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Todd Lohenry:

Good stuff, David. I’m doing a series on Getting Things Done [GTD] on the internet. Coincidentally, I wrote about Email last week here: http://e1evation.com/2012/10/05/getting-things-done-gtd-in-email/

Originally posted on Live & Learn:

PrintI’m productive. Efficient. I’ve been told by many – obsessively productive and efficient.  I chew up tasks and spit them out.  Yet, one can always be more productive, right?  I’ve been in a life long search for the Holy Grail of a Zero Email Box solution at the end of each day.  A search for the best To-Do program.  A hunt for a better way to manage projects. A race to squeeze more into each day.  I believe being more productive is possible. Within reach.  Just within the ends of my fingertips.

So, when I came across Robin Sharma’s post titled “Become The Most Productive Person You Know”, I was like Zeke on his bone – on it.   When Sharma opened his post by stating: “I want to help you create explosive productivity so you get big things done (and make your life matter)…”, I was giddy. …

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Todd Lohenry:

Thanks for the tip of the hat to http://e1evation.com!

Originally posted on The Inspired Verse:

Positive Thinking = A Way of Life

Have you ever consciously noticed or ‘felt’ a very positive impression about someone after having met them?   It’s almost as though they emit an aura of energy that you can sense not only when they are physically present, but also even when you simply are thinking about them.

For me, thinking, acting and being positive has become a way of life.  I constantly search for the ‘good’ in every person, experience and thing.  I have become a much more resilient, content, peaceful and happy individual as a direct result of approaching life with a positive mental attitude.  This includes reacting to everyday occurrences (good or not so good), meeting others, responding to things I encounter (reading a book, listening to a song, watching a movie, observing nature).

The concept of Free Will plays a major part in this approach, i.e., acknowledging that…

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A Primer for Blogging; thoughts on 3,000 posts…

Old books

Just in time for this ‘milestone’ post, Chris Brogan provided this handy list that I’ll use as a preamble to what it is that I already wanted to share with you…

If you would like to get further into blogging, here is a brief primer:

  1. Get a blog. (Easy: tumblr.com, wordpress.com, blogger.com. Better: host your own -affiliate link.)
  2. Pick an area of focus, but one that has broad sides. (Mine: helping people do digital business in a human way.)
  3. Start writing.
  4. Start by planning to publish 1 post a week.
  5. Get daring and try for 2 posts a week (eventually).
  6. Make the posts more than 100 words and less than 1000 words most days.
  7. Spell-check.
  8. Delete the sentences that don’t matter.
  9. Realize that posts that are helpful to others get shared more than posts that are merely interesting.
  10. Never write a “sorry I haven’t written” post. Ever.
  11. Posts that just comment on other people’s posts and sum things up aren’t all that interesting.
  12. Do NOT get hung up on the tech. Get hung up on passion.
  13. The best way to write better is to read more. Second best: write more (often).
  14. Don’t try to copy other people’s style. Try to copy their proliferation.
  15. My best (most popular) posts were the ones I spent the least time writing.
  16. My least popular posts were the ones that took me more than a half hour to write.
  17. Pictures are a great place to start a post idea.
  18. Inspiration is a verb and a muscle.
  19. Lazy is, too.
  20. You’re doing it wrong. So is everyone.
  21. There’s not a single rule on this list that isn’t breakable. Break all the rules you want and enjoy yourself.

There. Write. Stop what you’re doing. Don’t comment. Don’t even share this post. Go write. On whatever came to mind. Delete it, if you hate it. But write. Now.

Source: A Primer for Blogging

Far be it from me to take issue with the great Chris Brogan, but regarding #1 I’ll say choose WordPress.com if you’re just getting started. Tumblr and Blogger are nice, but if you’re looking for traffic, nothing is better for Search Engine Optimization [SEO] than WordPress.com. You can always graduate to the self-hosted version of WordPress later if you want…

Regarding #2, sooner or later, you’ll have to face up to the fact that if you want to get good at it, your blog will have a brand. What is a brand?

“A brand is a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” Branding began as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp. A modern example of a brand is Coca Cola which belongs to the Coca-Cola Company.” Source: Brand – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Simply put, if you’re going to find faithful readers, you’ll have to curate or create information on a narrow scope of topics so that people will know what to expect from you – what they come to expect of you is your brand. A blog gives you a share of voice on the internet which gives you a share of mind which may ultimately give you a share of market if you pursue it. You might even become a thought leader like Chris Brogan if you work your blog well enough! Thought leader? To me that’s a recognized expert that can be found in Google search. To become one you only need to do two things well; deepen your expertise [continuously learn – stay on top of your craft] and document your expertise [blog and engage in social media].

