Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Merlin Mann | Oct 10 2007
I sometimes think that one factor in success as a business or as a human being has a lot to do with what kind of problems you're comfortable solving -- and how you get better at addressing the stuff that falls outside that comfort zone.
History is littered with revolutionaries who couldn't run the country they'd overthrown, Generals who've insisted on re-fighting the last war, talented programmers who were promoted to becoming ineffective (and very unhappy) managers, and, of course, there's the countless companies that just couldn't make the leap when technology or cultural change rendered their comfy old business model moot.
Seems like there's a thread here that's worth thinking about.
How do you get better at knowing when you’re trying to solve the wrong problem?read more »
Ryan Norbauer | Oct 8 2007
Now that I’ve primed your pump for an outsourcing extravaganza, it’s time to turn our eyes towards the quotidian. Once you’re ready to hire help, there are two main challenges to face. Firstly, you have to identify portions of your daily work that can be outsourced, and then you have to find the right person to do that work for you.read more »
Ryan Norbauer | Sep 25 2007
Yesterday, Ethan talked about delegating to yourself. Today, Ryan Norbauer discusses what it takes to delegate well to others. Part one of a two-part series.
I’m Ryan, and you can usually find me in the midst of my workday by following the trail of naked yaks. I fear that I’m drawn to arcane tasks not in spite of the fact that they are tangential to my ultimate goals, but precisely because they give me an excuse to avoid them. I don’t need to grapple with the big anxiety-evoking issues of how to make a new one of my companies make more money, for example, if I can instead focus on creating an elaborate triply-redundant, auto-rotating archival filing system for our Apache server logs (which we never look at.)
However, I recently encountered a weirdly tantalizing idea in Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek, which would ultimately disrupt my addiction to the extraneous. The book advocates farming out the more mundane tasks of your existence to outside firms and consultants, which Ferriss calls “outsourcing your life.” Probably because it would give me an excuse not to do something else more pressing, I decided to give this a go a few months ago. While I did learn quite a lot about outsourcing in the process, my experiments led me to a far grander epiphany about the way I approach life and work generally and helped me form a new set of habits that have utterly rocked my workaday world. I’m about to introduce you to the theory and practice of what I believe to be the forgotten Prime Minister of All Productivity Hacks: asking for help.read more »
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