Filter your feed

If you are overwhelmed by the Twitter outrage machine or the Facebook Feed, then I have a few tips.

Filter your feed. An unfiltered feed is overwhelming and will dunk and drown you with noise and information. Building a personalized and positive flow of information on Twitter is a little bit of scratch and peck – it can take years to curate the people you follow. Be patient. Explore new users. If there’s someone you admire, do some digging to see if she has a Twitter feed.

Don’t use the number of followers person has as a sign of quality. Popularity doesn’t equate to quality.

I’ve found that some people don’t tweet a lot, but they are prolific retweeters of fantastic content. Following quality content creators and quality content retweeters. They sometimes aren’t the same people.

Unfollow negative people. If reading someone’s tweets consistently makes you feel shitty then drop them.

Learn how to mute keywords from the feed. You won’t miss out on breaking news. The important news will always find you whether via word of mouth or a quick phone call.

Remove the Twitter app from your home screen. Out of sight and out of mind. You’ll check the feed less, and when you do check in, you’ll appreciate the moment.

Follow positive people and people you can learn from. Good community members on Twitter favorite and retweet other people. They contribute to the community and have constructive conversations. One way traffic and zero interactions with no favorites, retweets and replies is a red flag.

Report the trolls. If everyone does their bit, then Twitter gets better overall. Be a good Twitter citizen.

Don’t engage with trolls or bullies. Learn to mute and block.

Goodbye negativity, hello uplifting news feed.

Manage the downside

Seasoned risk takers manage the downside. When they fail, it’s never a knock out blow.

It’s like landing a plane on fumes, even if the final path to landing is a slow glide down to a makeshift runway. They pick the bailout area along the way, and if things don’t go to plan then they divert, land, refuel and regroup.

Increase your risk profile, but also increase the hedge against absolute failure. What’s your contingency plan, how do you mitigate loses? Don’t close your eyes, hit, and hope. That kind move only works in the movies.

Success is about persistence and repetition, but you can’t compete if you’ve crashed and burned along the way.

When the going gets tough

Take one day at a time. The sun always comes up the next day.

You can only connect the dots looking backward. There will be time for retrospectives later. Now is the time for action.

Over-communicate, don’t bottle it up. Sometimes verbalizing a fear is like slaying the imaginary dragon. Other people will also give you perspective and shared experiences.

Ask yourself how you will feel about this two years from now. It’ll put things in perspective.

Separate what’s out of your control but don’t ignore it.

Worry and stress about things that are certain. Don’t spend energy on worrying.

Ask for help and share the load. Family, friends, co-workers will surprise you.

Stick to your principles and maintain integrity. People will know, and more importantly, you’ll know that when the pressure was on, you dared to be true to yourself.

Take a few deep breaths and check out for a bit. Try to get some sleep and exercise. Sleep and exercise compounds and is a magic stress reliever.

Stay off the coffee and booze.

Keep moving forward and don’t put your head in the sand.

It could be worse.

Keep tinkering

Persistence is a talent. I was at a talk the other day where a middle school teacher explained that her most successful students at the school were not the academically brightest, but the most curious and persistent. When I look back at my childhood and fast forward to where I am now, most of my school peers who’ve done beautiful things in life were the kids in the back of the class who were quietly tinkering on projects or were going deep on hobbies, sports, and extracurricular activities. They were working on things that didn’t offer up easy wins but were rewarding over time. They have taken that same skill in life and applied to business or academia. Persistence is the common theme.

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 6.47.37 PM

Seven habits of highly productive giving

Here’s a useful HBR piece co-authored by Adam Grant and Reb Rebele on how to beat generosity burnout. The theme throughout the article is that you need to be a warrior advocate for yourself if you are going to sustainably share your time, energy and experience.

I grabbed these 7 points from the article on how to be a productive giver.

7 Habits of Highly Productive Giving
  1. Prioritize the help requests that come your way — say yes when it matters most and no when you need to.
  2. Give in ways that play to your interests and strengths to preserve your energy and provide greater value.
  3. Distribute the giving load more evenly — refer requests to others when you don’t have the time or skills, and be careful not to reinforce gender biases about who helps and how.
  4. Secure your oxygen mask first — you’ll help others more effectively if you don’t neglect your own needs.
  5. Amplify your impact by looking for ways to help multiple people with a single act of generosity.
  6. Chunk your giving into dedicated days or blocks of time rather than sprinkling it throughout the week. You’ll be more effective — and more focused.
  7. Learn to spot takers, and steer clear of them. They’re a drain on your energy, not to mention a performance hazard.

Enjoy the article.

Scratch the itch

Sometimes in life, you’ve got to scratch that itch. Maybe it’s buying an old camper van you’ve always wanted. Perhaps it’s trying a new career, starting a company, living in New York City, making a road trip across the country, writing a book. Scratching that itch may lead to a significant life change, but it’s also may help you lay the ghost and satisfy you. You might love the old camper van, or you might find it’s a real schlepp to maintain, or that a flat battery on a rainy Tuesday morning really sucks. You might see that there are some really long dull spots in a cross-country trip and next time you’d be better off fliying.

Scratch the itch, it’ll satisfy you no matter what the outcome.

Catching creativity

Creativity sometimes comes in bursts. If I hit a blocker, and there’s nothing – the key is not to get frustrated and contrive creativity. Don’t manufacture something that’s not ready to come out.

Changing my routine, shaking up rituals or meeting with friends is a great way to unblock the flow. When it finally comes, I make the time to capture the creative flow. It’s like building a dam for the melting snowpack. Don’t let the precious water go to waste.