Friday, October 21, 2005


When you think about optimizing your life, you don't often think of huge chunk of time you spend each day sleeping. Sleep seems like an annoying obligation when you're trying to envision the most meaningful ways to spend your time and money, which is why it's often neglected by the busiest and most ambitious of us. Good sleep, good learning, good life covers and summarizes the latest research on sleep, and contains all kinds of lifestyle nuggets:
"Few upwardly mobile people in the modern rat-race society can live without an alarm clock. Increasingly, time becomes the most precious commodity in society where achievement is often associated with speed and perfect time-management. However, alarm clocks introduce two harmful side effects: stress and sleep deprivation.

The art of time-management makes it possible to live at high speed with the alarm clock on your side and actually be free from stress. However, the societal damage inflicted by alarm clocks used to regulate sleep is unforgivable. An alarm clock that interrupts your sleep damages your memory, your ability to learn, your mood and temper, your relationships with other people, your ability to focus and your overall intellectual performance!"
Thanks to Will for the pointer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Worthwhile Risks

The Worthwhile blog has been excellent lately -- Evelyn's post a few weeks ago talks about taking risks to pursue the right kinds of work:
"Sometimes we make bets on our futures. We decide that the future's so bright we need shades, rather than going nowhere. We grow, rather than stagnate. We engage questions, rather than edicts. And we'll even take a job with a riskier, less-well-paying company to do vitally fulfilling work."
She also finishes off with a a question/challenge:
"How about you? Have you ever left a position to continue to grow and innovate? Or, gasp, even work pro bono because you were passionate about the vision (only because we're bootstrapping; I don't condone lining other's pockets on my sweat)?"

Cool Communities

"Hot Jobs - Cool Communities is a report card of the hippest places to live and work based on the metrics that matter to a new generation of talent."
I was interested in the variables they used to identify and evaluate their cool communities -- just loaded with lifestyle factors, and why shouldn't these concerns trump all others?
  • Air and Water Quality

  • Recycling Rates

  • Car Pools, Commute Times

  • Traffic

  • Public Parks, Trails, and Recreation Areas

  • Sunny Days

  • Farmers Markets

  • Natural Foods Stores

  • Fitness Centers

  • Vegetarian Restaurants

  • Rates of Crime

  • Rates of Cancer

  • Heart Diesease

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • Life Expectancy

  • Fruit and Vegtable Consumption

  • Work Sick Days

  • Rates of Depression

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Unemployment

  • Charitable Donations

  • Cost of living

  • Poverty

  • Concentration of Designers, Artists, Authors, Musicians, Actors and similar Professions

  • Pertcentage of Community Under 40

  • Population Diversity(ethic, religous, sexual orientation)

  • Number of Bars, Nightclubs and similar per capita

  • Number of Art Galleries, Museums, and similar per capita
Thanks to The Future of Work for the tip.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Third Decade

Doug writes a bit about challenges people hit in the third decade of their lives and offers some advice for the rest of us on how to help:
"The third decade is a time of emotional and spiritual adolescence. Whereas the first twenty years enable us to mature physically and mentally, we remain relatively undeveloped in our adult relationships and connectedness to meaning. In the crucial third decade, individuals are expected to shift from being 'cared for' to 'taking charge' of their own existence. This means learning how to be a good worker/parent/friend, finding a way to sustain yourself, and getting involved in fulfilling life activities that enable you to be who you are. Developing these capacities is not a simple task."
It's easy to criticize the twixters, yeppies and other awfully named twenty-somethings in a sort of extended adolescence, pointing out their inability to get on with their grown-up lives, but I like how Doug explains the different landscape they face now.

Update: Doug adds a follow-up to the original post, offering advice on how to help young people who are disengaged.

Another Update: Rockstar Max bounces off of Doug's posts and adds some personal experience and commentary to the mix:
"However, most of my generation is finding that neither what they are nor what they had planned to be are sufficient to reach their goals (not to mention out of alignment with each other to begin with). We are guilty of having bought the hype of the pop culture at the same time as--in many cases--having done everything that would have assured at least middle-class prosperity in generations gone by, only to find that the educational system and much of our forebears' 'wisdom' no longer applies."

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Outsourcing/Offshoring Jobs

A great (but sobering) four-part series on trends in outsourcing jobs, with a local (for me, anyway) focus. U.S. Outsourcing Millions of Jobs, Outsourcing BC, BC's Big Outsourcing Bet and Outsourcing's Great Unknowns -- they're all definitely worth a read.

Update: Check out this NYTimes interview with the head of Infosys, one of the largest Indian IT firms. Via The Future of Work, which includes some solid commentary on the interview.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Storyboarding Your Life

I blogged this one last year, but the old link is dead and it appears to have been updated and maybe this is a repeat, but it's a worthwhile one. I love this approach to storyboarding your life, as a way of envisioning where you want to be in the future. Thanks to Jill for the reminder.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What to do?

What to do, what to do...
This is an interesting glimpse into the thoughts of a high-school student thinking about future career options, after spending some time in a career planning site I helped design. It's fascinating to listen in on the process.
"Of course, I still have no idea what to do, other than my already considered ideas. Their tests, self-evaluating quizzes, and 'learn about yourself' assessments, all carefully weaved through, gave me some answers as to what careers are for me and which aren't."