Category Archives: How People Work

Why do we do the things we do? This series of essays looks at human behavior, habits, psychology, and the weird ways that people act, behave, and think.

Am I The Kind Of Person Who…?

Today I want to talk about habit shifts, and how to once again get back into a habit you want to cultivate when you veer off course. I’ve written about it before. The reason I keep writing about it is because habit shifts, like taking care of a physical home, take ongoing care and maintenance. Building habits is like taking care of a home, but it’s your person-as-home, your mental space, your human space. And I, like everyone else, need to clean my house on a fairly regular basis. And the habit of re-starting can be challenging. So I asked a good friend and coach for help. Her answer—and the question she shared with me—worked. It worked really well.Read the article

How to Finish A Book

One thing that’s come up after publishing my 2017 reading list is how surprised I am (and others are!) that I was able to read 53 books in a year.  True story: in 2016, I probably read 10 books, and finished … well, let’s say I read a lot of half books. It’s easy to get distracted by another book. Shiny object syndrome is real, and I found that I had started to skim everything. My obsessive reading of internet articles had made me a bad reader. This was a wake-up call. If I couldn’t finish a book, was I really learning? Here are the habits I changed last year to increase my reading. And also, my rules for how to decide when NOT to read a book.Read the article

Why I Tracked Every Book I Read in 2017

This year, I decided to track all of the books I read to see what was making it’s way into my mind. As part of my year of devotion and paying more attention to where I spend my mental energy, I kept a running list of all of the books I read. I also tracked theRead the article

Why I am Choosing to Email Slowly

I am by choice a slow emailer, and it often takes me a week or two to respond to messages. Sometimes longer. I think to myself, You do not really want me to be a fast emailer. Why do you want me to email quickly? Do you want me to sit at my desk, furiouslyRead the article

How To Do An Annual Review: 10 Questions

Each year I do a private annual reflection where I look back at the past year, think about what I want for the year ahead, and make a list of dreams and goals. Then, I edit ruthlessly, a skill I’ve learned slowly over time, because having a list of 50 things does not guarantee thatRead the article

How to Do a Monthly Review

In 2012 I wrote a fairly popular post about my monthly review template. Since then, I’ve updated and changed my monthly template, and followed it diligently for the last two years. It’s what I use to teach in my mastermind groups. For the end of the year and those planning the upcoming year, I thoughtRead the article

Keeping Secrets With Yourself

For the last several months—actually, the past year—I’ve been running experiments on myself and my process. One month I gave up social media. The next month I played with internet blockers. For three months I’ve been doing mornings pages, with few exceptions. But the thing I keep struggling to figure out is how to get more writing done. More writing in. The business trap is real. I’m not sure what else to call it, other than the pull of the machine: emails to answer, blog posts to write. It’s easy to get sucked into the frenzy of doing things for doing’s sake, and the tangible output of writing a draft, or even just plucking away at the next stage of researching, always seems to be time whittled away. This week, however, I stumbled on something that turned my mind upside down.Read the article

What Can You Do in 9 Minutes?

My practice of showing up for the stitches and patches of time that make up a lot of my day, and how I use them as areas for micro practice.Read the article

In Search of Mental Focus and Clarity

Those of you that have followed my posts recently know I’m experimenting with my relationships to social media, email, and the internet. I love tech AND I also want to stay smart about my habits, impulsivity, and addictions. Because make no mistake: tech is an addiction, for sure. How do we achieve mental focus in the increasing onslaught of information? Get this: the average person checks email 74 times per day and spends 28% of their time on email. If we’re not questioning this, we should be concerned.Read the article

I Quit Social Media For 30 Days and Here’s What I Learned

Last month, I quit social media for 30 days. I deleted Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter from my phone and computer and signed out for the month. Here’s what happened and what I learned. Would love to know what you’ve tried and what’s worked for you.Read the article