Regarding #11, I think curation is an important part of thought leadership and I think Chris ‘sums up’ more than he realizes! In this age of information proliferation, you have the ability to become a source that people trust through your blog by consistently curating and creating information that is useful to them. Also, I’m following rule #21 by breaking rule #11 and quoting Chris himself twice in this post! Here’s another great post he did this weekend about having a plan and working it;

“It’s a gorgeous and sunny day as I write this. I would like to be outside, maybe grilling up some steaks and drinking a beer or 12. But I’m working because that’s the plan. I have a short window of time to get a bunch of things done before I hit the road again, and because part of my business is to create media, that means writing and creating information that might be useful to you. Work the plan. That’s the message of the day. Work the PlanMy media plan says I should be writing one of six types of posts:

  • How to
  • Vision/Perspective
  • Promotion
  • Interview
  • Do it Better
  • Review

In this case, I’ll call this post a “how-to.” It’s not the best I’ve ever written, especially because it’s so self-referential, but it proves the point. If your goal is to reach into the heads of the people you hope to reach, you’d best have a plan. If your goal is to make money, and this digital strategy is part of the plan, then what are you doing to stick to it?” Source: Work the Plan.

Only you can decide if my post is ‘not all that interesting’ because I ‘summed up’ Chris’ post — obviously I think it’s beneficial or else I wouldn’t do it…

btw, yesterday I passed the 3,000 post milestone on my personal blog and I’m fast approaching 5,000 on my business blog but these are just the posts that have been published! Counting other blogs that I’ve done since I started 7 years ago I conservatively estimate I’ve created over 20,000 posts. I’m no Chris Brogan, but I have developed an efficient ‘lather rinse repeat’ cycle of blogging using Google Reader and WordPress. This screencast shares some of my best blogging secrets with you – I promised you’ll learn at least one time-saving tactic if you watch the whole think…

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Bigger Isn’t Better when it comes to Farming

The EPA was directed to set standards for radi...

I’ve shared information about CAFO’s here before. As a resident of rural Wisconsin in a county with 17 CAFO’s, I’m concerned about the impact of these mega-manure operations on my land and water…

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 1 billion tons of animal waste is produced annually by livestock operations, much of it from CAFOs. These facilities commonly rely on open lagoons or large piles to store the huge volumes of waste generated there, later to be crop-applied. This waste is essentially untreated and often used at levels that far exceed the fertilization needs of crops. This results in excess runoff and leaching into local rivers, streams and bays, damaging water quality and fish, birds, and other life.

“The waste generated by CAFOs contains a range of pollutants, including excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Even more alarming, this manure can carry pathogens like bacteria and viruses, antibiotics, copper, and arsenic.” Karen Steuer, Director, Reforming Industrial Animal Agriculture

And there have been plenty of reports of these issues affecting people, too. In 2004, 29 states identified livestock-feeding operations as a source of water pollution. According to the EPA, drinking water sources for an estimated 40 percent of Americans have suffered some level of pathogen contamination associated with CAFOs.

The waste generated by CAFOs contains a range of pollutants, including excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Even more alarming, this manure can carry pathogens like bacteria and viruses, antibiotics, copper, and arsenic.

All this can result in a multitude of problems for people, plants, and animals alike. For example:

A massive manure spill at a Lewis County, N.Y., dairy farm in 2005 contaminated 20 miles of the Black River and killed 375,000 fish.

At a national wildlife refuge near a large hog operation in Nebraska, wildlife experts concluded in 2004 that wastewater with high concentrations of phosphorous, ammonia, nitrogen, and harmful pathogens had created an environment conducive to algal blooms and possible outbreaks of avian botulism and avian cholera.

Over the last three years, toxic algal blooms have plagued Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio. These are caused by excess nutrients, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources notes that the “manure generated by approximately 300 confined animal operations and applied to nearby crop fields is a major component of the nutrient load to the watershed.”

The Clean Water Act is the principal law for controlling pollution of rivers, lakes, and wetlands in the United States. The law has a mixed record overall, but an especially poor one when it comes to regulating pollution from animal agriculture, particularly concentrated animal feeding operations. While the EPA and state agencies have implemented various regulations to control nutrient pollution, significant gaps remain.

