Tech: Are you the slave or the master?

In 2015 I realized I had a problem. I woke up first thing in the morning and checked my email on my phone. I skimmed social media and read articles on my commute to work. I spent all day at work in front of a screen. I continued my phone-in-face routine on my way home, after dinner and before bed. I was so tired by the end of each day I often felt sick. Something had to change... I was a slave to technology. Trying to solve the behavior addiction I've been trying different approaches to moderate my device addiction.

How one simple change can give you 21 more hours of life every week

We're all busy. We all want more time. What would you do if you had 21 more hours to live every single week? Finding My 21 Hours The average smartphone user spends 3 hours actively using their phone every single day. That's 21 hours a week—nearly three full 8-hour working days spent texting, flicking through social media and checking the news. That's crazy. Does this investment of time produce reciprocal benefits? Over the past few days a series of articles challenged me to reevaluate my relationship with technology from the perspective of a new father faced with the

Designing My Life | Part VI: Prototyping Experiences

I’ve spent the last 11 months of my life prototyping experiences in effort to identify the best way to create a meaningful vocation for the next chapter of my life. The idea around prototyping is to create a small test where you can learn as much as you can without building ‘the real thing’. In this instance, the ‘experiences’ are different versions of your working life. Rather than committing to a specific job or venture for the long-term, you create a prototype experience to test it. The book Designing Your Life encourages readers to prototype experiences of their different

The Man in The Puffy Red Coat

When a man falls back and ceases to breathe in your hands, when his eyes roll into the back of his head, and when his wrists no longer pulse—you hope and pray with all your might and strength that if there is a G-d, He will save this man. I remember hearing a man come out of the restaurant Jaja Bistro on 5641 Nevada in downtown Littleton and say “Thank G-d you were there for him.” and saying “Yes, there is a G-d.” It may have been in my head where I said it, or it may have been

Review: Behavior Design Bootcamp w/ BJ Fogg

When was the last time you invested in yourself in a way that created lasting, meaningful change? So many workshops and conferences seem to be of similar ilk: People talking about what they know and other people listening—some discussion in between... then everyone goes home. A few weeks ago I participated in a two-day 'bootcamp' that was markedly different. Dr. BJ Fogg is a researcher and professor at Stanford University who runs the Behavior Design lab. For two days BJ and his team taught us everything they possibly could in a 48-hour training at a beautiful venue in

Review: Design Sprint Bootcamp w/ AJ & Smart + Jake Knapp

In June I had the pleasure of attending a 2-day bootcamp run by AJ & Smart with Jake Knapp on the 'Design Sprint' process described in Jake's book Sprint. It was the kind of training that deserves a review, so I thought I would invest some time in sharing my experience in Berlin. I'll start off with a high-level overview and then go into deeper detail for each of the two days for those who want to learn more. This is not a sponsored post, just something I wanted to do to say 'thank you' and reflect upon what I

Designing My Life | Part V: Alternative Life Plans Odyssey

The purpose of the fifth activity in Designing Your Life is to go on a journey to create three alternative life plans so you can evaluate how you might address the issues in your current life situation. Each plan contains four key elements: Title Five-year Roadmap Questions this surfaces An affinity dashboard to measure: Resoures required (time, skill, money, contacts) Desireability (how much you like it) Confidence (how you feel about your ability to execute) Coherence (consistence with your Workview and Lifeview) An Aside on The Importance of Divergent Thinking The activity highlights the importance of not settling on your

Designing My Life | Part IV: Getting Unstuck via Mind Maps

The fourth activity in the process described in Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans is called 'Getting Unstuck'. It depends on the activity logs I shared in my previous post and uses a technique called mind mapping. The purpose of the exercise is to gain insights and develop self-awareness about what engages you, gives you energy and cultivates flow. Mind Maps If you haven't tried mind mapping before, I highly recommend it. It's a simple technique that is great for visual thinkers like myself. The idea is to think visually by connecting related ideas in a map

Designing My Life | Part III: Wayfinding via Activity Logs

I've been logging my activities for the past two weeks as a part of a life design process described in Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, two Stanford professors who teach design thinking. This particular exercise is intended to help life designers understand what activities engage them and provide them with energy. The aim is to gain self-awareness about the activities, environments, interactions, objects and people that give us life. We can then reduce the life-draining activities and increase the life-giving activities, making our experience more enjoyable and worthwhile. It seems pretty simple, but it's a powerful

Designing My Life | Part II b: Building a Lifeview Compass

Following my post on creating a Workview Compass, in the process of Designing Your Life, I've outlined below my Lifeview for the purpose of reflection and collaboration. The purpose of creating a Workview and Lifeview Compass is to help people calibrate their life design efforts towards what they find meaningful and important. Design thinking values 'thinking visually', which basically means getting your thoughts out of your head and onto something tangible (often through making something). That way you can discuss your thoughts with other people and improve through iteration. Designing a successful product isn't all that different from designing a