Early in my career an experienced Project Manager gave me advice that I still use: when estimating, come up with how long it’ll take then double it – that’s the number you give others. It’s surprising how often it works and how a simple equation reduces stress.
Here’s an example: you’re asked to finalise a presentation. In your mind you quickly work out that it should take you about a day. Say it’ll take 2 days.
Part of the reason it works is that it’s simple.
It recognises that the future can’t always be predicted in the moment: you may want to do something else that comes up, people may need longer to review, or a multitude of other things. It provides an opportunity to deliver early and remove unnecessary stress on those around you.
Delivering early is fun.
OK, I know. It was only two emails ago that I declared my favourite book of the past ten years. It’s still true. This one, A Curious Mind, by Brian Grazer is nipping its heels!
Brian Grazer is an ultra-successful Hollywood Producer who promotes the role of curiosity in enjoyable and successful lives. In his twenties he deliberately met a new person each day and he explains how his 35 years of ‘curiosity conversations’ have informed so much of his work. He surprised me by talking of how he manages through curiosity: that through honestly asking questions people are empowered.
I particularly enjoyed his honesty and application of curious questions when working with actors who’s job it is to manipulate you in to believing them…
He also suggests we don’t recognise curiosity highly enough. I agree.
Let me know what you think if you read it. I’m …curious.
Thanks Caleb for the recommendation!
The next of these emails will signify my having done so for 2 years. Let me know what you’d like to read in celebration. Toot toot!
Search “Burniske” (the author of CryptoAssets) on your podcasts app and many will come up. They’re probably all good. This one is a great extension to the book and also a summary of crypto assets book. [1 hour listen]
For the creatives ~ [thanks Nick] “the best way to thrive in your creative life is to pretend like you’re in Groundhog Day…”
For you / your CEO
If you’re wanting to quickly get up to speed on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Robert Scoble & Shel Israel’s The Fourth Transformation is a good overview. If you’ve already watched a few videos or followed VR & AR commentary, I suggest not much will be new to you. I liked learning about headsets picking up autism in children (and the potential for saving a lot of confusion).
I received many thankyou emails this time last year from people who…
1. entered their (Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, Outlook.com, Hotmail, MSN, Windows Live, or iCloud) email into unroll.me *
2. quickly scanned the list of their emailed newsletters and hit ‘unsubscribe’ next to those they no longer needed
unroll.me is a fast, easy service and January is purge time, especially the newsletters you plan to read though never get to. It’s time to unsubscribe.
Be ruthless and keep in mind that if you miss any newsletters in the future you’ll be motivated to re-subscribe and read they arrive.
* Note added in 2018 – please look into the use of your data by unroll. Make sure you’re comfortable with their described use of your data.
Since Rdio closed a couple of years ago I’ve tried free and premium music services (including Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and others) and found them time consuming – the design and functionality didn’t come easily to me and I spent too much time pressing thumbs up or down, skipping tracks or searching for music I’d liked in the past so I could start a radio station around it.
What I appreciated about Rdio and now Soundcloud is that if I listen to a style of music or start a radio from a track I like, Soundcloud keeps playing great music. Rarely I skip a track and when I do the quality increases. Plus, to try out new styles and tracks, there’s “More of what you like”, “Artists you should know” and “The Upload – Newly posted tracks. Just for you”.
Thanks to Fred Wilson’s post for the inspiration to try Soundcloud again after 6 years.
Favourite reads & listens
This one‘s a ripper: three stories that dominated the macro tech environment in 2017 from the Carlota Perez technology surge cycle chart to “The Beginning Of The End Of White Male Dominance” followed by Fred’s 2018 predictions. What are you predicting for 2018?
Fascinating: Jack Jones teaches about installing sanitation systems in a refugee camp in northern Kenya.
VR/AR leaders often recommend it to experience one of our possible futures: ultra-simulation (in 2045). The impressive narration by Wil Wheaton often had me chuckling, the detail in the book astounded me and of course it was fun to hear the vast number of (familiar) 1980’s references.
What senses would you extend?Neil Harbisson talks about going from full colourblindness to installing an antenna so he could hear sound. Apparently the cleaning product isle in the supermarket is like a fun nightclub! It’s an uplifting, fascinating, futuristic, 9:35min watch. Actually even the first few minutes is worth it to imagine a new dimension for you.Photo credit: Ted.com
Rolling Stone followed Elon around for months.Here are a few quotes that struck me:
The Websummit opening remarks are a great call for designers, creators, entrepreneurs and technologists to focus on building tech that is useful and fair for society. Included are: Stephen Hawking on AI, Bryan Johnson on HI, a regulator’s view of Facebook and other ultra powerful tech companies.
