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12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 17th, 2017 No comments

Dew gift guide 2017 header

See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon

 Do It 2017! #: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

My reading copy of this book came from the Los Angeles Public Library in eBook format

Reading Show Your Work was like listening to my own frequent talks on career topics. Much is exactly the same message I have preached to people for years. That is, the only way to get your work noticed is to share it as widely as possible. Music must be heard. Art must be seen. Writing must be read. Otherwise, it is a wasted effort. Share, Share, Share One message I share deeply with the author is the utmost importance of sharing your work via blogs and social media. As the author puts it, “It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” If your work can’t be discovered, stumbled upon, ran into, seen in passing, found in a Google Search, etc, you are severely limiting the exposure and discovery of your work. I don’t frequently use the word “MUST”, but I will on this occasion. You MUST make your creativity discoverable, through social media or other methods, or it simply doesn’t exist. Of course, you can ignore this if you are only creating for yourself, but most who create want their work to be seen, to be cherished, to be sold, to be understood, to be an important impact on the world. Don’t let your work languish. As the Bible says, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.”

While your at it, check out Kleon’s other book, Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post on this book). I think you’ll find it enjoyable and greatly useful, too. What do you have to share? What should you be showing off to your friends, family and the world? 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Happy Halloween: Listen to this LIVE adaptation of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

October 31st, 2017 Comments off

Our friends, Keri Dearborn and Michael Lawshe just released their annual Halloween show, Ghosts of the Internet.

This year it is a live recording of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, adapted by Keri Dearborn.

If you listen, you might hear 2 familiar voices among the cast (wink, wink)

Listen to Ghosts of the Internet 11: Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Play

IceDoor11 IMG 1996

Goti 11 mixer


Read the original story

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Also available in many versions from the LA Public LIbrary 

 

Hands at work via Instagram

October 21st, 2017 Comments off

Hands at work

Hands at work

A professor’s work is never done. 

Instagram

Join me on Douglas E. Welch Photography on Facebook


Learn more about Black and White Photography with these books

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

 

Physical Communication is Universal | Andy Dexterity | TEDxSydney [Video] via YouTube

October 5th, 2017 Comments off

A great presentation on sign language and the power it can bring to artistic expression and life in general. – Douglas

Physical Communication is Universal | Andy Dexterity | TEDxSydney

Physical Communication is Universal | Andy Dexterity | TEDxSydney [Video] via YouTube

Subscribe to TedX Talks on YouTube

Andy Dexterity offers a glimpse into the ways humans communicate and interact using just our physicality. He also loves translating music and song into movement and finishes with an epic performance to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody at TEDxSydney 2017.

Thanks to Queen for permission to use the song.

Animation by Brendan Harwood.

Andy Dexterity is a Green Room Award-nominated performance maker primarily recognised for his unique brand of movement, fusing dance, physical theatre and signed languages. Andy is fascinated by the way we communicate and interact as a species and creates work with the intention to connect and empower.

Hailing from a theatre background, Andy has performed roles in award-winning shows for Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia and Belvoir Street Theatre, including the Australian premieres of Urinetown and Altarboyz.

Andy conceived original “signdance” choreography for Grammy Award-winning pop singer, Kimbra, conducted the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for The Wiggles Meet The Orchestra, was special guest in the 2014 Outgames Opening Ceremony, performed “signdancing” with Tina Arena and opened the 2015 Australian Dance Awards at The Sydney Opera House. As a choreographer, he devised en-masse “signdancing” for the opening ceremony of the 2015 World Netball Cup, choreographed the Australian revival of RENT – the musical and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, both for The Hayes Theatre Company and is currently coordinating and conducting The Sydney Auslan Ensemble for The Sydney Philharmonia’s production of Elijah. As artistic director of the 2016 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Andy’s main focus was festival accessibility, incorporating Auslan (Australian Sign Language) into as many aspects as possible, including a sign language spectacular for the opening ceremony.

Andy is also an ambassador for Deaf Australia, teaching Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as a part of this role. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. 

