Happy Fall! New York City turned quickly from hot and humid to crisp and beautiful this week, as I celebrate my three-year anniversary of living here. The serendipity of life in Manhattan continues to blow my mind—it’s one of my favorite parts of living in this sprawling walkable metropolis.
One lesson: do not leave the house in scrubby clothes just to “run a quick errand.” I did that the other day and ran into three people (separately), some of whom I hadn’t seen in years. Doh!
And that doesn’t hold a candle to the day I walked into a West Village restaurant to ask a quick research question about basil delivery for SpringUps. I ended up having dinner and drinks at the bar for the next three hours with the sommelier and a manager from another upcoming trendy restaurant, both of whom I’m grateful to count now as new friends.
If you live in NYC
Come hang out at Be Social Change’s Future of Food: Urban Farming Unwrapped event this Thursday, September 18 from 7-9pm. John from SpringUps will be on the panel to discuss new urban farming methods, and Christian and I will be there heckling from the back—kidding, rooting him on—and answering questions afterward. RSVP here and remember to enter the code “PanelistFriend” at checkout to receive 20% off your ticket!
I’m teaching a 2.5 hour Speak Like a Pro workshop on October 27 for Holstee’s new Learning Lab. Click here to learn more and sign-up! I’d love to see you there Missed the virtual conference I did in August? Here’s a free PDF round-up of key takeaways from each speaker (clocking in at a whopping 130+ pages!), or view them on the web.
Now onward to our monthly cawfee-tawk!
- Wondering How to Look Smart? A few pointers: wear glasses, use a middle initial, walk at the same pace as others around you, avoid using big words and decorative fonts, don’t drink at work functions, and definitely don’t be caught holding a beer.
- Maria Popova on Staying Present and Grounded in the Age of Information Overload
- The Guardian’s Oliver Burkeman encourages us to take a page out of chefs’ cookbooks: set-up a Mise En Place for your mind.
- The Atlantic says that Actually, Some Material Goods Can Make You Happy, namely “experiential goods” that help us pursue experiences (or hobbies), ultimately facilitating our “psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.”
- Paul Angone wrote a fantastic Creative Manifesto: “Creating, at the core, is telling the truth. It’s honesty at its rawest form. It’s scrapping your knuckles. It’s licking the tear drop. To create is to present something to the world that you’ve been 100% present within.”
- Wired on Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos. Blogging is the ultimate typo machine . . . I’m guilty every week!
- Science News catalogs what is stressing out Americans. The top three factors (plaguing over 50% of the population): too many responsibilities overall, problems with finances, and work problems.
- Seth Godin says Forgive Yourself, but not for everything. “Forgive yourself for not being the richest, the thinnest, the tallest, the one with the best hair. Forgive yourself for not winning every round. Forgive yourself for being afraid. But don’t let yourself off the hook, never forgive yourself, for not caring or not trying.”
- Harvard Business Review on 9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions
- Jamie Varon read my mind with 23 Things Only People Who Love Spending Time Alone Will Understand
- Dorie Clark wrote a great post for Harvard Business Review on Networking for Introverts
- Daniel Levitin in The New York Times, teaches how to Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain:
“Every status update you read on Facebook, every tweet or text message you get from a friend, is competing for resources in your brain.
. . . If you want to be more productive and creative, and to have more energy, the science dictates that you should partition your day into project periods. Your social networking should be done during a designated time, not as constant interruptions to your day.
Email, too, should be done at designated times. An email that you know is sitting there, unread, may sap attentional resources as your brain keeps thinking about it, distracting you from what you’re doing. What might be in it? Who’s it from? Is it good news or bad news? It’s better to leave your email program off than to hear that constant ping and know that you’re ignoring messages.”
—Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind
- OMG. This actually exists—a FRIED TWIX BAR STUFFED WITH BACON. Heart attack on a paper plate, sponsored by the New York State Fair!
- Fascinating photo essay project from Miho Aikawa on Dinner in NY: how people eat when dining at home (many are multi-tasking with tablets and TVs—no surprise, but very interesting to see reflected throughout the series)
- Is Breakfast Overrated?
