This week we're diving into the power of working on projects just for fun, on how to beat burnout and overcome your fear of failure.
Tonight's the Festival of Sant Joan here in Barcelona. It's going to be nice catching up with a few friends. If you're celebrating this, enjoy!
P.S. Thanks for all the kind emails that flooded my inbox last week, so good to hear from you. Also, shoutout to BB, Eve and Rajat for the coffees this month!
With gratitude, Janel
A Project Of One's Own One of the best ways to discover ideas for great companies is to work on a project just for fun. You learn so much. "Kids just plunge in and build their treehouse without worrying about whether they're wasting their time, or how it compares to other treehouses. And frankly we could learn a lot from kids here."
The Rule Of Hard Things The "Hard Thing Rule" could increase passion and perseverance your employees and/or kids. Grit isn't something you're born with. You can learn it, and you can create an environment that fosters more grit.
In Online Ed, Content Is No Longer King—Cohorts Are The cohort era of online learning has begun. Self-paced learning is tough, and few people actually complete the courses that they start. Cohort-based courses are a better way of learning. "Studies also show that what psychologists and neuroscientists call “interleaving” learning — where instructors mix different topics, ideas, and activities together during study, forcing students to intentionally switch between them rather than focusing on a single subject — can result in better learning outcomes for students." Cohort-based courses give students a chance to engage in different modalities — breakouts, role-playing, discussions, debates — with the instructor, coaches, and each other.
Negotiation tactics around the world Negotation tactics differ based on cultures. These charts will show you how to adapt your style. For example, be prepared for a vigorous, logical debate with the French, but remember to be concise with the Finns.
Beating Burnout: A Guide Burnout is a very real problem. I've experienced it. You've probably experienced it. Here's a guide on how to support your mental health at work.
My favorite tips:
Be unapologetically clear about your personal and professional boundaries
Prioritize your own self-care.
Don't make assumptions, and ask questions with an open mind.
Get off social media. As much as it's nice to build an audience, a little time off to spend in the real world helps deal with burnout.
What's product thinking? The skill of knowing what makes a product useful — and loved — by people. This is a masterpiece by Julie Zhuo, and what I enjoyed most is the section on Developing Inquiry. Knowing the "why" behind observations helps you be a better thinker. If you're interested in product, there are two simple things you can do every week to hone your thinking:
Try at least one new product, feature, or service.
Have at least one conversation or reflection about how a specific product decision impacts its intended audience.
Resources & Tools
Every Time Zone - Having meetings across timezones? This helps you find the best fit.
Icebreakers for Slack - If you work in Slack and want to spice things up a bit with fun, trivia and quizzes, check out this tool. Free while it's in beta.
College Compendium - A jumbo collection of free Computer Science courses from universities, if you're keen to start coding.
Convert Case - Free site to help you convert text to different cases, without having to retype whole sentences. A whole array of conversions for you to choose from, including lower case, upper case, sentence case, Capitalized Case and more.
Take A Brain Break
Space Jam - For the new Space Jam movie, Warner Bros. have released an alternate version of the website that mimics the original 1996 site.