 


* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Do It 2017 #13: Making Excuses

September 21st, 2017 2 comments

Do It 2017 #13: Making Excuses

Glenn Carstens-Peters

Do It 2017 #13: Making Excuses

“Stop Making Excuses,” is a phrase we often hear from our parents, our teachers, and even our employers. Making excuses is akin to be called lazy — a slacker — a loser. Making excuses isn’t the problem though. Failing to think deeply about why we are making the excuse is what is really required,

Yes, we all make excuses for a wide variety of reasons, myself included, but the worst part is that there is often a valid reason for the excuse. We might be missing an important skill. We might be missing the basic desire to do something. We might be fearful that we cannot do the task at hand. Typically, it isn’t the excuse that is the true reason we aren’t doing something, but rather something deeper. Something hidden. Something scarier. Something that keeps  you awake at night.

As bad as it might seem to others, we often dislike ourselves for making excuses, too. We know we aren’t doing the right thing, but it can be difficult to do the right thing, so we make the excuse so we can move on.

If you have recently offered an excuse for something, take some time to deeply think about why you made the excuse. Is there some smaller part of the issue that you can tease out and solve that might allow you to avoid the excuse in the future? Can you break the situation down into manageable chunks that you can address one at a time? If you are like me, you might surprise yourself with how many excuses you can avoid by taking them piece by piece and issue by issue.

First, do you have a good reason for learning new skills? Do you enjoy doing that kind of work? Sometimes it is the case that you simply aren’t interested in pursuing a particular area of work. If you aren’t, there is little that can persuade you to learn that new skill, much less become accomplished. Even if it might bring you better jobs or a higher income, you have to honest about where your interests lie.

If you decide you do want to learn new skills, how can you learn them? Can you go to school or training center? Maybe. Your next hurdle might be that you can’t afford to pay for school. Ok, that is indeed a reality for a lot of people. If you can’t pay for school, can you learn the skills you need online? Can you teach yourself from books? Can you ask someone knowledgeable to show you for free? Can you take out a loan – will it be worth that financial burden to obtain this skill?

The important part of breaking down any excuse is not to let one particular problem stop you. If you hit a roadblock, think about ways of circumventing that particular, smaller, issue. Attack each of the small issues in turn and see how far you can get. I think you will be surprised at how far you can progress through any excuse if you want to.

Of course, that is the real issue with any excuse. Do you really want to progress beyond the excuse, or is it simply easier, quicker, less stressful to use a blanket excuse and move on? I think for most of us — and most of our excuses, — we would feel better about ourselves if we made fewer excuses. It would have so many benefits in our lives, but it requires hard thinking to do this, and too many of us give up rather than face the hard work ahead. It is a constant challenge for all of us to see what we want and need from the future and how we can get there and not take the easy path out and make the excuse.

What is one excuse you have fallen back on lately? Can you break it down into smaller parts and slowly chip away at it? Do you even want to? Share your thoughts in the comments.

What will you dream up today? via Instagram

September 12th, 2017 Comments off

New Zealand Trip – August 31, 2017 (Day 8) – Tinker School, Dunedin Botanic Garden and Spotting the Royal Albatross (146 Photos)

September 10th, 2017 Comments off

New Zealand Trip – August 31, 2017 (Day 8)

Photos from our recent (August 2017) vacation to New Zealand with stops in Wellington and Dunedin.

A visit to Tinker School. a stroll through the Dunedin Botanic Garden and a cruise through Otago Harbor to the ocean to see the Royal Albatross and more.

Click to view entire album

Tinker School Dunedin New Zealand  3

Rhododendron with raindrops Dunedin Botanic Garden Dunedin New Zealand

Albatoss Royal Albatross Centre Dunedin New Zealand  1

Click to view entire album



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

New Zealand Trip August 30, 2017 (Day 7) – Otago Settlers Museum, Dunedin Chinese Garden, Hive and Hatch

September 9th, 2017 Comments off

New Zealand Trip August 30, 2017 (Day 7) – Otago Settlers Museum, Dunedin Chinese Garden, Hive and Hatch

Photos from our recent (August 2017) vacation to New Zealand with stops in Wellington and Dunedin.

We visti Hive and Hatch innovation and technology spaces for kids, the amazing Otago Settlers Museum and the fabulous Dunedin Chinese Garden.

