Achieving Your Life’s Work through Knowledge

Knowledge, education, learning—while seemingly related, these are not the same things.

For the first couple decades of our lives, education is our main activity. For better or worse, our days are spent traipsing off to school and back again, sitting in classrooms and heading home to complete the assigned, correlating work. Whether we learn is a completely personal choice. And what we learn is more individually selective still.

Upon graduation, it would appear that the education phase of our lives has ended and the execution phase of our lives commences until retirement. However as we discussed last week, curiosity is a trait that marks the successful and the knowledge of lifelong learning is a complement and a byproduct of that curiosity. The most important kind of learning happens far beyond the walls of a classroom and continues throughout life.

As you look to pursue your life’s work and set goals accordingly, ask, “Am I gaining the right kind of knowledge along the way?”

Knowing Yourself

Before you can embark on any kind of journey, you must know who you are and where you are beginning. Personality tests such as the Clifton StrengthsFinder (http://www.strengthsfinder.com/home.aspx) and others can be useful tools to see yourself from the outside and understand why you do what you do. Spending your energy and spinning your wheels in an attempt to bolster your weaknesses is a waste of time. Focus on improving your strengths and utilizing what you are inherently good at to achieve maximum benefit instead.

Know Your Motivation

In knowing yourself, it’s critical to unearth your motivation. Two kinds of factors drive our action, intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation hinges on reward or avoidance of punishment while intrinsic motivation stems from a desire for personal satisfaction from achievement, enjoyment, or accomplishment. Simply put, if you do something intrinsically it is because you want to. If your action is driven extrinsically, it is because you have to. The action may look the same, but the end goals are completely different.

Let’s say a man went running, sprinting really, every morning, an admirable activity, right? Let’s zoom out from that picture quickly and realize that his morning sprints result from the fact that as soon as he walks out his front door a tiger begins chasing him. His running is a matter of survival, not a thoughtful action stemming from foresight or vision. He is completely extrinsically motivated.

While the man may develop muscles, endurance, and let’s be honest, nerves of steel, his action will not lead toward a desired end. The only way for the man to shift his vigorous action from “need to” to “want to” is to kill the literal tiger and then reassess what he is doing and why.

Sure, this example is unrealistic and far-fetched, but every day we avoid setting goals and pursuing productive action because we are too distracted by the tigers nipping at our heels. While extrinsic motivation can produce results, it is intrinsic motivation that produces the kind of satisfaction necessary to achieving your life’s work.

Knowledgeable Benefits

No education or knowledge acquired is ever a waste. The more you know, the more context you have to develop relationships and form meaningful connections as well as set big goals and chart a significant life course for yourself.

Studies show that successful people are not the ones who have never failed, but the ones who rebound quickly from their failures, improvising and innovating on what did not go well the first time. Knowledge is a critical ingredient for developing alternatives and being a flexible person who can change course and address adversity.

What kind of knowledge do you need to acquire to pursue your life’s work?

Achieving Your Life’s Work with Curiosity

A wise Haitian proverb says, “Beyond mountains there are mountains” and anyone who has ever summited a towering peak can attest to this truth. Once you reach the top, you encounter a horrible and wonderful reality: this high point is merely one of many. The journey is not over and in fact, you’ve simply gained a vantage point of the many peaks you have yet to climb.

As you recover from tired muscles and oxygen deprivation you reflect on the fact that the physical climb parallels the climb in life toward your goals. Those “mountains beyond mountains” epitomize the continual challenge and adventures that await you. The question is: will you dare to keep climbing?

Achieving your life’s work is much like climbing mountains…and more mountains. It is a journey that requires planning, determination, endurance, vision, flexibility, and perhaps most importantly, curiosity. Curiosity is the catalyst that keeps you moving despite exhaustion. The need to know more, do more, and delve into the unknown is addicting, and rightly so.

Albert Einstein advised, “Never lose a holy curiosity.” And he couldn’t be more right. Perhaps your own particular brand of curiosity will not produce a new theory of relativity, but an inquiring mind yields numerous benefits in all aspects of your life.

Curiosity for your health

Let’s start with the basics. Being alive is a critical component to you achieving your life’s work. In 1996, researchers rated 1,000 older adults between the ages of 60-86 on their level of curiosity. After a five-year period, the more “curious” individuals were more likely to be alive. Curiosity can reduce the risk of, and even reverse, the effects of degenerative neurological illnesses that occur in senior citizens.

