Alone time behind the wheel

What do you do, when you need maybe an hour or two at peace, only you and your thoughts? How do you get the undisturbed time, when no one from outside, but not even you, disturbs you by reaching for the smartphone?

Just some days ago I saw the Facebook post of one of my contacts praising for the self-driving cars and how he looks towards it. Although I do fancy the progress, I’m a bit afraid of it, for it will cost me one of my alone-time options.

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Chew More, Eat Less. Simple Guide to Minimalism and Better Life.

Life is simple. You make it complicated. Life can be enjoyed. You send the joy out of it. Let me help you improve it with a simple book I read. I believe it will inspire you chew more and also to other actions.

I’ve followed Leo Babauta’s zenhabits and mnmlst for some time. But I stumbled upon The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life when browsing the audible web.

Continue reading Chew More, Eat Less. Simple Guide to Minimalism and Better Life.

Ten Days of Mad, Sad and Glad Time? This Is What It Brings!

Have you ever had a day, when your moods went up-and-down like a rollercoaster? Some days that start with absolute join and positive attitude and by the time you get to work you’re pissed already. Although I learnt to live with it, I still don’t get this part of myself. Wouldn’t it be great to understand your own moods a bit better?

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Rekindle Your Reading In Just 31 Days

When I was a little child, I took weekly trips into the land of unknown, hidden in the local library. Every Saturday, my back was bending carrying the two bags of books back home. But my mind was about to go and fly from the excitement. Then I lost it. But now my book relations is rekindled anew! How?

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I’ll Be Mad, Sad and Glad! Starting today!

June first, time to start something new. I’ve been working on a monthlong habit idea for over 4 years and one thing I’m always excited about is personally starting the new habit challenge for a month. This month, I’ll be going for the “Mad, Sad, Glad Timehabit. I’ll be recording daily the list of things which made me sad, mad and glad during the day.

Why do I do this

The simplest answer is, that I like experimenting with new habits. And I like to do it on challenge basis. I chose this habit because it’s related to the emotional part, to the “heart dimension” of the monthlong idea. I hope that this will help me become more aware of my emotional state over the day and, that it will give me chance to gain more control over it. And I’m curious, what parts of my life create what feeling.

My Mad-Sad-Glad Papers
My Mad-Sad-Glad Papers

How will the “mad-sad-glad time” look like:

  1. I’ll use a set of small papers, as I want to do it paper-and-pen style
  2. I’ll have a printed A4 tracker on the fridge to remind me
  3. I’ll of course use Momentum for tracking as well
  4. I’ll come home from work and as the thing before dinner, I’ll take 10 minutes out to write this down
  5. The major questions will be:
    1. What made me mad this day?
    2. What made me sad?
    3. When was I glad during the day?
  6. The follow-up question will be “What do you learn from it? What will you change based on it.”
  7. I will share something from my learning via facebook/twitter, or maybe will even post the photo of the record pager.

That’s it. Or maybe, some other steps will come in. It’s a new thing, so I’ll see how it goes and what to add on it.

I’m curious, what this will bring into my life.

Join as well!

If you want to try what will this habit bring to your life, try it for 30 days with me. Nothing is needed, just start. The only thing as must-do is to sit down and write it for yourself. You’ll find the resource center around this topic here and you can also follow the whole monthlong topic on the dedicated facebook page here.

The first step for you: start with mad-sad-glad time today!

Build Your Momentum! Another Crazy Simple App for Habit Tracking.

Recently I wrote an article about an app to track your habits – The Way of Life. The problem with the trackers and myself is, that after a while, a pretty short while, I get a bit bored with them. Especially, when I succeed and the tracker is filled with “green numbers.” Plus I’m curious about cool apps.

That’s exactly why I was pretty excited, when couple of days right after after I had published the article, I was approached by Eddy who introduced me to another app with similar purpose – Momentum app. Let’s look at it.

Continue reading Build Your Momentum! Another Crazy Simple App for Habit Tracking.

What Is So Interesting About Another Monday?

I think there isn’t a person, who hasn’t sung the Manic Monday by Bangles. Yesterday it was Monday, May 11th. A normal day. Though was it really a normal day? What’s so special about normal days? Let me tell you what I think and at the end, I have a short task for you as well. So dig in, just after you finish listening…

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One Big Fat Experiment That We All Have To Run

I’ve used to look for the right way. As if there was one to live ones life.

I’m reading The Lean Startup book and the most coolest thing I get from it until now is the concept of experimentation and learning. According to the author the most crucial thing that the startup has to do is to experiment in order to prove or disprove the customer / problem / solution hypothesis. Basically, they have to experiment to find out, whether what they think, is actually true.

We are all living one big fat scientific problem during our own lives. We have enormous options and we assume some might be good and some wrong. We have hypotheses about what will happen. But without testing them, without experimenting, we have just an assumption. Of course, in some periods we experiment more, in other less. Sometimes we take big leaps of faith, other times we just don’t. And we find out what works and what doesn’t.

I’m right now in the period of life, when I want to experiment on things. To see what it brings, how it works with me. Both in professional and personal life. One of these experiments is transforming itself into monthlong.club thing. It’s an idea connected with starting a new for me interesting habit every month. I don’t know where it will lead me, or what the monthlong thing will become, but I’m enjoying the experiment.

I’m excited of what will come.

What about you? What are you experimenting on right now?

 

What’s Hidden Behind My Business Card…

On May 1st  I started the fourth year of work with DEVELOR. I can hardly believe this sentence. I’ve never imagined to stay somewhere for more than 12 months without moving to another job. And I’ve never imagined to be a “sales-person”. Though working in sales in DEVELOR is not what people usually imagine under selling.

