Wednesday, September 8, 2010
REWORKing my brain
Last week Wayne Sutton made a recommendation for me to read Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson's latest book REWORK after a tweet I posted about going into #vampiremode to get a few things done for Experience Farm.
This morning I finished it, highlighter in hand.
The pages of my new favorite book are marked with a bright neon yellow Sharpie - carefully highlighting plain ole common sense advice that smacks you on the ass, and sends you off to think about what you've been doing wrong.
REWORK is on my desk. And I have already opened it 5 or six times to remind me of what I need to rework in my brain.
Working 16+ hours a day is a common practice. Seriously. What the hell am I thinking.
"Working more doesn't mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more." p.25
"If all you do is work, you're unlikely to have sound judgments. - You stop being able to decide what's worth the extra effort and what's not." p. 26
No one is a machine.
"If I'd listened to customers, I'd have given them a faster horse." Henry Ford
God bless him. Can you imagine the resistance poor ol' Henry faced when tinkering with that damn contraption?
Well, Henry learned how to say NO and if he can do it, than I can too dammit.
"Use the power of no to get your priorities straight." p. 153
"People avoid saying no because confrontation makes them uncomfortable." p.153
It's true. How many times have you said yes to something that you regretted down the road?
I have gotten better at saying no.
You know that gut instinct? Trust it. Say no and explain why. If the person doesn't respect your decision and tries to bully you into doing something you don't believe in, walk away.
You of all people have to believe in what you do.
How many meetings do you have a week?
And I don't mean meeting a friend for lunch or coffee. . . I mean business meetings?
This little golden nugget hit me like a ton of bricks "The worst interruption of all are meetings." p.109
This really got me thinking about how much time *WE* waste on unproductive "chase your tail" kind of meetings.
How much time would YOU spend on just a 1 hour meeting?
Travel Time ::
Transitioning Back into Work Mode ::
Follow Up ::
X number of people in the meeting
= BIG WASTE OF TIME and PRODUCTIVITY
I am not saying all meetings are bad - and neither are they. The meetings you do have should be productive with a clear agenda. Everyone's time is valuable.
Often meetings can be avoided by simply asking more questions before you say yes.
Why do you want to meet? What are the goals?
If the proposed meeting is a referral from a peer - then be sure to carefully consider why your peer did not want to work with that person.
I will reconsider the next time someone wants to meet me for coffee to "pick my brain" or discuss the possibility of maybe having a project they think my company might be a good fit for or because someone else referred them.
Example :: regretful meeting experience :: 2.5 hours later my partner and I had NO CLUE what this person really wanted except of course to sell us on their services, vent and gossip about the owner of the company that referred them. No thanks.
BUILD AN AUDIENCE
"An audience returns often - on its own - to see that you have to say."
I know this. You know this. So why is it so damn hard to sit down and write?
Many clients tell us they have no time. . . Hell, *I* say that about my own damn company blog which has yet to be launched because "it's not quite ready."
After reading REWORK . . . I call bullshit. When you say you don't have time to build your audience, what you're really saying is "there are more important things to do over here".
What kind of message is that sending to the people who may value your opinion or appreciate the knowledge that you share?
One person pointed out to me recently that they enjoyed my 'Danielleisms'. Thanks. I'm not for everyone, but I try very hard to do what I think is right.
REWORK offers simple advice in BIG BROAD strokes of genius.
What book have you read recently that has changed the way you are doing business?