Subsequent studies have shown that curiosity also decreases the possibility of developing hypertension as well as diabetes. It’s not merely wishful thinking; curiosity is just what the doctor ordered.

Curiosity for your mind

Inquiry heightens our powers of observation and prompts us out of the mental “rut” to which we easily succumb. Novel experiences and deviation from routine allow us to sharpen our mental skills and prevent mental decline later in life.

Studies also show that curiosity positively correlates with intelligence. Curious toddlers become curious children who become curious teenagers with enhanced scholastic skills and reading abilities. As adults, they proceed to reap the benefits through superior analytic ability and problem-solving skills.

Curiosity for your relationships

When we are curious, we feel more alive and engaged. Instead of being passive spectators on the sidelines of life, we are active and participating. This vigor cannot help but translate into our relationships with others. When we are curious, we want to know people and know about people. Every individual represents an unknown world full of information and possibility.

The number one reason that couples end relationships is cited as “boredom.” Yet curious people are shown to enjoy more satisfying relationships and marriages and describe their significant others as both “interesting” and “responsive.”

Curiosity for your emotional well being

We often find that “lucky” people are simply the ones who deviate from the norm. The person who finds a priceless piece of artwork at a garage sale was the person who took a different way home from work one day that happened to route them by the sale. Upon seeing the sale, he stopped the car, got out, and started to browse. Curious people take new roads. Curious people explore unknowns.

Harvard University professor Daniel Gilbert studied the idea of happiness and the many attempts we make to achieve it. He surprisingly found that joy results as a byproduct of encountering the unexpected, not as the result of a planned pursuit.

So as you climb that mountain, remain open to the possibility of other mountains. Embrace the unknown and be willing to take the detour that may result in the true journey. Make peace with the unfamiliar, remember to play, and be a voracious seeker of knowledge and experience as you strive to achieve your life’s work.

How can you hone your curiosity today?

Achieving Your Life’s Work

At Gneo, we just returned from the annual Evernote conference in San Francisco. Dynamic and energizing, the 2-day gathering emphatically confirmed why Gneo and Evernote are such good friends and productive coworkers. Surrounded by fellow businesses, developers, individuals, and freelancers we heard keynote speakers and participated in smaller breakout sessions, collectively esteeming Evernote’s ability to hack life’s frustrating glitches.

Yet beyond the practical solutions that Evernote provides, we resonated most with the underlying purpose that drives its mission: helping people achieve their life’s work. This same battle cry drives Gneo’s work and compels us to ask the question: What does it mean to achieve your life’s work?

It Exists

Just as the first step to conquering an addiction is recognizing that you have one, achieving your life’s work begins with admitting that you have one. It’s true, calling it what it is can seem daunting. It can set you on a path toward something big and looming, something you might question your ability to reach. But this journey starts when you break down the bigness of the question with the approachability of the everyday.

Michelangelo did not look up one day, climb a ladder, paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and then head home for dinner. He worked, toiled, and struggled for four long years. He lay on his back (a not-too-comfortable position to work in at length) and committed to bringing a vision to life. He endured plaster falling on his face and plans foiled and reformed. Today we are the great beneficiaries as we look up at the soaring frescoes that stand as a testament to that commitment.

Humble Beginnings

At age 84, Warren Buffet is one of the most successful and notorious business magnates, investors, and philanthropists of the 20th century. But like Michelangelo, his success did not spontaneously happen overnight. His success began some 75 years ago when as a child he recognized an interest in business and began honing his skills selling chewing gum and magazines door to door. It continued as a high schooler when he bought a used pinball machine and placed it in a barbershop. Now, as the head of the highly successful Berkshire Hathaway holding company, he is a billionaire… a billionaire that started with bubble gum.

Have you met those people who have big plans and lofty visions of themselves? They are the non-starters who can tell tales of their future greatness but never take the first step because it does not carry the title “CEO.” Great people begin in humble places. They work hard and maintain a vision of where they are going, not allowing current and temporary positions to define them.

The Un-glamorous Process

Writer Wendell Berry gave up big city life in New York to return to his Kentucky farm home. There, on the rickety keys of an old typewriter, with the help of his faithful wife, he writes as one of today’s most prolific authors, poets, and cultural critics. His writings, seemingly about agriculture, are actually a microcosm for life and living.

