With the onset of fall comes a natural tendency towards introspection and reflection. (Alternatively known as pouting out the window and bemoaning the gray weather). This month’s NOKlist is no different. We have, for your autumnal delectation, thoughts on productivity, the intersection of fashion and sustainability and gauging for authenticity, waging a blitzkreig war on your brain, why photos of wild horses beat out kitten gifs, and the nature of personal leadership.
Also, there’s a Wonder Woman cake. Just for the funny.
Check it out.
And, if you’re eager for more, check out our NOKlist archive, too.
by Jimmy Daly
I’ll never forget when I first learned about GTD and #inboxzero. I had just began my first full-time job out of college and as my boss walked me through these ways of working, it completely changed my mindset about how I handle tasks at work.
Fast forward a few years and I’m still always looking for productivity hacks and ways to realign my thinking about work to be a better employee. That’s why it’s no surprise that I chose this strategy/productivity article from Jimmy Daly.
The thing I appreciate most about this article is that Jimmy doesn’t focus solely on the tools. In fact, his whole point is that we need a strategy before anything else. He suggests we start by observing our own habits, schedule, and work-life balance.
Give this article a read and carefully look for ways you can integrate these strategies into your life. After each section, Jimmy does provide a few tool suggestions. And as a bonus, the article is sprinkled with quotes and links to other articles from great thinkers such as Seth Godin, Matt Mullenweg, and Tim Ferriss, just to name a few.
Whether or not we pay attention to them, we all know a few fashion rules (like don’t wear white after labor day) and H&M is breaking the rules with their Close the Loop initiative.
Joining a recent trend among clothiers to acknowledge and do something about the environmental impact caused by the creation of clothing, H&M has created a video – with gravelly narration by Iggy Pop and with 7M views – that challenges fashion taboos and fashion norms by asking people to recycle their clothes, which H&M will turn into new clothes.
While not as “green” as Patagonia’s Worn Wear effort (where they drive around the nation repairing people’s existing Patagonia items rather than asking people to buy new things, with a website dedicated to the stories of those jackets, hats, and flannels), the Close the Loop initiative is promoting recycling and reducing (saving 555 gallons of water by re-using a t-shirt rather than creating a new one)
They’re trying to rewrite the rules of fashion down to one rule: recycle your clothes. And they’re doing it in a gritty, powerful way (would the video be as impactful with a light, singsong voice?), which reinforces the gravity of the situation: we throw away a lot of stuff, and fashion, in particular, has been accused of being a throwaway industry.
Whether this is an example of cause marketing or ties more deeply into H&M’s meaning beyond money – an important focus for Mack Web and its clients – I’m not sure.
H&M certainly is making money by selling clothes (recycled or not) but they are also connecting with a strong interest of their millennial audience by doing more than just making money, by promoting and supporting something beyond themselves. As H&M says, “After all, what could be more fashionable than sustainability?”
by Aaron Taube
That quality content is the key to successfully generating online attention is hardly a shocking revelation at this point. But this post shows just how deep the definition of quality content runs. The article includes a chart that demonstrates the absolutely dominance of National Geographic’s iconic social content – lush images and interesting article tidbits – over the nearest competitors.
That nearest competitor – Buzzfeed – is the perfect example for this conversation. Buzzfeed is doing a lot right: frequent, varied, humorous, captivating, user-generated snippets. It’s hard to deny the appeal. Let she who has never fallen into a Buzzfeed abyss only to emerge, owl-eyed and brain-melted, an hour later cast the first stone. It’s flashy, it’s funny, it’s fresh.
And yet look how easily and comprehensively National Geographic has eclipsed their engagement. National Geographic speaks to something deeper than people’s funny bones or sense of irony. It would not, perhaps, be over-dramatic to say that the National Geographic content appeals to our minds, our hearts, maybe even our souls.
The article itself breaks down and analyzes the methods they use to best present their content – all worthy advice, no doubt – but what becomes most clear to the discriminating reader is the sheer superiority of the content that National Geographic has to share. The overarching lesson from their example must be not to rely on the fleeting or the flamboyant but to find something real and true to say.
Who couldn’t use a one-minute strategy for improving success?
In typical page 19/Blinkist fashion, readers get a thorough – and easily read – rundown of a variety of mental tricks to improve success, motivation, and self esteem.
From improving likeability to creative thinking to positivity to willpower, the author reviews seven books that help you influence your mind and make it work for you rather than against you.
This article gives a perfect example of how to show leadership and to own being a leader, no matter what your specific role or title is. We must all embrace the diplomatic aspect of leadership when it comes to how we work and the quality of the things being produced.
The article serves as a great reminder that taking the time and making the effort to think like an owner pays off immensely. By defining your job broadly, you allow yourself to be accountable for the bigger picture. It takes time and practice and can even be scary, but leading with confidence and conviction is a skill that is more than just useful. It’s critical.