Keeping it Simple

(Editor's note:  Occassionally we find articles and Blog posts from other corners of the world.  Here's an interesting view from a blogger in Australia.)

Over the past few months, the concepts of stripping back the superfluous, simplifying and pulling apart the true meaning of integrity have been strong personal themes. For many people, there's a drive to again inspect old patterns that continue to run happily in the background despite years of self-examination. Perhaps under the direction of a new global energy, there's a sense of being able to lovingly let go of those things that have served us all well on one level, yet have offered excuses to stay small on another. 

I came across Don Miguel Ruiz's "The Four Agreements" the other day and it strongly resonated with this desire to pare back; to simplify; to become more real as a participant in this world and begin operating in a more authentic way.  


Pros and Cons of using Multiple Monitors


As personal computers become faster and more powerful, the number of programs you can run simultaneously has increased. What this means is that multitasking has become the norm.

Many of us have spent time toggling back and forth between open programs to get work done, but there are more efficient ways to work. Setting up multiple monitors is an easy—and surprisingly affordable—way to view different applications at the same time.

The pros and cons of using multiple monitors

You’d be surprised by the amount of time you spend switching between applications. Multiple monitors can help make work more efficient, but this solution is not for everyone.


  • Increase productivity—viewing multiple applications on one screen can break visual continuity and decrease your productivity. For example, setting up two monitors allows you to keep your email open on one screen while working on a presentation or spreadsheet on the other screen, avoiding the need to toggle away from the presentation just to read a new email.
  • Not just for desktops—setting up an additional monitor to your notebook allows you to utilize a greater viewing area, while still having the flexibility to be able to pack up your notebook when you need to work elsewhere.
  • More ergonomic—limiting the number of clicks and scrolls you have to make between applications creates a more comfortable work environment.
  • Use less paper—if you can see more documents on your screen, you’ll be less likely to print and throw away paper.
  • Easy to add-on—many of the latest HP commercial monitors have multiple input ports—including VGA, DVI-D, USB, and DisplayPort—for connecting to a desktop or notebook PC. Optional HP accessories open up even more connectivity avenues.


Getting Enough Sleep

(Editor's Note:  Like many of us, our friend Zach Shulman sometimes doesn't get enough sleep. From personal experience we know the results aren't pretty.)

Kathy Savitt, the CMO of Yahoo, gave a presentation at the Cornell Entrepreneurship Summit NYC on October 11, 2013.  All the presentations from Summit will soon be up via video on the website.

Kathy presented a bunch of her personal rules of the road for startups.  Yahoo clearly still considers itself a startup (the world's largest!).  Her last rule was to get enough sleep.  I can relate to that completely.


Getting a conversation started

One of the most intimidating situations for most people is to enter a room where they know virtually no one. It feels uncomfortable. This is where the art of networking come in. Networking is all about making connections with people to see if there could be a reciprocal relationship built around helping one another. Sometimes it’s challenging to just get that conversation started. Here are three tips to help make it easier:


Winning an Argument via eMail

An American proverb goes, “The more arguments you win, the fewer friends you have.” Well, possibly – but the fact remains that in business you are going to have arguments sometimes, and you are going to try to win them. However, as long as you stick to a few golden rules, you should be able to keep the process friendly.

Of course, resolving disagreements in writing is clearly not the ideal way to do it; it’s always better to talk face to face or pick up the phone. But in our increasingly interconnected world, much of our communication naturally happens in written form, via letters, emails and instant messaging. And when you’re trying to make a point in writing, without the clues of tone of voice, facial expressions and body language to help you, misunderstandings may occur. You therefore have to be extra careful about the words you choose and the way you phrase them.

Here are some tips to remember next time you find yourself indignantly sitting down to write an email:

1. Logic and reason win arguments. Most people are fairly reasonable, so if you can appeal to their sense of what’s right, you will probably win them over to your way of thinking. Stay professional at all times: remember, you’re trying to solve an issue, not taking this opportunity to express all the anger and frustration that has been building up inside you for ages. Even if you’re having a lot of problems with this person, concentrate on one issue. Don’t make personal accusations – you will simply anger and alienate your reader and you risk losing your focus, your temper and your argument. So stay logical, stick to the facts, explain your reasoning properly, and you will stand a better chance of getting what you want.


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