Thanks for the laugh David Roberts (of Innovation and Disruption at Singularity University). Here is his bio: “His fascination with technology began In fourth grade after building a hovering electric drone, to carry his younger sister to the bus stop, powered by what was formerly his mother’s vacuum cleaner, and fortunately limited by the length of an electric power cord.”Have you added humour to yours?
PS. One of the companies and experiences that have most impressed me in the last couple of years is Manly Ocean Adventures. Knowledgeable, exceptional value, and thoughtful, they’re advertising their incredible experiences (with or without whales) as great Christmas gift ideas. If you’re near Sydney or your people are… this could be for you!
PPS. in a previous email I wrote about the Apple Airpods. My update from a month of using them is that I’m still loving the earphones quick change between computer and iPhone and watch phonecall pickup. I am missing the ease of the Jaybirds hanging around my neck. The Airpods are a bit more of a cognitive load for me. They’re fiddly to remember where they are / to put in my pocket when I’m on the move and I sense I’ve a higher risk of losing them. Jaybird X2 Sport were around my neck all the time and I could use one or two earphones and never think about the battery or getting into the practice of taking out one Airpod during a long phonecall to make sure I have enough battery. The tech of the Airpods is beautiful and clever and it’s wonderful they can be used across many bluetooth devices – not just Apple’s. Airpods around the neck!?!
I’ve been sending the list below to friends and thought you’d like it too. It has my favourite interviews with top performers in sports, tech, business, mindfulness, health and more.
My HOT TIP before you listen is to purchase a set of bluetooth in-ear headphones.
I really had no idea headphones would improve life so much. The Jaybird X2 pair I bought in February have taken me from rarely listening to a podcast to 3+ a week.
I’ve learnt from top performers in the world while I’ve been at the gym, driving, doing chores, on public transport, walking to the market,… They optimise in-between times.
They also sit comfortably around my neck when I’m not using them as there is no cord to the phone.
I press play more often (even if it’s a few minutes) and it doesn’t matter if my phone is close or in another room.
I’m excited about headphones!
Knowing you’re interested in top performance, future trends, and/or new technology, I imagine you’ll highly enjoy these Tim Ferriss interviews. Tim is the author of the Four Hour Work Week book which is really useful for a productive and globally-aware mindset.
Either access these podcasts via searching for Tim Ferriss in the Podcasts app on your smartphone or head here. I download a few at a time to my phone so that I can listen whether I’m connected to the internet or not.
These are my favourite podcast interviews in suggested listening order:
Listen to at least one in the next weekand reply to this email and let me know what was useful. I’ll be fascinated.
Do share the love by forwarding this email as your friends might enjoy these podcasts too.
We’re receiving truly fascinating comments from entrants to our competition – thankyou. If you’ve not yet entered, please do here as it is closing soon and we’d love to see you look amazing online. You could win 2 coaching sessions and support in between (valued at $1,500).
P.S. The Jaybird X headphones have a known power issue – they sometimes don’t turn on with full charge. I’ve experienced this only a couple of times though not often enough to be concerned. The buds are a bit big for my ears too though they work fine with the smallest earbud covers. The battery life is fantastic! I can use them for a day – which is about 4 or more hours of on and off use. Jaybird also have the Freedom pair coming out soon. I highly recommend purchasing some sort of bluetooth in-ear headphones now – there’s learning to be had!
P.P.S. These headphones save time too. Try out handsfree calling: press and hold the bottom button on your iPhone for a moment, let go then say “Call Tess” and hey presto the phone is ringing for Tess. So easy! For reminders, press and hold the bottom button then say “remind me tomorrow at 9 to call Geoff”… and at 9am tomorrow you’ll be reminded and given the option to call too! Try it out a few times and you’ll get the hang of it. Enjoy!
These are the best podcasts and audiobooks I’ve found for top performance, emerging technology, and business trends from listening to hundreds of podcasts and a couple of years worth of audiobooks.
