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πŸ‘“ Stuff #192 - five extra minutes!

Power up your communication skills, find a mentor and learn the best cheat to speed up your work. Learn lessons from a granny, and some intentional breathing, finally play a quiz today.
Matt 3 min read
πŸ‘“ Stuff #192 - five extra minutes!

Sending this from Madrid where I've been at a beautiful wedding - I hope this week finds you happy and healthy.

Each week, I seek out great content to support our personal growth. I’ll couple that with some links that I know you’ll find interesting. Elsewhere, you can find my daily notes here, and I’m posting on Threads as well.

Thanks for joining me - now, onto the list!

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Monday Motivation. Let this week be the one where you power up your communication skills. This (short) video by Alan Alda explains how changing the way you use language can make your communication more effective AND inclusive. It’s only 7 minutes, but I watched it twice in a row, and the insights are excellent.

Five. What would you do with five extra minutes? I love this tiny little hack.

MentoringHow to get a mentor. I’ve had a few requests in my inbox for mentoring, and I’m a massive advocate of having someone to strategise and plan with.  This guide to finding that person is excellent.

Cheat. One of the best productivity hacks is to learn the keyboard β€˜cheats’ in your most used apps.  This handy website puts them all in one place. Stop reaching for your mouse by learning the most common ones. 

Detox. My month without a smartphone. An excellent article on reducing smartphone dependancy.  I’ve just spent two weeks on vacation, and reduced my phone usage whilst I was there (down 34% according to screentime). I’d still need to focus really hard to ditch my smartphone.  

Enough. How much self-improvement is too much. The idea of a hedonic treadmill really resonated with me. Knowing when you have had enough is important. 

✍️
Random Journal Prompt: How did I celebrate my achievements, big or small this week? Over 550 more journal prompts here.
shallow focus photography of stack of books
Photo by Chris Lawton / Unsplash

Books. Littler Books has five minute summaries of hundreds of books. All free and compiled by humans, this an excellent way to test whether a book will be useful to you before you buy it.  Boiling this incredible book down to 17 bullet points is very useful. 

Grandma. Five life lessons from a 90 year old Grandmother.  #1 and #3 are absolutely perfect. 

BurnoutFive ways to protect yourself from stress and work overload.  #2 and #4 really resonate with me as ways that can help. One of these is β€˜in the moment’ and one is a more long term strategy.

BreathingIntentional breathing can help control stress responses in your body. One thing that I have learned from establishing a daily meditation habit in 2024 is that breathing is a powerful way to help get control of my mind. Back in stuff #123 I shared some other  techniques that have helped me.

Streets. 71 of the most beautiful streets in the world. I’ve been to a few of these, but there are so many more lovely places to visit.  Maybe you have a beautiful road near you that you can make a trip to? 

GenderSwap. This amazing database has a huge (and growing) list of excellent cover versions.  They all have a key theme in common.

Finally. Quizl. A daily trivia quiz game. Simple implementation but with some excellent quiz questions.

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My mammoth 2024 playlist has fantastic tunes added every day. You can follow along here.

πŸ”ˆ Stuff to Listen to...

Bolis Pupul: Letter to Yu Album Review | Pitchfork

🎧 This week's aural treat is something a little more lively, the excellent new album from Belgian electronic artist Bolis Pupul.

Letter to Yu is the follow-up to Topical Dancer from 2022. Whilst the collaboration with Charlotte Adigery is finished, the sound carries on in the same vein. Crisp electronica, made for the dancefloor with pop-friendly vocals and some funny touches.

Alongside the dancefloor action, there are some chilled and contemplative moments.

I hope you enjoy it.

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The Stuff that MattR's

Weekly writing on self-development and joy, with a sideline in curiosity and music.

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