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Three Quick Tips to a Better You (or me)

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“What are three tips you’d share with someone wanting to improve himself?”

This, from a recent email exchange with a colleague.

Rather than trying to curate the best three pieces of advice, I opted just to type out the first three things that came to mind. Here they are:

Don’t accept chaos as the status quo.

As Michael Lopp highlights in his post The Process Myth, the word “process” is often met with skepticism from collaborators and co-workers. Speaking from years of experience, and occasional bouts of chaos, process keeps me sane. If you can’t feel confident delegating tasks, knowing that they’ll be executed according to some process, it is really difficult to maintain your sanity.

A reliable process allows you to reach up for air more often. It’s liberating and intimidating; you can also start to feel irrelevant. That’s okay. It means you’ve helped build a working, sanity-preserving machine. But it will still need you for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.

Take some ‘me time.’

I love mornings. (My alarm goes off at 5:15am.) There are fewer distractions, and more opportunity to take some time for myself. Most days, I’ll cook myself something healthy for breakfast, catch up on a recent episode of Car Talk, and read for a bit. By the time I jump into the day, I feel amazing. Often, I’ll head to the studio thinking about how I’m going to try something new, or share some newfound wisdom with my peers.

Invest in a comfortable chair.

I used to have a nice chair at home, where I would go to read or think. When I brought it to the studio, it became the team’s property. I need to get myself a new chair.

Your turn. What three tips—off the top of your head—can you offer someone who wants to improve themselves? Don’t take too much time to think. Just write off the top of your head.

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