To characterise these 36 months I’d use “INTENSE LEARNING AND PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE”. We found a mutual work style, that benefits both sides.

This has been the best business school for me. I’ve learnt about the learning & development business. I’ve met with over 200 learning and development managers, coordinators, administrators, HR managers. I’ve attended over 300 business meetings and presentations. I’ve visited, consulted and supported services for companies of 30 – 3000 employees. This is awesome!

The key learning is what I’ve recently wrote about on our company blog – the knowing-doing gap and the way to overcome it. It’s a struggle of everyone looking to improve – all people go for learning, but not everyone does, what he/she is taught. Getting from KNOWING what, how and why to do, to DOING it, that’s the real development.

What I value the most on working with DEVELOR?

I have freedom. I had to earn it with my performance, but right now I rarely have to report to anyone. The results are all we need. There’s no micro-managing boss behind my back giving “GO” or “NO-GO” on every small step. I rule over my time, my priorities, my effectiveness and my results.

I can rely on the others. I don’t know how we do it, but we get people that are loyal and have high quality standard. So when I promise something, I can really be sure people will do maximum to deliver it. I can rely on the colleagues to do their best. What more you need?

I have endless resources available. Twenty years of existence, 200 people in the network, countless training and consulting done. There’s hardly something we have not been part of and thus I’m given a lot of opportunity to learn. Through our internal conferences (4x a year) I have space to re-charge, learn and get back to the work.

We are currently looking for new people to join our team. This post is not aimed to give you an over-optimistic view of how awesome working with us could be. Though until now it could look like it.

Let me tell you the other side of the story – what’s tough?

We rarely do ready-made solutions. That means almost everything we do is tailored and someone needs to tailor it. Almost everything needs to be customised, which means special materials, special approach, search and adapt. A lot of work to satisfy the client.

We are very organic. There’s system in our work, but there’s a lot of uncertainty and flexibility. Every day brings change. You need to negotiate with your clients but also with your colleagues. You need to influence, motivate and oversee. Nothing is finished, until it’s finished.

We don’t do baby-sitting. That took me a while to figure out and adapt to. DEVELOR is built around one simple pre-condition – your own independence. You need something? Get it yourself. Need resources? Ask, search, find. Nothing comes on a silver platter. You have to fight for the attention, because most of the attention goes to the client. That’s reality. Deal with it

I could go on with both sides of the story. I think I covered the top for me. To conclude, I’m glad to work with DEVELOR. I deliver solid performance for DEVELOR. And we deliver quality service for clients. Last three years were a great journey, a great mixture of value and tough work. I’m looking forward where it will go further…

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What about you? Does that, what you do, give you that right mixture to be satisfied with?

60 Minutes That Will Help You Achieve More

First three months of the year are gone. It’s just like that and we have already reached 1/4 of the 2015. How are you doing with your plans for this year?

Goal-setting at the beginning of the year is so common. Every time when I open my laptop around that time of the year and go online, my LinkedIn, Facebook and RSS inbox are buzzing with the articles about how to set the goals for this year right.

But what happens then? Why isn’t there a monthly buzz or quarterly buzz to talk about reviewing the progress and correcting the course? I won’t search for a correct answer, I’ll just go with my assumption – it’s easy to write about goals, because everyone has set some in some point of life. It’s not that easy however to write about reviewing them, because so little people do that systematically.

Funny as it is, for me it’s pretty hard to keep going, if I don’t do my reviews. I guess most of the teams and companies in business have that routine of monthly or (hopefully not) weekly check-points. If the meeting is set and done properly, it’s very useful.

Let me tell you about my Q1 review for 2015:

Quarterly Review Q1 2015 - Present and Past

Before you start: how to do it?

The simplest and easiest way is to take an hour off. I’m currently at my parents place outside Bratislava, thus I took an hour out, went for the nearest restaurant that was open and sat down with a tea and coffee. The only thing I needed for this time was pen, paper and my organiser. If you’re more of an technology-organising person, you might need your laptop, but even then I don’t think it’s necessary.

First: what to review?

I listed following things:

  • goals vs reality
  • projects status
  • things and events that I’m sad, glad and mad about in past months
  • new learnings that I got
  • new opportunities that I have right now
  • people

There’s other options, however this worked fine with me. It gave me overview of all important elements of current life-style.

Second: what is the process?

Simple, as suggested in part one – take your stuff, have a meeting with yourself. Keep it short and focused. Don’t squander around dreaming. This is a operational meeting, not a vision-building meeting. Finish within one hour with your 3 outcomes. Go back to normal.

 

Third: what is the expected outcome?

You need to KNOW HOW THINGS ARE and KNOW WHAT TO DO DIFFERENT. For that, I have three outcomes to get from the review:

  1. status report – how much of the goals have you completed?
  2. goal adjustment – if necessary, are there any goals that need to be increased, decrease, removed based on new findings?
  3. next-action list – if you are not keeping a list of next actions to do, start one here. If you have it, list additional things to add on it.

Four: how often and how much time will it take?

This is the most beautiful thing – the more regularly you do it, the less time it takes and more value it brings. For me this quarterly review took less then 60 minutes (actually it took 2 pomodoros). The monthly could take maximum 1 pomodoro and the weekly ones, probably something around 1/2 pomodoro.

I recommend to you to go and do your weekly, monthly and quarterly reviews regularly (and not me, then listen to any published author on time-management and effectiveness). It is one of the most effective ways to boost your performance.