The best articles from 2017 (as shared in The Monthly Review)

2017 was a big year. Now that 2018 is well under way, here’s a recap of 2017’s best articles from around the web, as shared by The Monthly Review.
Enjoy!

Productivity

Monday. It’s the day we all love to dread. Garfield famously hates Mondays, and if you want to have some fun with Urban Dictionary definitions, Monday is either “the biggest waste of exactly one-seventh of your life” or “the reason Sundays suck.”
Mindfulness is paying attention to what’s happening in the present moment. So if you’re aware that your mind is wandering, you’re halfway to a successful mindfulness practice.
“How can we strike a balance and dedicate time, attention and energy to that one special project that needs our focus?”
“Music has a way of permeating through empty corners and filling up environments with substance. It can help you relax, make you well up in tears, or feel alive.”
“Leonardo Da Vinci is one of the most accomplished people the world has ever known. He was not just brilliant, but prolific as well. Anyone who looked at him would probably assume that he was an unusually focused and disciplined man. Except that wasn’t the case. He spent around fifteen years developing the ideas for The Last Supper while he worked on a variety of other projects. He was criticised for being a dabbler…”
“Ah, to-do lists. The bane of our existence, the source of our stress and occasionally the symbol of our triumph. OK, I’m being a little dramatic–but those of us who’ve abided by this method of task-organisation have probably felt that sinking feeling when we realise we’ve barely made a dent in our list, and it’s the end of the work day.”
“The weight many people feel from all their excess possessions is similar to the overwhelm most people feel at work, too. Without quite realising how it got this bad, our days are bursting at the seams with emails, meetings, reports, and interruptions, leaving us tired at the end of the day and wondering what we actually accomplished.”
No, this has nothing to do with tomatoes.
I’ve put together these bullet points on personal productivity to celebrate my birthday. That’s why the number is so odd.
This technique is simple, effective and I feel is one of the key reasons why I get so much done.

Leadership

If an employee at your organization walked out with a brand-new laptop every day, you’d have him arrested, or at least fired… But when an employee demoralizes the entire team by undermining a project, or when a team member checks out and doesn’t pull his weight, or when a bully causes future stars to quit the organization — too often, we shrug and point out that this person has tenure, or vocational skills or isn’t so bad.
“…empower your teams. Trust your individual leaders. But don’t think that’s all there is to management and leadership.”
“Culture is like the wind. It is invisible, yet its effect can be seen and felt. When it is blowing in your direction, it makes for smooth sailing. When it is blowing against you, everything is more difficult.”
We were like cogs in a machine and that’s all that organisations expected of us.
What’s our goal? What’s our strategy for achieving that goal? What’s our step-by-step plan?

 Management

“The reason I lead with an open door is it is imperative to my success. If I don’t hear from every employee or the one’s that have something to say, then I don’t have a pulse on the way my company works. Whether it’s positive or negative, I need to know.”
“We’ve all been in situations in which we couldn’t wait for a slow-moving or overly cautious employee to take action. But at the other extreme, some employees have such a deep need to get things resolved that they move too quickly, or too intensely, and make a mess.”
“A happy worker is 12 percent more productive than the average employee and 22 percent more productive than the unhappy ones. Additionally, disengaged employees cost U.S. businesses up to $450 billion per year in lost productivity. The leader who fails to take these figures seriously places the longevity of their business at grave risk.”

Career

If this sounds like you, it’s time to start making moves.
Rewarding professional relationships are critical to your career and need to be nurtured as authentically as ties to friends and family. If you find yourself floating around solo on your jobs journey, there’s a good chance you may be doing it wrong.
“…seven of our top productivity tips to give you a head start on your next work move.”
“There isn’t a straightforward answer, but relevancy plays a big part.”
“4 tips for building a career support system.”
“Science shows that swapping more substantive conversations for the same old vacuous small talk can help you be much happier. Which is why I’m always on the lookout for better ice breakers that the usual ‘What do you do?’ or ‘Did you catch the game on Saturday?”

 Health & Wellbeing

“Hi. My name is Tyler, and I have mental health issues.” That’s a scary statement to hear/read, and believe me, it’s even more scary to say/write. How would you react if someone you didn’t know well said it to you?
Clinicians have long known that there is a strong link between sleep, sunlight and mood. Problems sleeping are often a warning sign or a cause of impending depression, and can make people with bipolar disorder manic.
“Hi. My name is Tyler, and I have mental health issues.”
“I sometimes write about how a good start to your day often leads to having a good day in general. A social, an energetic or a productive start sets the context for your day. But on some days you may not get a good start for some reason. Maybe you slept badly. Or the maybe grey skies and cold summer rain is dragging your energy down.”
…it’s safe to say that the old adage “Pressure creates diamonds” could use some qualifications.
Less than 1% of people are living according to the principles/science described herein.

 Startup

User-friendly apps that have made our life a whole lot easier at The Happy Startup School, and will also help you find team flow.

Design

Good design principles can be learned and exercised by anyone. This guide will give you a basic knowledge of practical design tips you can apply today (and impress your design friends).

Creativity

“A five-step guide for how to build and develop a compelling narrative, that can be adapted to your preferred storytelling medium.”
“Checking social media, watching Netflix, or just zoning out doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. It means that you’re human.”
“If there’s one piece of advice that I could offer any aspiring creative, it’s this. Develop a habit of consistently doing something. It doesn’t matter what it is, how small or how big it is.”

Interesting Stuff

“If a particular book sounds interesting to you, click on the full book summary and you can browse all of my notes on it.”
“These inspiring leaders are shaping the future of business in creative ways.”
“This guide will give you a basic knowledge of practical design tips you can apply today (and impress your design friends).”
We spent almost 15 years being brainwashed on how to be students. And we’re still paying the price.
You’re just getting started as a writer. Or you’ve been doing it your whole life. But you’ve never published a book. And you want to; you need to. You’re just not quite sure how to begin. What would it actually take?
You’ve probably heard time and time again that starting a blog for your business is necessary.
How to Use this Revolutionary Psychological Tactic to Your Own Advantage.


 

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