Insights for achieving top performance [Newsletter]

This is a copy of the weekly newsletter sent out to subscribers on 26 April 2017. To get the newsletter every week click the button below…

I just got back from a very relaxing week in a small town called Bordighera on the Italian Rivera. Perfect sunshine, nice warm temperatures and fantastic food. Couldn’t have asked for a better week.

(In contrast to being back at home where it’s currently snowing!)

I’m fully recharged and on a mission to book as much freelance work as I can. If you freelance or have freelanced, I’d be really keen to hear some tips on how you went about getting projects. Just reply to this email. Thank you!

9 Great Insights For Achieving Top Performance

You may remember me talking about the Peak Work Performance Summit a couple of weeks ago. The organizer, Ron Friedman, shared a PDF of an article he had published in the Harvard Business Review which pulls 9 insights from a survey of science and productivity writers.

There’s more detail for each insight in the downloadable PDF file which you can get from this link

  1. Own your time
  2. Recognize busyness as a lack of focus
  3. Challenge the myth of the “ideal worker” (be aware of your physical limitations – you can’t work all the time)
  4. Intentionally leave important tasks incomplete (sounds counter intuitive but there’s logic to it)
  5. Make a habit of stepping back
  6. Help others strategically
  7. Have a plan for saying no (often the hardest thing to do)
  8. Make important behaviors measurable
  9. Do things today that make more time tomorrow

It’s a worthwhile read (only 5 pages so won’t take long). Get the file here >>

Taking Notes

I never used to take notes. I remember my first job interview after university and I didn’t take any notes in the meeting.

A week later I was invited back for a second interview.

The first thing the manager said was that he was surprised I hadn’t written anything down in the previous meeting.  He wondered if I could remember any of the details about the business and the role.

Back then I had a great memory so I reeled off everything almost word for word. I think he was impressed (I got the job) and I tried not to look too smug.

But, over the 20 years that have passed since then, I’ve come to realize that note taking is important. Not just because our memories tend to deteriorate as we get older.

Getting information out of our heads and onto paper or device frees up the mind for thinking about other things.

Once something is written down it becomes much easier to add new ideas, see it from a different perspective or see patterns and connect to other pieces of information.

It’s helpful to adjust how you take notes depending on the situation. This article gives some tips on the tools to use and the type of notes to take for…

  1. Team meetings
  2. One on one meetings
  3. Brainstorming sessions
  4. Interviews
  5. Educational settings

My advice for the week is “Take more notes”

The 15 Best Productivity Apps To Get You Through Your Day

It’s a strong promise!

But, this a good list of productivity apps taking you through the day, covering what to help you get started in the morning, apps for meetings, keeping focused, keeping (good) habits, logging hours and managing documents.

Then there’s a few for the end of the day on the commute and for “zenning out”.

It wouldn’t be a Workweek Zen email without a list of shiny productivity apps… Check it out here >>

Wrap Up

That’s it for this week.

If you have any freelancing tips and experiences to share, please send me an email – it would be much appreciated.

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