Oh man how good does it feel to not turn on your computer for two days? This hasn’t happened…I can’t even tell you for how long.
So my partner and I viewed this trip to Bali as a bunch of things. But probably the most important one was that we needed a reboot. He had been travelling incredibly long journeys for work. And I’ve just been juggling a bunch of work and getting plenty sick in between things (shooting things that are low to the ground tends to do that). I’m also about to start a new job when we get back. The kind of desk-related job I was trying to avoid before, but I’ve slowly come to realize its benefits. Namely, consistent air conditioning during the hot season. Sure I’ll still have a bunch of things happening, but that’s the way I like it, and I get to buy one of those really fancy grown up lenses with the earnings. Happy dance.
Thinking about this, I wanted to get my read on things about work. How people work. Productivity. Creativity. Motivation. The cool books at least. Not included in this list is In the Company of Women, which I’ve mentioned before. Instead, I wrangled up a decent size reading list that I’m supposed to be tackling through this trip. Here they are!
Because we all want to find out how and why the most productive individuals do it all. Because increasingly all of our responsibilities are layering on top of each other and threatening the height of the Burj Dubai. Also the New York Times’ Charles Duhigg writes a killer fast and engaging read. If you saw his piece on team work at Google, he goes even further and talks about Saturday Night Live too. Yes, they can be compared.
The first chapter of this book is about WH Auden. And it had me immediately. From Francis Bacon and chronologically down to the likes of Twyla Tharp, Mason Curry goes through their day from breakfast until night cap. I basically read one every morning as a morning cuppa jo one could say.
These two books should basically be required reading for everyone. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived Joyful Life is something I’ve been throwing at all my friends lately. All of them. Based on the most popular freshman course at Stanford, profs Bill Burnett and Dave Evans have basically transferred their course into a book for everyone. Then there’s Look Both Ways, which is an illustrated essays on life and design by branding maven Debbie Millman. You’ve heard her podcast, no? These two are such great resources for the well-lived life. I heart them.
These last two are about how work gets done. With Creativity, Inc, I was really excited about learning how people come up with ideas and how that works in the context of a team. At Pixar of all places. From the man behind all of that himself. The complexities and the science behind it are all so exciting to me. Oh right, and the advice too. But then what about motivation? I first found about the whole rationale behind Jay Papasan’s goal setting philosophy through Jess Lively’s epically helpful podcast. And how it could be applied to daily work. Then I was hooked. And it’s helped me to shape my work day tremendously since.