Shortcuts to big ideas

This is the first in a new series of posts titled Shortcuts to Big Ideas. These short cuts will be in the form of a sketchnote and present just one interesting idea from podcasts I listen to, videos I watch, articles I read or talks I attend.

The idea is inspired by the My Favourite Tip episodes of Amantha Imber’s podcast How I Work. These episodes are rarely longer than 10 minutes and offer a single insight from each of the full interviews in the podcast archive.

Combining this with Doug Neill’s on-the-go podcast sketchnoting process I think I’ve found the perfect format to both get me drawing again and to share interesting ideas and useful nuggets of information from longer pieces of work.

So without further ado, here’s the first of my shortcuts. And what better place to start than with an interview with Dan Pink on How I Work.

Sketchnote of Dan Pink's interview on How I Work

The idea I’ve pulled out is about structuring your day based on your energy levels. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but what particularly stood out to me about Pink’s description of it was about the three stages we go through in a day and the kinds of activity that would make our use of these times most effective:

  • peak — the hours when we’re at our highest energy levels, when focused work comes easily
  • trough — at our lowest ebb, this is the time to tackle email and other routine tasks
  • recovery — in these hours we’re open to ideas, they’re good for conversation and exploration

The first step in this process is to observe what times of day you’re in each of these stages. Think about and take note of your performance, attention and mood as it changes throughout the day.

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