As we consider what it means to pursue the “brick by brick” work of achieving your life’s work, consider Berry’s words about saving the world and what it really means to pursue something you love, “The real work of planet-saving will be small, humble, and humbling, and (insofar as it involves love) pleasing and rewarding. Its jobs will be too many to count, too many to report, too many to be publicly noticed or rewarded, too small to make anyone rich or famous. The great obstacle may be not greed but the modern hankering after glamour.”

Your life work may indeed result in fame, fortune, and renown, but it will certainly entail plenty of figurative brick laying and bubble gum sales along the way. The glorious successes will absolutely be coupled with the instructive failures, and Gneo understands. We know that it’s not the to-do lists that are sexy and admirable, but the byproduct and commitment to these tools that make dreams come true and life’s work achievable.

What does it mean for you to take the first step toward achieving your life’s work today?

Gneo Gnatives

The individuals who use Gneo are as unique as the ways they use it. We call this tribe of fascinating people our Gneo Gnatives and it’s time we all get acquainted.

We will introduce you to Gneo Gnatives in a quirky job interview meets pub conversation kind of way. Our ultimate goal is to highlight and share the creativity with which these Gnatives live life and use Gneo. Discover a new aspect of the app or an alternative way to utilize it and find a new friend along the way.

Today’s profile is not only a Gnative, but the chief of the tribe, Gneo founder Anthony Keane.

Gneo Gnative, nice to meet you!
 
Name: Anthony Keane
 
Location: San Francisco 
 
Childhood Dream Occupation: Have you ever seen the scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where the Dad was looking out the office window on to New York? Whatever it was that he did, that’s what I wanted to do.
 
Current Occupation: Founder of Gneo
 
People think I’m… good at fixing techy problems ..but I’m actually.. just good on Google (almost as good as Gary Quigley!)
 
Current goals: To take Gneo to the next level and bring Gneo to more platforms.
 
Favorite food: The traditional Irish Cabbage and Bacon. Yum.
 
The worst haircut you ever received: My first experimental San Francisco barber shop - never to be repeated. Don’t believe the hype.
 
Current playlist: I listen to Sound Cloud, my current favourite is Mario Baptiste
 

image


How long have you used Gneo? Since it was a twinkle in my eye

    Favorite feature? Follow up - I love being able to take things off today’s list until I need to check in on them in a few day’s time
 
    Gneo saved the day when… Gneo saves my day every day. When there are so many demands on my time and only so many hours in the day. 
        
    If Gneo was a color it would be Teal (of course)
 
    If Gneo was an animal it would be a Connemara pony, graceful and majestic.
 
    If Gneo had a theme song it would be Little Dragon’s Looking Glass - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHv_Cr7zdxw - energetic and unique, just like Gneo.
 
    How can we make Gneo even better? We’re excited to be launching a brand new Cloud Gneo shortly and we can’t wait to get Gneo on Mac.

Richard Branson: Month of Influence

Richard Branson’s resume is both extensive and distinguished. While we here at Gneo certainly admire his many accomplishments, what makes him this week’s Gneo inspiration is his sheer grit, determination, and motivation that drives what he does.

Big Vision

Before Branson’s Virgin empire was quite as empiric as it is today, he dreamed of owning an island. While vacationing in the British Virgin Islands Branson stumbled upon the idyllic Necker Island and his bank account stumbled, and stuttered, and stopped at the £3,000,000 asking price. Undeterred, he offered £150,000 and was unsurprisingly refused. However, three months later he received a phone call saying that the island was his for £180,000 and although he didn’t have the money he accepted, believing that the plan would follow the vision.

He now owns the island.

The Beginning

Richard Branson trusts that determination and grit are not innate qualities that one is born with but instead traits that can be taught and developed. As a child he suffered severely from dyslexia and as a result performed poorly in school. Despite academic setbacks he realized that what he did have was an uncanny knack to connect with people. Capitalizing on that he found a different kind of notoriety and success that made one headmaster comment that Branson was the kind of guy who would either end up in prison or a millionaire.

He jumped into the business world as a teenager, raising a specific breed of parakeet and later founded his record trading business out of a church basement after being perpetually aggravated by the high prices charged by other outfits. Branson later commented “there is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of frustration”. Virgin (as it was named because of his newness to the business) eventually outgrew its basement beginnings and moved to a record shop in Oxford Street in London. In 1972, the record store was profitable enough to support the launch of the Virgin Records record label.

