A few random thoughts on how to give your message staying power. Or, to quote Chip and Dan Heath, how to make your ideas ‘stick’.
1 – The Homeless CEO.
Day by day these striking photos create a vivid picture of the life of itinerant company director, Cillin Perera. You can find them all on Instagram.
Why the words lingered:
The element of surprise: ‘homeless’ and ‘CEO’ don’t usually sit together in the same sentence. It’s a new way of saying ‘globe-trotting’, ‘jet-setting’, or ‘living out of a suitcase’.
2 – Arctic Toucan.
A friend of mine is a very good amateur photographer.
I love these January photos because they home in on the detail. They make you see ‘mundane’ objects in a new way. She calls this one ‘Arctic Toucan’.
Inspect it – and its two companions – more closely:
Why the images lingered:
Again, the element of surprise. It was seeing something I take for granted – the bodywork of my neighbours’ cars – in a new way.
The same applies to writing. The delight is often in the detail; focussing on a specific image.
3 – The Zoomly approach to managing your time.
I like ‘How to be Zoomly at work’ by Dawn Sillett. It’s got the clarity that comes when you’ve clocked up 10,000 hours in your particular field and then distilled that knowledge down to a few guiding principles.
The thing that sticks in my mind is how Dawn categorises the different ways in which we use, and waste, our time. (A summary is on pages 82-84, if you’re short of the stuff.)
Deadline Time. Duration Time. Diary Time.
Deadline Time usually runs roughly to schedule. You have to hit your deadline because you don’t want to let a client down.
Duration Time, how long you take to do things, often fails to run to schedule. Again, because you don’t want to let your client down. You find yourself working late in the night to meet that deadline.
Diary Time takes you to the realm of what Dawn describes as ‘Parallel Universe Syndrome’. This is where you conveniently overlook how long you’re going to spend travelling to a meeting or mopping up a few emails.
Why the words lingered:
The Rule of Three: Deadline, duration, diary. It appears in all stories, from bedtime fairy tales onwards. Politicians exploit it in their speeches – think back to Tony Blair’s 2007 rallying cry of ‘Education, education, education’. There’ll be plenty more examples in the run up to May 2015.
The three categories also made sense. They prompted me to do Dawn’s Three Day Challenge (page 69), auditing and monitoring how long I was taking to do things across a period of 72 hours.
The results were illuminating and, if I’m honest, sobering. It’s possible that these six words could trigger a change in my time management behaviour. Change the bad habits of a life time, even.
Good work, Ms Sillett.
4 – Playing with words.
“When snow falls we rush to its aid; we help it up again with shovels and brushes. ”
You won’t regret it.