Best Podcasts for Top Performance
1. Anatomy of Next
One of the things I love about online content at the moment is greater access to the ‘good news stories’. The Anatomy of Next is a treat. It showcases current, upcoming and longer-term technology and the effects on humanity through storyline and interviews with world experts in genetics, tech, and beyond. What’s rad about it is that it’s dispelling many of the dystopian/destruction future storylines often in Hollywood blockbuster movies (think: Terminator). It’s useful in seeing the future brightly.
Tim Ferriss podcasts are interviews with people who are operating at best-in-the-world level. Learn from the best! Enjoy their wise and calm perspectives. Tim is the author of the ‘Four Hour’ books that are really useful for developing your mindset to identify greater productivity, performance and to be globally-aware. Access podcasts through searching for Tim Ferriss in the Podcasts app on your smartphone or head here. These are my favourite interviews with top performers across various professions in suggested listening order:
Bryan Johnson Naval Ravikant Kevin Kelly (#164) – AI, Virtual Reality and The Inevitable Joshua Waitzkin (all episodes) Tara Brach Caroline Paul Maria Popova (especially useful if you do Social Media production) Charles Poliquin Derek Sivers Wim Hof Chris Sacca Ryan Holiday James Altucher Ramit Sethi Pavel Tsatsouline Peter Diamandis Noah Kagan Seth Godin Phil Libin Joshua Skenes Tony Robbins Walter O’Brien BJ Miller Marc Andreessen (#163)
If you’re interested in productivity and gaining increased focus, Tim Ferriss also provides insight beyond his book (which is a great introduction) through these podcasts where he shares his personal experiments and what has worked:
Episode 13: “Productivity” Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me) Magic of Mindfulness: Complain Less, Appreciate More, and Live a Better Life Episode 6: 6 Formulas for More Output and Less Overwhelm Episode 9:The 9 Habits to Stop Now – the Not-To-Do List Episode 17: The Power of Negative Visualization Lazy: A Manifesto How to Earn Your Freedom How to Practice Poverty and Reduce Fear How to 10X Your Results, One Tiny Tweak at a Time How to Avoid the Busy Trap (And Other Misuses of Your Time)
“VR” stands for Virtual Reality = Next big thing. Get on it: the Voices of VR podcast 🙂
8. The Future of the Internet
This Freakonomics podcast investigates “Is the Internet Being Ruined”. Interesting analysis of the big players such as Facebook and aspects of privacy, as well as potential solutions. Well worth a listen.
9. No Such Thing as a Fish
“The QI researchers (known as ‘elves’) host a weekly podcast to half a million subscribers, where they discuss the most interesting facts they’ve unearthed that week.”
Fascinating, witty and good fun. Really diverse topics, you’re sure to learn something new. This episode (iTunes Ep 127 here) covers objects left on the moon, the earthquake-proof bed, men-only flights and comic sans font.
Amy Hoy and Alex Hillman help creatives, consultants, small business owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers grow their online presence, business and set up their online marketing systems to attract relevant leads by first finding a niche group of customers and deeply researching and analysing their needs.
Cal’s “Be So Good they Can’t Ignore You” is fabulous too. “He debunks the passion hypothesis (that you need to follow your passions to find work you love) and courage culture (that you need to be emotionally brave too) and instead highlights people who have developed their experience and skills (career capital) prior to using it for greater autonomy, income, flexibility and more.” Although the audiobook is repetitive, its concise length and clearly presented arguments make it well worth the listen.
Kevin Kelly’s “The Inevitable” – within 6 hours of listening you’ll be up to date with the 12 tech forces that are shaping our future. I found listening to this at 1.25 speed worked well and the 6 hours took me about 3 week in amongst listening to other media.
“Ready Player One” immerses you in a VR future – great for strategists and future thinkers to better imagine aspects of what could come to be. Have a bit of fun!
Love yourself like your life depends on it by Kamal Ravikant (Kamal’s brother Naval mentioned above) is soothing (well done Kamal!) and basic and strengthening. Kamal and Naval are successful entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley’s investors.
Grit by Angela Duckworth hones in on attributes and activities that can build perseverance.
Pop over here for favourite blockchain and cryptocurrency audiobooks.
I download a few at a time to my iPhone so I can listen whether or not I’m connected to the internet.
Oh! And I’m a fan of Jaybird headphones and Apple Airpods so learning can happen quickly, anywhere. Clever earphones have had me learning many more hours a week for a while now.
Have a favourite? Let us know so this list continues to be alive with useful tips.