Beyond Records

Branson’s empire dreams were not limited to the music industry. In addition to Virgin Records (which he sold to EMI in 1992 to bolster his other businesses) and V2 Records (the reincarnation of Virgin Records after the sale), Branson also founded Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia), Virgin Health Bank, Virgin Galactic (an aspiring space tourism company), Virgin Comics, and Virgin Fuels. Richard Branson does not self-limit, reflected in his diverse and ever-growing portfolio of businesses. He attributes his sprawling empire and prodigious wealth from setting, “huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.”


In that same spirit, Richard Branson has made several attempts at world records in sailing, power boating, and hot air ballooning, just to name a few. He has crossed the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and an expanse of other international waterways, at times by amphibious vehicle. Richard Branson, in addition to his belief in anything being possible, also lives by the tenant of doing what you love and having fun while you do it. Obviously.

Branson & Gneo

Among the many reasons that Gneo finds Richard Branson an inspiration is that he understands the importance of setting goals and pursuing them. Effort without an end in mind, no matter how admirable or noble, is futile. By understanding your motivation you can focus your efforts and be more successful. Goals enable you to differentiate between the important and the expendable.

While we don’t know if Branson is a Gneo user, we certainly know that he is one of the reasons that Gneo is what it is today.

In the spirit of Richard Branson, what self-limitations can you abandon this week as you think about pursuing your goals?

Gneo for iOS8!

According to Apple, iOS8 is “The biggest iOS release ever' and Gneo's got some great new features to show off! 

The Today View is perfect for Gneo Gnatives to check what tasks they need to get done today. You can mark them as completed directly from the Today view - super handy. 

image

Action Notifications are another super smart feature in Gneo’s iOS8 update. Simply pull down to mark as completed or go directly to the task in Gneo.

image

We’re working on bringing you more Extensions soon so you can create tasks directly from Safari, Photos and Mail. Stay tuned!!

What Extensions and iOS8 features would you like to see in Gneo? Leave a comment below! 

Jony Ive: Month of Influence

image

As Gneo grew from an idea to an app, it gained a physical appearance that required decisions about design, functionality, and form.  During those crucial times, Gneo creators looked to the influence of Apple Senior Vice President of Designer Jony Ive. Ive’s belief that “design defines so much of our experience” and that good design reflects a company’s care for the people it creates for resonated with Gneo.

As we continue our “Month of Influence” and give credit to those individuals who made Gneo what it is today, this week is dedicated to Jony Ive.

The Man

Heralded as Steve Jobs’ “spiritual partner” at Apple, Jony Ive was influential, if not integral, in the creation of the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, Mac mini, iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, Apple Watch, and iOS 7. Yet before he was crafting history and channeling the direction of design at Apple, Ive was a kid from Chingford, London who liked to make things.

Ive’s father was silversmith and lecturer at Middlesex Polytechnic and his treasured yearly Christmas present was one day of time alone with him in his college workshop. It is no doubt that Ive’s belief in the relationship between design and caring stems from these collective afternoons when he says his father would simply help him “make whatever I dreamed up.”

A persistent desire to create led Ive to study industrial design at Newcastle Polytechnic and eventually to a career in product design upon graduation in 1989. Around the same time he began flirting with Apple products, finding them a welcome relief from the clunky, non-intuitive computer models of the day.

As he moved through the design world, Ive crafted products ranging from toothbrushes to microwaves. Yet his patience expired when a client rejected his bathroom designs for a toilet, bidet, and sink trio regarding them as “too costly” and “too modern.” In that moment, Ive knew that in order to do great work he needed to care greatly and work for clients he liked who possessed the same principles.

In 1992, he made the move the Apple and began to make history.

Gneo & Ive

Despite his vast accomplishments, Jony Ive is a man of great modesty and inherent simplicity, traits synonymous with his design. Ive claims that simplicity is about more than merely an absence of clutter; it is about bringing order to chaos. “Designing different things is easy,” Ive claims, “designing better things is difficult.”

As Gneo grew an appearance, this same ethos drove the self-control and simplicity in design. Everything needed to have a purpose and provide a good and valuable service to the user. Every button and position of button was agonized over and considered repeatedly. User experience and user interface were driven by stringent standards of simplicity coupled with effectiveness.

While technology can seem like the least likely place for compassion and caring, Gneo borrows from Jony Ive’s example that by designing great products we are designing a better world.

How can you create a better world through design? 