In my next blog, I will provide more detail on the specific links between CAFOs and water pollution across the country.” Get more here: Bigger Isn’t Better – Pew Environment Group.

You can track the issue here and via Google Alerts and Google Reader if you’re interested in knowing more…

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How To Eat Information

“Information, if viewed from the point of view of food, is never a production issue. … It’s a consumption issue, and we have to start thinking about how we create diets and exercise,” said JP Rangaswami in his TEDx presentation.

For a man who currently has 38,000 books in his collection and lives in Calcutta, India where they are known for their rich, savory and sweet Southern Indian cuisine, his is a theory that could very well make sense!

Since most of us consume food according to a certain diet, minimize our surrender to sinful indulgences, measure our nutrition intake to make sure we have enough of everything; it’s possible that we’ve been doing the exact same thing all along with our consumption of data – or perhaps we should. As Plato the philosopher once said, “Knowledge is the food of the soul”.

“When I saw Supersize Me, I started thinking, now what would happen if an individual had 31 days of nonstop Fox News?” joked JP Rangaswami.

What do you think? If you saw information the way you see food, what would you do to digest the knowledge differently – nibble, bite, scoff or binge?” via How To Eat Information | FinerMinds.

I ‘eat’ information via Gmail, Google Reader and Gist and then share the best of it here. If you want to ‘eat’ better, I suggest you need better thoughts, tools and tactics. One way to do that might be to read my free ebook on ‘personal news aggregation’. Register at http://e1evation.com/pna/…

Zenith Chromacolor TV, 1970s

Retronaut is a fun site that I track in Google Reader. Every once in awhile, I see something that makes me nostalgic like this ad. It makes me think about the passage of time and technology…

I’ll probably be thinking about missing out on the ‘next great thing’ on my deathbed. Sigh… :-/

Go to the source for more: Zenith Chromacolor TV, 1970s | Retronaut.

It’s 2:51…

Viana rice milk in a cup

…and I can’t sleep. As I often do when this happens, I heat up a cup of milk and hit Google Reader to see what’s up on my favorite blogs…

Reading David Kanigan’s blog, there’s a post called “Sunday Morning Inspiration from Kewaunee County Wisconsin” featuring the photography of Bill Pevlor. I smile because If it hadn’t been for me, David might not know Bill or have even heard of Kewaunee County, Wisconsin. If it hadn’t been for David, I wouldn’t have heard of Nicholas Bate or Kirsten Barton Cuthriell or Steve Layman. And on it goes…

Sometimes I think my purpose in life is only to curate content from David Kanigan’s blog; a few weeks ago, he introduced me to the thinking of Sherry Turkle on the dangers of substituting technology for human interaction. Yes, there was a message in that post for me but I also think about the real friendships I have made and am making through blogging and social media and how that would not be possible without my slow, overworked cellular modem — that tenuous link that puts a rural Wisconsin farm house on the internet. Thanks to that connection and this blog I have chatted with someone who trekked in Annapurna, a social media chaplain in Indiana, and a 12 step girl from South Africa and I am grateful. And tired. And the warm milk has done its work. Good night…

PS Now you know why I don’t write original content very often!

Life’s Inconveniences

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I just stumbled upon Laura Gardner’s blog and thought I’d share something good I found there…

We have expectations that life SHOULD go smoothly – the computer should turn on, the car shouldn’t break down, the plumber should arrive on time. It can be horribly upsetting when things don’t go according to our expectations. But a life without inconvenience is a magical reality. What is certain is that there will be inconveniences – some small, some large, but always some.

In the same way as we expect life to go as planned, we expect ourselves to always make the “right” choices. So often in the counseling room I listen to clients lament, “I should have known,” “I should have done it differently,” “I should have seen it coming,” “I should have done it better.” Whether it’s about their education, their career choices, their relationship patterns, or anything else, people see how they “should have” done it differently. Hindsight is always 20/20, right?

But fighting the unexpected is not the most productive or satisfying way to live. Wishing it were some other way can be very painful. How can we roll with it, and embrace life’s detours and roadblocks? Many spiritual masters of course have turned to the principle of being present. It sounds so simple, so obvious. Yet, the challenge of it is monumental. It was either Deepak Chopra or Eckhart Tolle who wrote about the task of doing the dishes, and how if we’re present to it, the task can be pleasurable. (The day I enjoy doing the dishes is the day that hell freezes over, but I digress…) via Life’s Inconveniences « Holistic Gardner Blog.

You might want to add her to your Google Reader as well…