Habits. I reviewed it on Wednesday and you’ll see it make an appearance on next Monday as one of my books that mattered in 2018. Find all formats of the review here.
I love to Bullet Journal, as evidenced by writing a whole book on Analogue Productivity. You can see how I used my notebook to plan December here.
If you run a store, then you should be looking at streamlining your checkout. I wrote a piece on some of the options you can use to Streamline Your WooCommerce Checkout for Liquid Web.
1. Cal Newport on The Attention Blogs Get
As I noted in Deep Work, if you took the contents of the standard Facebook or Instagram feed and published it on a blog, it wouldn’t attract any readers, or comments, or links. But put this content on a Facebook wall and there’s an implicit social contract in place to motivate the people you know to click a like button, or leave a nice comment in the anticipation that you’ll do the same.
He says that blogs are a capitalist attention market because you have to have something worth reading for people to show up. If you don’t provide value, people aren’t just going to click like as your content goes by in their feed. They’re never going to see it.
I think that so many businesses and people have defaulted to the easy attention, which has low value, that social media brings. That leaves content niches available to blog about.
What are niche are you going to fill?
2. Darius Foroux recommends some books
A few of these were added to my list, but I’m going to have to object strongly with Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life as a recommendation. Yes, I agree that the rules themselves are good and I would stand behind many of them. I’ve told my coaching clients many of the same thing.
Peterson’s book though...each chapter has about 4 useful pages and then 20 pages of random philosophical content that never seems connected to the main point of the book. There are some downright objectionable things said in there even. He seems to go from citation of his sources to throwing out blanket statements without a source.
I’ve got one chapter to go, and you should see my full review in 2019, but I can’t see how one chapter will redeem the quality of the book for me.
3. Cheri Baker and 8 Months without Facebook
Do you know what the best part of being off Facebook is? I thought it would be having more privacy, or feeling less addicted to checking social media, but what I love most is something else entirely. Now that I’m off Facebook, when I’m with my friends, I’m actually with my friends.
This is one of the struggles around my house. My wife is “spending time with me” while looking at Facebook. Usually for some buy and sell item or on the marketplace, but still it always seems like an effort to get her to put that phone down and actually interact with me.
Now, I do have a Facebook account for a single book group but come to think of it, I haven’t actually posted in the group in two months despite doing the reading and attending the meetings. Maybe I should just delete the account finally because I think Facebook is 99% bad and maybe 1% useful.
4. Asian Efficiency on OmniFocus
The power of a task management system like OmniFocus is that it allows you to filter your tasks instantly and show you only the things you should be thinking about right now. It frees up your brain to focus on what you’re doing instead of trying to keep track of all the loose ends that are hanging out there.
That's the only thing your system needs to do. Free you up from wasting brain power remembering things.
If you've been wondering how to use OmniFocus this is a decent starting point.
5. Phones suck the life out of a room
The no-phones policy illuminated something about smartphone use that’s hard to see when it’s so ubiquitous: our phones drain the life out of a room. They give everyone a push-button way to completely disengage their mind from their surroundings, while their body remains in the room, only minimally aware of itself. Essentially, we all have a risk-free ripcord we can pull at the first pang of boredom or desire for novelty, and of course those pangs occur constantly.
I'd say that devices suck the energy out of a room. I've been thinking about this a bunch as I hang out with friends and my kids.
I should not let my attention be going to my device.