What Can You Do With 10 Minutes A Day?

What Can You Do With 10 Minutes A Day?

Is there anything you’ve always wanted to learn? Maybe a language? A musical instrument? Or how to build a website? One of the things that holds most of us back is the idea that the thing we want to learn is too big – when you’re just starting out, it can seem overwhelming. You’re probably familiar with the old joke about how to eat an elephant … the answer is ‘one bite at a time’. I think we all know this, but it can be something that’s difficult to apply in real life. Taking that one bite – especially the first one – seems a bit pointless. It doesn’t feel […]

We Can Always Do Better

We Can Always Do Better

When we work on something that we care about, knowing when to stop can be hard. You tell yourself to keep editing … You care enough to keep making those infinitesimal changes that only you can see, because you want it to be absolutely perfect before anyone else reads/hears/sees your work. But of course nothing is ever perfect – everything can be improved … And the most frustrating thing is that you usually notice the improvements the very moment it’s too late to do something about it. And you use that as an excuse to tell yourself to work harder – to be even more careful next time. But next […]

Is Technology a Symptom or a Cause?

Is Technology a Symptom or a Cause?

After hearing his TED talk, I became very interested in what Tristan Harris was doing at the Centre for Humane Technology. Essentially, he is one of a growing number of tech experts who are concerned about the impact technology – particularly social media – is having on us both as individuals, and society as a whole. With research showing that ‘pull to refresh’ features activate the same part of our brains as fruit machines, it’s easy to see where there might be a problem. If you knew a child who spent three or four hours a day playing fruit machines, you’d probably be concerned – and rightly so. There’s no […]

Setting Goals v Acquiring Skills

Setting Goals v Acquiring Skills

“Man is a goal setting machine,” said Aristotle, more than 2000 years ago. That message has been echoed time and again by lots of very smart people in the intervening years by everyone from Seneca through to Benjamin E. Mays. I’ve had some success with goal setting, but the simple fact is that none of us achieve every goal we set ourselves. Using the idea that goals are set in stone but that deadlines are flexible is one way to deal with the ‘disappointment’ of not hitting a goal as quickly as you’d hoped, but I recently came across another way of thinking about goals that has really helped me, […]

Should NGOs do an Amazon?

Should NGOs do an Amazon?

The five Big Tech companies together are valued at about $3.5billion. The entire UK economy generates around $2.6billion. The combined influence of Apple, Alphabet (who own Google), Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft is extraordinary, affects all of our lives on a daily basis, and is only going to increase. Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year, and this week the rights to some Premier League football – which Facebook were also interested in. Speaking of Facebook, they are reportedly spending upwards of $1bn on original content for Facebook Watch, due this summer. These companies are only going to get bigger – who might their next targets be? Tesco? Next? Coca-Cola? Over the […]

The quickest solution rarely gets to the heart of the problem

The quickest solution rarely gets to the heart of the problem

When we are confronted with a challenging situation, our first instinct is to just make it go away as quickly as possible. The tendency is to look for the quickest and simplest solution, but this may not always be the best idea. Our greatest successes usually come when we can move to what Shane Parrish calls ‘Second-Order Thinking’ – the ability to dig a bit deeper, and consider the broader implications and longer-term consequences of our decisions. There was a brilliant article in The Atlantic this week that highlights this. Alex Wagner contrasts the difference in how Starbucks and ABC dealt with their recent racism issues. [These links have more […]