More Things I’ve Learned from Podcasts

podcast_smThis is the third post in an ongoing series to offer insights I’ve gained from podcasts I’ve listened to recently. I listen to podcasts when exercising, eating lunch, or making dinner, also when traveling on long bus trips or flights.

Here are three episodes I listened to recently, along with “my takeaways” from each.

1. Happier with Gretchen Rubin – Episode 33: Try a Boot Camp – and Have You Ever Experienced a “Lightning Bolt” Change in Habits?

My takeaways on the Boot Camp topic:

A Boot Camp is not something that’s sustainable, but is good if you just want to throw all of your energy into something for a very short amount of time, and it can lead to a breakthrough. It isn’t necessarily a good way to change your habits. “A habit is something we have to do forever. A Boot Camp – a period of intense focus – can help you get into something and then, once you’re into it, then you can start working on developing the habits that can be sustainable for the long term.”

Sometimes, when you’re creatively stuck, you use a boot camp to help you just bang it out, and that gets you unstuck. Even two days – if they’re intensive – can be a boot camp.

Boot camps can be for anything – a romance boot camp, a fun boot camp, a housecleaning boot camp.

My takeaways on the Lightning Bolt Habit Change Strategy topic:

In her book, Better Than Before, Rubin talks about 21 strategies to change your habits. The Lightning Bolt Strategy is unusual and stands out among the rest. “It’s not something we can invoke, or control. It happens when, somehow, our ideas change. We have an experience. We learn information. We read something or have a conversation. And as a result of that, we’re hit by a lightning bolt, our ideas change, and our habits change, dramatically, overnight, effortlessly.” The strategy of the lightning bolt has its power from knowledge, beliefs, ideas.

“The thing that’s great about the lightning bolt, is that it tends to make change seemingly effortless. The thing that’s frustrating about the lightning bolt, is that you can’t make it happen to you, it sort of hits you like a force of nature.”

Organizational Tip – The Power Hour:  When you have lots of little things built up that are weighing over you, try having a “power hour” once a week, or once a day, where you just focus on going through a list of things that need to get done. Just one hour – you can put up with it if you know it’s just going to be for one hour. And then you can move on.

2. TED Talk with Paolo Cardini: Forget Multitasking, Try Monotasking

My Takeaway:  Focus “on just one task, or turn your digital senses totally off.” Everyone has the ability to produce his own “monoproduct.” The challenge is to “find your monotask spot within the multitasking world.”

I think this idea ties in nicely with the takeaway from the Happier podcast’s idea of a Power Hour to focus on one thing at a time. It’s hard to give a high-quality effort to something, if you’re trying to shoehorn it into the two seconds you have while you’re in the middle of doing something else.

When I see people walking down the sidewalk while scrolling on their iPhone or tapping a message on their Samsung phone, they’re usually walking erratically. They step in dog doodoo. They stop for no apparent reason just as the crosswalk light has turned green. Or, they walk across the tram tracks as the train is approaching (yep, saw that last week).

I always think to myself “Do one thing at a time and do it well.” I need to remember for myself that the same applies in my workday, and in my creative life.

3. TED Talk with David Grady: How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings

My Takeaway: Grady says we are not powerless against bad meetings. You don’t have to accept every meeting invitation that is sent to you. If you hate scheduling meetings, you should also think about why you are inviting specific people to the meeting. Do they really need to be involved? What input do you need from them?

* As an invitee … The next time you receive an invitation to a meeting and the invite doesn’t have a lot of information about what it’s for, click “tentative” or “maybe” instead of “accept.” Then, contact the person who invited you to the meeting to find out what it’s about, what they need, and how they think you can help them achieve the goal of the meeting.

* As a meeting scheduler … Provide more information when inviting people to meetings. Send an agenda with the meeting invite and stick to it. Don’t schedule a meeting to talk about a status, when a quick email will suffice.

If you want to listen to the entire interviews/talks on these podcast episodes, just click on the links I included.

Bernadette Geyer helps small businesses, entrepreneurs, and creatives expand their reach through clear, concise, and compelling copy in English, so that they can attract more customers with consistent and memorable marketing content. Her “Rule Your Digital Domain” service helps businesses make sure their website and social media profiles are working to attract more customers. You can see her full list of services here.