Read more books (please)

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Read a fiction book. Read a non fiction book. Read a cookbook or a comic book for all I care. Just spend more time reading.

I should say that I am very much in favor of a good blockbuster movie, an exciting football game, or a taut detective thriller. And I am also asking you to try turning off the show you didn’t mean to watch, the extra 20 minutes you didn’t realize you spent on Facebook, or that part of your life you lost to Candy Crush.

Because books are every bit as good at stimulating your brain, and more.

Great books take you away to another place for a while. Great books give you perspective. Great books make you laugh out loud at the absurdity of it all. And great books make you wonder, are we alone in the universe?

When you get back from spending time alone in your head with a book, you are better suited to be with other people. You might have new insights to share with others. You may look at your life a little differently.

Whether you read the book out loud, info-snack using a Kindle, stay in bed with a flashlight under the covers until the book ends, or read in other ways and places, great books inspire. Great books stay with you and don’t let go. Great books remind you of good and bad times and those yet to be. Make sure you read some more this week and you’ll see what I mean.

For creative tasks, use different incentives

In a great speech from TED global 2009, Daniel Pink discusses the issue of motivation and incentives.

See the speech here:

Pink describes the “candle problem” as a classic model of when incentives work and when they actually hinder innovation. This is a situation where the subject is asked to solve a situation and the solution is not immediately evident.

When the candle problem is explained simply, incentives to the subjects drastically improve the results. And when the problem is more complex, Pink explains, incentives actually hurt innovation and produce negative results. Continue reading “For creative tasks, use different incentives”

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