1.5 million. This is the number of dogs and cats that are euthanized every year in the US alone. 10 years ago, my wife and I rescued a sweet, gentle pit bull/bulldog mix from the local humane society. It breaks my heart to think how close he was another rounding error on this statistic. It’s also hard to consider the fact that he was an anomaly, and that most of the others like him won’t get a chance to find a loving home.
People matter. We all know this. Yet, when life gets busy, it is our relationships that are usually the first to suffer. The urgent crises in front of us take precedent again and again while people get pushed further and further down the priority list. Worse, the people closest to us can bear the brunt of this because we think they will always understand and forgive us. And they might... to a point. However, I've had the great misfortune of losing this gamble more than once as friends gave up waiting for me.
Peter Agelasto is one of the most fascinating people I know. As many great stories go, we met in a chance encounter after a long series of other chance encounters. Some would say this is fate. Others? Chaos theory in action. Whatever the case, my world forever changed the day I sent him an email asking him to join me on a massive website project. He didn't know this at the time, but I would have been 100% screwed had he not accepted. I had zero experience in the industry at that time, and I could have easily botched the project and burned several relationships along the way.
Burnout is a powerful teacher. It’s from its ruinous ashes (fueled by exhausting one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual resources) that it becomes abundantly clear that money isn’t everything. Restating this cliché another way—your net worth is one number. And this one number may have zero correlation to the poorness or richness of every other dimension of your life. Examples:
Managing web development projects at digital agencies involves a lot of moving parts. Projects change hands many times as they move from RFP to proposal, to development, to initial launch and ongoing maintenance. I look at this as part of a DevOps culture mindset; focusing on the smooth flow of information across silos in an organization. In this post, I share my template for Project Reference Guides, which makes it easy for teams to collect and share key project information across all stakeholders.
In the busiest stretch of my career thus far, I was involved in a dozen or more meetings a day leading a team of 60 individuals across 200 active client projects and internal initiatives. It was a lot, and keeping up with everything was challenging. However, it also forced me to think through how to make these meetings matter. Ultimately, I found the following format to be a solid starting point that could be further adapted for each situation.
ANDNA is a palindrome representing the following components:
“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” ― Banksy
“I wonder where the oldest gravestone is?” Have you ever played this game when you were a child visiting the cemetery? Walking around trying to find the 1st person that was buried and remarking in awe at how many decades (or centuries) they lived before you?
First, the “Zeigarnik” in the Zeigarnik Effect is pronounced zeeg-err-neck. I intentionally repeated this 3 times and I recommend saying it out loud and committing the spelling to long term memory because you are going to want to bust this out the next time you identify this experience.
“The most important thing is to keep the most important thing the most important thing.” I imagine few would argue with these wise words by the late Stephen Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). However, habits and intentions don’t always align. I once had a screen time recorder on my phone that reported I had spent 5 hours in a single day on email and social media. Little, if any, of this time was spent on the most important things in my life: my family, my health, my career, etc.