Tim Ferriss: Month of Influence

After fully ascribing to Dr. Covey’s “7 habits,” Gneo needed to put it in a framework and Tim Ferriss’s “4-hour workweek” sounded obviously appealing. While Ferriss’ time-minimalistic mantra seemed misaligned with the sleepless nights and 24-hour schedule of a nascent app startup, his ideas on mastering new skills inspired Gneo from the beginning.

As we continue celebrating our month of influence, this week goes out to you, Tim Ferriss. Thank you for the continued inspiration!

The Man

Before he began peddling his “4-Hour” magic and finding fame as an author, entrepreneur, angel investor and public speaker, Tim Ferriss was your average kid from East Hampton, New York. He attended Princeton University, first studying neuroscience and then making the not-so-obvious switch to East Asian Studies.

Post-graduation, he jumped into a career in data storage and concurrently began developing his own Internet business, BrainQUICKEN, an online nutritional supplements company. Before selling his company in 2010, Ferriss partnered with the History Channel to produce a show called “Trial by Fire” where he dared to learn a skill in a week that typically requires years of practice and perfection. He then starred in a similar concept show for HLN called the “Tim Ferriss Experiment” in 2013.

Ferriss’s diverse resume of experiences undoubtedly led to the authoring of his wildly successful book, The 4-Hour Workweek, a battle cry against a workaholic lifestyle. Although 25 publishers initially rejected the book, Ferriss’s ideas resonated universally as shown by its 1.35 million sales and presence on the New York Times bestseller list for 4 years. Since the initial release, Ferriss has scribed an updated version of the book as well as several others including The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Chef, and his virally popular blog.

Tim Ferriss’s wide influence seeps into the business world as well as he serves as an angel investor and advisor to new businesses. His partnerships include now-well-known names such as Uber, Evernote, StumbleUpon, Shopify, and DailyBurn (to name only a few).

The Ideas

A look at Tim Ferriss’s life and accomplishments spur two questions: “How did he do that?” And then, “How can I do that?” Hailed as this generation’s “self-help guru,” Ferriss builds on the foundational ideas of Stephen Covey and other productivity and leadership experts to develop his own brand of advice for living expertise, with a characteristic twist of extremism.

Simply put, Ferriss promotes the idea of mastery being possible and personal limits being surmountable, if not illusory. He puts ideas to the test on himself, creating experiments where he is the human guinea pig. Ferriss begins each experiment with deconstruction, breaking down a complex practice or skill into its component parts, carefully avoiding “failure” points that could build bad habits. He next employs the Pareto principle that states that 80% of your value arises from 20% of your work, thus catalyzing personal productivity.

The next step is the most critical: timing. Ferriss believes that what you learn hinges greatly on the order in which you learn it. Don’t force yourself to learn to cook when you are under the gun to cater a dinner party. Hone skills in a “no stakes” environment for optimal mastery and growth. However after this initial learning, make sure that you put yourself in situations where you indeed have something to lose. Throw that daring dinner party and create the motivation to follow through with a daunting prospect.

Tim Ferriss & Gneo

Gneo loves Tim Ferriss’s boldness to create big goals and actually accomplish them, an ideal to which we hope all Gneo users aspire. Gneo employs Ferris’s advice of taking large goals and breaking them down into smaller, more chewable tasks. With notebooks, these goals can be differentiated in Gneo and progress can be measured through finished tasks.

Whether your goal is French cooking mastery, ancient Japanese horseback archery, or simply getting in shape through daily exercise, using the ideas of Tim Ferriss and the tool of Gneo can help you get there more effectively.

What goals will you dare to set today?

Month of Influence: Stephen Covey

While Anthony Keane is credited for the actual creation of Gneo, the many thinkers and productivity gurus who influenced him provide the real catalyst for the Gneo of today. In honor of those inspirational men and women, we are dubbing September as the “Month of Influence” and taking each week to profile and credit these integral individuals.

To kick off the month, we begin with the esteemed Stephen Covey. Although he passed away tragically in July 2012, his ideas and principles live on, especially in the Gneo community.

If Dr. Covey had a fan club, Gneo would run for president, that’s how crazy we are about him.

The Man

If you are a highly successful person whose triumphs can be traced back to seven habits, then you are likely a disciple of Stephen Covey. Renowned productivity and leadership guru, Dr. Covey’s best-selling book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” sold more than 25 million copies since it was first published in 1989.

Covey began his life in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a boy, Covey was highly athletic but a severe leg injure forced him to switch his focus from sports to academics. After graduating early from high school, Covey went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Utah, followed by an MBA at Harvard University, and finally a Doctor of Religious Education from Brigham Young University.

