Newsletter

Stuff #119 - it's currently light out...

It's time to improve the way you hold meetings, and talk to yourself in the future. Later, we look at the power of a nap, as well as emerging tech trends for 2023 that will impact you at work. Finally - how is your mental maths?
Matt 5 min read
Stuff #119 - it's currently light out...

Hey from Dublin,

I hope the year has started well for you, and Stuff finds you healthy and happy.

Thank you for the lovely responses to #118, where I laid out my intentions for the year.  Some of you asked about the process I used, and so I've captured it here.

If you're enjoying Stuff, I'd ♥️ if you could hit 'forward' and share this with an incredible  friend, if not hit 'reply' and tell me how I can make Stuff better for you.

As always - thanks for being here - it's great to have you join me each week! If you received this from an amazing friend, get your own copy here.

Creating Habits for Lasting Improvement: My Approach to New Year’s Resolutions
Simplify, Gratitude, and Energy: My Three Intentional Themes for 2023 - and how I’ll use them to replace resolutions.

The Stuff Ten

  1. Monday Motivation: Let this week be the one where you continue to improve your meetings.  Firstly, check if your meeting is actually essential, this checklist can help you.   Then, use this excellent guide to ensure that your meeting doesn't suck.  I really wish I had written this guide!
  2. Your new superpower:  Talk to yourself in the future.  Building on intentions to continue growing and improving in 2023, why not write yourself a letter to land on 1st January 2024.  You can mention your goals and intentions, and hold yourself accountable.  I have a few of these letters out there, and a couple from a few years ago landed this year.  Very enlightening.
  3. Essential Reading: A science backed approach to improving the way that you feel your feelings.  This is important, because once you have a handle on your feelings, you can make better choices.  I spend a lot of time coaching this; ensuring that your amygdala doesn't hijack your next action.
  4. Take care: Science tells us that being kind is good for your mental health.  Here are 52 ways to demonstrate kindness in 2023.
  5. TWIL:  Why are there 24 hours in a day, and 60 minutes in a day?  It's all to do with your fingers.
  6. Rest is resistance: I'm a firm believer in the power of 40 winks, a nap can improve many aspects of your working day.  At the very least, improving how you sleep at night can be really good for you.  The biggest single gain I have made in my life in recent years, is improving sleep.
  7. Look to the future (and the past):  50 emerging tech trends for 2023, many of these will touch on your day-to-day work - and then reflect on the past, some of us started work when computers looked like this.  There is even a suite of music set to a manual from an old IBM mainframe.  (Highly recommended Stuff)
  8. Just chill:   Lofi Girl is an excellent Youtube channel. As the title says, just chilled lo-fi beats and an animated girl in front of a window.  It's ideal music for working, studying or chilling. At the time of writing has 11.8 MILLION subscribers and 47k people watching & chatting from around the world.
  9. Is it time to go stargazing?  It depends entirely on one thing. When you get that right, then this will really help you.
  10. Finally: Try some high-speed mental arithmetic: Speedsums.  I scored 20 - which is apparently better than 66% of people - can you beat me?
Five ways to improve your Active Listening skills.
Active Listening is an essential skill that can make you an even more effective communicator. Here are five ways to improve your active listening skills.

Stuff to make you smarter

🎬   Over the New Year break I watched Athena (Netflix), an extraordinary film set in a French banlieue during an apocalyptic riot.  It tells the story of a family of brothers, caught up in the unrest in individual ways.  Ultimately, we get a story of racial tension that explodes into the streets, fuelled by external actors.  

Feels familiar, right?

Sunny Night
Photo by Hasan Almasi / Unsplash

What made this movie more remarkable was the direction of Romain Gavras who was previously known for music videos by Justice, Jamie XX and MIA.   In Athena he uses a number of extremely long tracking shots to bring the chaos of the riot to life and to put you, in the middle of the action.

I highly recommend Athena. It's not an easy watch but reminded me of recent films like Uncut Gems with its chaotic and anxiety inducing scenes, and of course Children of Men with its extraordinary long tracking shots.

Athena is in French (and Arabic) - I'd recommend keeping the original audio (with appropriate subtitles) for the full experience.

🎧 Aural Stuff

What's on the Stuff speakers this week? 

My aural treat for you this week is another soundtrack, taken from 'The Banshees of Inisherin'.

Carter Burwell writes beautiful music for films, previously delivering one of my facourites - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.  

The latest soundtrack reunites him with director Martin McDonagh, and Burwell produces another thoughtful and gentle suite of music that brings the wild countryside of Western Ireland to life.

It's a lovely score, and highly recommended for a listen this week.

Stuff someone said

"Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?" - Rumi

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