Click to view entire album

Hive  The Malcam Trust  1

Coach Otago Settlers Museum Dunedin New Zealand

Dunedin Chinese Garden Dunedin New Zealand  48

Click to view entire album



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Do It 2017 #12: Don’t get stuck in your technology tastes

August 12th, 2017 Comments off

Do It 2017 #12: Don’t get stuck in your technology tastes

Do It 2017 #12: Don't get stuck in your technology tastes

Tommy Lisbin

There is a point in everyone’s life when our music tastes atrophy. It maybe the 1980’s or 90’s or for some of us it might even be the 60’s or 70’s. We simply stop listening to music after a certain date, or, worse still, we actively denigrate any music outside our chronological range.

There is an even worse version of this syndrome, though. We can get stuck in our use of technology, too. Where our taste in music doesn’t usually fundamentally affect our lives, getting stuck in our technology choices can affect your productivity, your work, and your career. If you don’t keep growing your technology skills the world — personal and public, home and work — can quickly pass you by while those around you continue on their productive way.

Let me be clear. I am not suggesting you immediately adopt every new service, social media site, software or hardware. Rather, you need to be aware of those new innovations so you can actively decide which ones can help keep you keep growing your work and productivity.

This was all brought to mind as I watched several people struggle with organizational issues over the last few weeks. Whenever I see this occur I can almost immediately think of 2-3 ideas that would ease their organizational issues and lead them to a higher level of productivity. In almost every case, though, they are extremely reluctant to make changes, even if those changes would be better for everyone involved. The most common reason I hear for not changing is “I don’t want to learn something new.”  Even if the changes are something I would consider minor, they will continue to struggle along — adding hours to work day — when 10 minutes of learning could save them hours instead.

Why does this happen? Well, much like the music example above, they are stuck. Even worse, they have decided to remain stuck, no matter what the cost. I’m sure you’ve seen it in your own life and work, too. While it affects those who are stuck, it also affects everyone around them. I know I can find this extremely frustrating when faced with a situation like this and I am sure are, too. No matter what you might say or do, nothing will change.

So, how do you keep your work moving forward? How do you prevent yourself from getting stuck?

First, when faced with an issue — especially an issue that you have faced multiple times in the past — take 10 minutes and see if there is a way of preventing the problem from recurring ever again. The truth is, there might not be a good solution, but in many cases, there will be an easier and faster way of accomplishing your goals. Technology moves at breakneck speed — and always has — and today’s unsolvable problem could very likely be done and dusted by next week. Again, you don’t have to research and adopt every single new piece of technology out there, but when you see one, think for a moment of how it might make your life a little bit easier. If you have a use for that technology, then go and use it. Sure,  you might have to take a few minutes to learn about it, but the overall effect on your productivity could be dramatic.

A couple of examples

From my recent experience, there are 2 areas where technology could most people greatly if they only took advantage of it. First is technology that helps you communicate and coordinate with groups of people.

In the past, if we wanted to work on a document with someone else or communicate with a group of people we had to pass around files on floppy disks or use reply all on our emails. This often leads to files having multiple, different versions and people who are “out of the loop” on important discussions and decisions. That doesn’t need to be the case anymore, though.

Google docsThere are many options today that can help groups work together no matter where they might be in the world. My own favorite is Google Docs, which includes word processing, spreadsheets, slideshow presentations and more. There are many others available to you and it matters little which one you use. The benefit comes from using it.

 

Whenever I am starting a new group — whether it’s organizing my CareerCamp unconferences — the first thing I do is start sharing any documents with all the involved parties using Google Docs. In this way everyone can View, Edit or Comment on the files to include their input AND, more importantly, everyone else can see their input immediately and build off it. Never again will you have people commenting on different versions of a document, changing sentences that have already been changed or figures that have already been connected.

The same benefits also apply to calendars. I have spent years using shared calendars and I can say that nothing has a greater effect on my sanity. All three of us have different — and often competing — schedules. It is important that when I enter something in my calendar I have an up to date view of everything in everyone else’s calendar and vice versa. If you can stop multiple bookings, issues with who has a vehicle that day and where everyone is on a specific day, you can do a lot to ease your stress, worry, and confusion. This is so much better than a calendar that is saved into a document and then emailed around. Static documents are out of date the moment they are saved. Wouldn’t it better to have a shared calendar that can be accessed by everyone and is guaranteed to always be correct?