Following his education, Dr. Covey went on to pursue a variety of projects including the authorship of his many successful books, the establishment of FranklinCovey, the Stephen Covey Online Community, and involvement at Utah State University including teaching as well as the Stephen R. Covey Center for Leadership.

Beyond his professional work, Dr. Covey’s personal life included similarly prodigious accomplishments. He and his wife Sandra, were the proud parents of nine children and fifty-two grandchildren.

The Ideas

Stephen Covey pioneered the idea of character over personality in relation to success, presenting the idea of aligning personal values with universal principles. Principle-centered living and principle-centered leadership stand at the core of the Covey teaching, and resonate with a large audience as they transcend individual differences of politics, philosophy, religion, socioeconomic level, gender, lifestyle, and age.

Stephen Covey’s teachings stood on a foundation of three constants that he defined as “change, choice, and principles.” His most popular principles from “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” include being proactive and having personal vision, beginning with the end in mind, putting “first things first”, thinking in a win-win way that promotes the interests of others, pursuing empathy by seeking to understand before being understood, practicing creative cooperation, and finally “sharpening the saw” by living in a state of balanced renewal.


Stephen Covey & Gneo

Where to begin?! The teachings of Stephen Covey are like Gneology 101 but perhaps the strongest shared idea between Covey and Gneo is the idea of beginning with the end in mind. With Gneo, goals are the guiding principles by which tasks are either pursued or discarded. Through the assignment of “urgent” and “important” distinctions, individuals can see how their daily activities either contribute or detract from overall success.

Gneo also encourages people to establish goals that balance the personal, professional, and relational aspects of life. Professional success at the expense of personal health is only a partial triumph. Like Covey’s sharpened saw principle, Gneo espouses the idea that taking care of oneself allows for any effort to produce greater impact.

Are you a similar Covey fanatic? What are some favorite ideals that you have integrated into your life?

Sustainability: The Goal of Rest

The world record for the mile run is 3:43.13. The world record average mile for a marathon (26.2 miles) is 4:42 and the average mile for a champion ultra marathoner in a 100-mile race is 7:04.

If we compare life to running, then distance inherently influences pace. Consecutive 3:43 miles for 100 miles, or even 26.2, is unsustainable. And while a single miler can start and finish a race without a drop of water, any experienced distance runner knows that hydration and nutrition along the way spell the difference between finishing well and not finishing at all.

When the goals are more distant, the pace and plan must be altered and the success or failure of your goals hinges on how well you take care of yourself along the way.

Are you pursuing your goals sustainably? Or are you running sprint paced in a 100-mile desert course? Look at your critically and establish the following patterns:

  1. Find a rhythm and a pace: Nobody performs optimally in burnout mode so ensure that the speed and intensity you begin with can be sustained. As we always say at Gneo, doing more doesn’t mean you are really doing more. Do not confuse busyness with productivity. Part of this rhythm can develop from the simple task of taming your email. With the ubiquity of technology, it can often seem like our smart phones control us instead of the other way around. Founder, Anthony Keane, shared some great thoughts on using your email effectively several months ago.
  1. Balanced goals: Look at your current goals and make sure that professional goals are balanced with personal goals. Just like the spokes on a wheel must be equal in length for it to roll effectively, your life goals should balance one another so you do not become an extreme and unhappy version of yourself.
  1. Delegate and prioritize: Of course a Gneo favorite, assess the tasks on your to do list and ask yourself what can be left undone or even eliminated and what can be passed on to someone else. If it’s not worth your time, don’t do it. Outsource time-consuming and unimportant tasks in order to make smarter use of your time.
  1. Take a break: Whether a break for you looks like a nap or a game of pick-up basketball, insert some fun and relaxation into your day to ensure that the “must dos” of life are punctuated by effective rest. An easy break can be as simple as walking outside. Once free from the four confining walls that surround your workday you may gain a different perspective, a breath of fresh air, and perhaps even a mild sunburn that reminds you that you are alive and human.
  1. Have boundaries: Boundaries are essential. Whether between people or between yourself and the demands of your life, it is critical to develop the ability to say no and to limit how much time, energy, and emotion you are willing to give a task or a person. Be firm! Effective boundaries are those that are immovable.

 

Do you have any sustainability tips to help accomplish your goals? Let us know your #6 and have a great, and sustainable, week!