Below are some examples of content I’ve written for blog posts and newsletters, both corporate and personal content.
To look through them, click the tabs.
The Perfect Timing
This article was written for Future Energy Solutions
Did you know there are scientific secrets to perfect timing? I didn’t until I saw Daniel Pink’s talk about his book called—you guessed it—When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.
Here at FES, we struggle with finding the time to finish a task, have an important meeting, catch up with all our emails, and we never seem to get everything we need to do done for the day. Even when we do have the time to get back to that task we’ve been putting off for a couple of days, we find ourselves with no inspiration or motivation to do it.
Sometimes we come to work early in the morning and catch up with our emails. By the last email we read, we feel drained of inspiration and don’t really feel like going into the more important tasks.
As it turns out, a day, everyone’s day has the exact same curve: a peak, a through and a recovery. The only variable for every person is the time of the day in which these occur.
Our abilities don’t remain the same throughout the course of a day and these fluctuations are more extreme than we realize. When I learned this, I finally understood why I felt the most productive to perform a task first thing in the morning, but after checking my emails, that productivity went down the drain.
The most productive time of the day can start at 9 am just as much as it can start at 10 am, but the curve always remains the same.
Let me illustrate how this curve looks:
Once I understood that there was no way around the curve, I realized that my daily task schedule had to change to match my own peak, trough, and recovery.
The best time of the day to perform a task depends on the nature of the task. For example, for me, as a graphic designer, the best time for me to do my creative work is during my peak. I’m (and you are) more analytic and more open to ideas, so I schedule the creation of email campaigns, custom presentations, and case studies in the morning. Meetings should be scheduled during the peak also since the best solutions are proposed in the mornings.
When my creative juices are done flowing, I’ll move into tasks like checking and replying my emails, following up with vendors and website maintenance for example. This is called the trough, where we don’t feel as productive. It’s usually right after lunch. The overwhelming desire to take a nap is unavoidable and we don’t have that same flow we did in the morning, therefore, the trough is the best time to schedule administrative work.
And then comes the recovery. Has it ever happened that as you’re close to leaving work, you start planning what to do when you get home or even start planning your tasks for the next day?
Although not as productive as the peak, the recovery time in the curve is a time of insight and ideation. For me personally, I take the last 15 to 30 minutes of my day to organize what I’ll tackle the next day.
Following this curve and organizing my tasks around it and not against it, my productivity and time management have improved tremendously.
Tips and Resources
Here are a few tips to help you work with your peak, trough and recovery flow:
- Visually organize your tasks into three blocks: morning (peak), early afternoon (trough), and mid-afternoon (recovery). Having your tasks written out makes them a bit more tangible and achievable. You can use an FES notebook or your Outlook calendar!
- Designate time to each block and then sub-designate time for each task in that block. For example, set a timer to work on engineering a project or scheduling a contractor and don’t deviate from that one task until your timer goes off. For that period of time, turn off notifications if necessary. Sometimes this can become unrealistic given the nature of FES, but try when you can.
- Schedule important meetings early in the morning. Having a meeting and most importantly, having a decision-seeking meeting during your trough or even your recovery can literally lead to bad decisions.
- Include breaks throughout your day. As productive as you might be feel day long, without breaks to help you unwind between tasks, your trough can last the rest of the day.
- Endings help us elevate and energize. Ending a meeting, a conversation or a task on an encouraging note helps us end our day with a feeling of fulfillment. Even if a meeting is to discuss a mistake or a task is to fix a problem, remember to highlight the positive.
Introverts vs. Extroverts
This article was written for Future Energy Solutions
One of the central challenges of any business is to bring out the best in its employees. Yet when it comes to introverts—who, on average, make up a third to a half of the workforce—our leadership strategy mainly consists of asking them to act like extroverts. This is a serious waste of talent and energy.
There Is No Such Thing As A One-Size-Fits-All Set Up In An Office Space
In order to bring out the full potential of each and every employee, we have to RETHINK PERSONALITY, RETHINK CREATIVITY and RETHINK LEADERSHIP. An office space should work like Ying & Yang: introverts and extroverts. For introverts, original thoughts occur in solitude. Extroverts recharge from groups.
How Can We Let The Best Ideas Rather Than Those Of The Most Vocal And Assertive People Dominate?
In a meeting, approximately only 3 people do 70% of the talking. By nature, we are compliant than we think we are, and we tend to conform to the group. This leaves original ideas behind for the fear of being wrong.
Introverts are more likely to have the solution to a problem, a new efficient method in mind, the next big idea, but because of that fear or the compliance to think like everyone else in the room, those ideas and thoughts go to waste. Introverts tend to focus on a subject of interest in detail, studying it and researching until they become the experts. Introverts can be leaders.
Prepare in advance and speak up early in meetings; people direct their energy to the people who speak first. Don’t curb your enthusiasm.
Curb your enthusiasm a bit more. Engage with introverts one-on-one and give them time in advance to prepare.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Take a free personality test! https://www.16personalities.com/freepersonality-test or https://www.quietrev.com/the-introvert-test/
HOW Design Live Conference 2018
Is Self-Care Selfish?
This article was written for Self-ish Care
One of the biggest misconceptions I had was that taking time to do something I wanted just because it made me happy was selfish, therefore, self-care was… selfish.
The easiest way I can explain it with an example is this: I was afraid to take a day off at work to relax at home, catch up on a book, go to a park or write, because I thought I would fall behind on my work, my coworkers would have to handle my load for a day, and most importantly, I thought my bosses would think I was slacking. Not to mention, just the thought alone would bring me an incredible amount of anxiety.
I named this blog Self-Ish Care because self-care is NOT selfish. Get it? No?
I am writing this blog in hopes of helping someone, even if it’s just one person who can’t take 5 minutes for him or herself every day, someone who thinks self-care is expensive and the only way is to spend hundreds of dollars at the most expensive spa in town, someone who has every relaxation app on his or her phone in the hopes of organizing their life and getting their shit together, someone who panics at the thought of relaxing for a few minutes because “we should be busy all the time”. The list can go on and on and on.
That someone is me. I literally just described myself. Self-Ish Care is for myself, and for you. Therefore it’s self-ish, but not selfish.
Self-care is as simple as drinking your morning coffee outside without your phone in your hand, breathing deeply for a minute, putting on a mask while you reply to your emails, washing your face every night, waking up early, waking up late.
There is no right or wrong way of taking care of ourselves. There is only self-care.