Finally, every group should have an email list or productivity service such as Slack to facilitate real time discussions between group members. For email, you shouldn’t rely on everyone’s due diligence to hit Reply All on every email. Set up a mailing list like mygroup@googlegroups.com instead. Then, when people send an email to that address, everyone on the group receives the email automatically.

SlackSlack (Slack.com) is a more “real time” version of a mailing list where people see new messages from members as soon as they are posted. Workgroups can be thousands of miles apart and still feel they are connected on a daily basis.

Using either of these methods you can drastically cut down on situations where people say ‘I didn’t see that. What version is this? Did such and such do what they said they would?” These systems keep everyone on track and in the know.

Don’t let yourself get stuck in your use of technology in your life or in your business. If you are facing issues over and over, reconsider how the application of a little, new, technology might help smooth your path. While you can happily keep listening to your favorite hits of the 60s, 70s, and 80s without any undue effects, ignoring new technology and the productivity benefits it can have for you can be painful and slow your work and career.

Are you stuck in your technology tastes? How can you break out? Share your comments below!

Categories: Business, Careers, Creativity, Do It!, Education Tags:

Do It 2017 #11: Eat the frog and other productive advice

July 27th, 2017 Comments off

Frog Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

Jack Hamilton

Eat the frog!

It has been said — in variety of forms throughout history, that…

“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

A thoroughly disgusting thought, but a good one for my productivity of late. I am as fond — if not fonder— of procrastination of specific tasks that most people. Tasks like balancing the checkbook to doing my daily blog posting to sweeping the patio. Many of these tasks are extremely important, but most also come with an unpleasant side. Sure, it isn’t like mucking out the horse stalls of my youth, but we all face them with a certain amount of distaste.

So, in an effort to keep things moving forward in all aspects of my life, I have taken to “eating the frog” whenever possible. I’ll get up, make my coffee and then face the most procrastination-causing task on my to do list. Once that’s done, I can move on to other, more enjoyable tasks without feeling guilty about avoiding them and knowing that that is probably the worse thing I will have to do today. It doesn’t always work, but I have used it to recently move a couple of projects forward that have been languishing for a while now. Can it help you? It might. Then again, you might be someone who is blessed to never procrastinate on anything. I envy you, but we all have to find out own way through the swamp that is any given day.

Bird by Bird

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table, close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’” — Anne Lamott

This phrase crops up in our household on a daily basis. There are times we all need a reminder that every big project is made out of many smaller steps — and sometimes even smaller ones. The only way to complete a big project is to take it “bird by bird.” In my case, this means making a daily to do list — separate from my overall to do list. This list contains all my typical daily tasks as well as those weekly items that occur on the same day each week. Partially this list is to help me remember all the little things, but they are also a “bird by bird” breakdown of tasks that move each project forward. Typical entries include my daily posts to Instagram, a blog post on Garden Decor, video clips from my talks, reading time-related documents and articles, feeding the birds (the real one’s outside my window), phone calls, emails and more. Breaking my larger tasks in these small, even tiny, steps, helps to keep me progressing even when I might not be able to complete the entire project today.

To some, such a detailed to do list can make projects seem overwhelming, but for me, I find great joy in progress, even the smallest progress. If I keep on doing the small steps each day the overall project will eventually get done. If I never start on the big project because it is too big then it will, guaranteed, never get done.

Work on a variety of tasks throughout your day

I don’t have any pithy quote to accompany this advice, but for me, it is probably the most important. If I focus on any one task for too long, the quality and speed of my work quickly diminish. I start making silly mistakes, misspelled words, fuzzy thoughts and more. I have to switch up my work throughout the day to prevent this from happening while still getting work done. This means I might do something like writing this post and then switch over to some video editing for a while. Sometimes it means culling a bunch of photos and then working on an Arduino program I have been trying to get running. Finally, sometimes it means I set an alarm for 20 minutes, lie down on the couch, allow the cat to sit on my lap and dose. Never underestimate the power of a short nap to reenergize your day!

Douglas E. Welch To Do List

I have learned over time that I am a variety junky in all aspects of my life. My way of working may seem scattered to some, but it works for my and my overall productivity seems to prove it. In many cases, some of my best ideas about a project come from when I am thinking or working on an entirely different project. You can never tell how moments in your life are going to interact, so it’s important to experience as much as possible and see what happens.

What are your favorite pieces of advice that keep you productive in life and work? Share them in the comments!

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