Weekends are not only a great time to rest, but also to recreate (as in “re-create” yourself, and to regain your focus and enthusiasm for your life and work.) By instilling a few simple checkpoints, or rituals, in your weekend, you can spark your creative juices and ensure that you’re clear-headed and focused heading into your next week.
There is no shortage of advice about how to handle the start of a project, or how to push through and finish one, but what about that grey area in-between? What about the challenges and problems we encounter in the space between? On this episode, Scott Belsky is back to share wisdom from his fantastic new book The Messy Middle that will help you navigate the most challenging pitfalls of any creative endeavor.
A study plan is the most valuable tool you have for keeping yourself inspired. But a study plan takes effort, and measured discipline to implement effectively. You need to ensure that you are spending your time wisely, and that you are thinking about application, not just absorption. Information is useless without application. On this episode, we share a few insights for how to build a healthy study habit.
I first heard the phrase "insecurity work" from Scott Belsky a number of years ago. He defines it as work that has no intended outcome, doesn't move the ball forward, and is quick enough to do without realizing. It's most common to slip into insecurity work when you feel overwhelmed or perhaps even unequal to the creative task at hand, and it gives you the illusion of progress but actually robs valuable resources necessary to produce value. On this episode, I share three sources of insecurity work and how to recognize and address them.
A creative career (and a life) have seasons, but it's often tempting to hold onto something long after it's grown stale simply because you're too comfortable to make a move. On this episode, we share insights from the book Louder Than Words about how to know when it's time to let go and move up the growth curve.
Many people begin their career as a creative pro amazed that they get to do work they love, and get paid for it. Then, at some point, it becomes more about making a living than the joy of creating. On this episode, Srini Rao discusses the importance of embracing creativity for its own sake with insights from his new book An Audience Of One.
In the uncertainty of today's marketplace, it's a challenge to show up each day with confidence and clarity about who you are and what you're trying to accomplish. On this episode, Peter Bregman helps us understand how to cultivate the emotional courage necessary to do brilliant and brave work, lead with precision, and unleash the best in everyone around us.
What’s the greatest barrier to brilliant work? Is it fear? Lack of time or resources? Confusion? All of these contribute to one degree or another. I’ve written a ton about each of them, (including a full chapter in The Accidental Creative.) However, there’s one word that I think better stands as the bastion of mediocrity in many workplaces: adequacy. On this episode we discuss a few causes of the normalization of adequacy in the workplace and how to counter them.
Effective creative leaders maintain both a scoreboard and a dashboard for their work. These tools help them track important aspects of their team’s progress, health, and culture. On this episode, we share how to establish both a scoreboard and a dashboard to help you guide yourself and your team toward brilliant work.
David Allen’s book Getting Things Done is one of the most successful productivity books in history. On this episode, I share three principles from Getting Things Done that have transformed my productivity over the past 16 years.
If you solve problems for a living (which most of us do), then ideas are critical to your effectiveness. But how do you increase the odds that you'll have the right idea just when you need it? On this episode, Allen Gannet will help us better understand the dynamics of creating under pressure with insights from his new book The Creative Curve.
Every so often, a word becomes so common in the marketplace that it begins to lose its meaning. I believe that empathy is one of those words. On this episode, SubRosa CEO Michael Ventura shares insights into how to leverage empathy to thrill and delight your clients and customers and creative change in the world. Michael's new book is called Applied Empathy.
How much time do you spend worrying every day? For many of us, the answer is "too much". When you worry, you disengage parts of your mind and perspective that are necessary for creative brilliance. On this episode, Amber Rae shares how to identify those voices of worry in your head, and how to instead choose to focus on possibility. Her new book is called Choose Wonder Over Worry.
There are several myths that exist about highly creative people, and they can seriously affect how teams are led, how client interactions happen, and how we collaborate with one another. If you believe any of these five myths, it can create chronic issues on your team. And, if you are perpetuating any of them, it can seriously curb your effectiveness as a creative pro.
You're probably really skilled at what you do. However, this can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you can take shortcuts that help you create more value faster for your clients or organization. On the other, the more skilled you are the easier it can be to slip into ruts and "safe thinking." On today's episode, Jonah Sachs, author of Unsafe Thinking, will help shake us out of our creative ruts and help us think more boldly.
There are two walls that creatives hit when engaged in making something meaningful. The first wall, and the most obvious one, occurs before or very early in the process. It’s what causes us to shrink back from engagement and to instead seek something – ANYTHING – that will immediately relieve our need to feel productive. It’s much easier to check e-mail, make a call or re-shuffle the papers on our desk than it is to bare our soul to the blank page, the blinking cursor, or the empty art board. However, the second wall can be the one that really keeps you from producing your best work. On this episode, we share some strategies for surmounting it and pushing through to your best work.
It’s not enough to make daily, measured progress on your work if it’s not deliberate progress. If you’re not moving in a meaningful direction, then failure is a likely outcome. While most professionals know this, it often doesn’t affect how we approach our work. Instead of defining our work effectively, we are instead carried along by the flow of it from day to day. Instead of determining the problems we are trying to solve, we tackle big, conceptual challenges and thus set ourselves up for failure from the start.
Are you exactly where you'd like to be in your life and career? Chances are, you probably aren't. There are things you'd like to accomplish and places you'd like to go, but sometimes you feel stuck. On this episode, I share five (very uncommon) questions that you can ask yourself to identify areas where you might be self-limiting your progress, and to help you identify potential ways to move forward.