- JB Tangent: I think so! If you want it great, but after seeing the benefits of having only a very light bite (if any) in the morning, the idea that we *have* to eat first thing to “get our metabolism going” seems more and more like big-industry propaganda to me. Why wouldn’t the dairy and wheat lobby tell us that in order to be “healthy” we have to eat breakfast?! I’m not a nutritionist, so I’ll step off my soapbox before I get too worked up and just say: to each his (or her) own! That’s my philosophy for most things in life
- Get moving! The New Yorker on Why Walking Helps Us Think
- Nick White, a New Zealander who I met at the first WDS, is one of my personal heroes. A throat-cancer survivor, he just summited Mount Fuji. Read about his experience On Reaching the Summit of Mt. Fuji
- What’s your relationship to sleep? FastCo’s Your Brain On Six Hours of Sleep A Night and Science of Us with a Sleep Hack: Keep Your Feet Outside Your Covers
- According to The New Yorker, some people actually have A Gene That Makes [Them] Need Less Sleep
- Yowza! Food Babe goes toe-to-toe with Starbucks: You’ll Never Guess What’s In A Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Hint: You Won’t Be Happy)
- The caffeine addiction (and habit formation) happens so damn quickly! At least for me . . . here’s How You Get Hooked On Coffee
- Speaking of coffee, this is such a cool business story! Self-Serve Coffee Shop Manages To Make Money On The Honor System
- Ever wonder How They Make Decaf Coffee? This 3-minute video provides a punchy explanation which kicks off with the bigger question: “Why would anyone drink decaf?”
- Cal Newport on How To Stop Being Lazy And Get More Done and Deep Habits: Plan Your Week in Advance
- Want to focus on important work but haven’t been able to make the time? Loved this piece in 99u on How I Kept a 373-Day Productivity Streak Unbroken. Also? Go Fucking Do It.
- Here are 6 Things The Most Organized People Do Every Day, from Eric Barker
- The New York Times on 10 Reasons to Become an Entrepreneur
- Freelancers Union always has great thought-provoking posts for solopreneurs—check out What if you doubled your rate?…Like right now? and “I can get it cheaper:” What to do when a client rejects your fee
- How to Find Your Life Purpose: An Unconventional Approach, from Zen Habits. “It’s simply this: learn to get outside your personal bubble.”
- Here’s an interesting pivot: The Public Library Wants To Be Your Office
- Marginal Revolution on email culture at Daimler: “100,000 German employees can now choose to have all their incoming emails automatically deleted when they are on holiday so they do not return to a bulging in-box.”
- Alexis Madrigal says despite everyone trying to “kill” it, Email Is Still the Best Thing on the Internet
- Shameless Plug: Want 50+ tips, tools and systems for getting ahold of your inbox? Check out my Email Exhale: Inbox Zero Toolkit!
- Shoestring budget? Improve Your Public Relations (Without a Public Relations Firm)
- Unreal . . .This Entrepreneur Raised $2M With A Five-Slide Presentation—About Nothing
- No surprise here! Harvard Business Review reveals What People Are Really Doing When They’re on a Conference Call
- Cool idea featured on Brazen Careerist: How One Company is Using Its Employee Handbook as a Recruiting Tool
- I learned some great tips from Business Insider’s If You’re Still Not Using Siri, You’re Missing Out
- Harvard Business Review says The Most Productive People Know Who to Ignore and Learning to Say “No” Is Part of Success
- I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this 15-minute video, Humans Need Not Apply:
- James Clear shares 7 Improvements I Have Made to My Writing and Work
- How cool is this?! Check out Tom Hanks’ Typewriter App for iPad
Just for Fun
- Tim Ferriss on How to Never Check Luggage Again
- Would you be an appealing juror? Take the interactive quiz from the New York Times: TV Habits? Medical History? Tests for Jury Duty Get Personal
- Slate asks What Makes People Look Like Their Pets?
- Two videos I stumbled upon last month that brought me immense joy: Man dancing on treadmill and a 3-minute video that shows Steve Harvey being completely surprised by a caller on his show—the Couple That Took Him In BEFORE He was Famous: