Cathy Chiba doesn’t like labels, but if she had to call herself something, it would be a perspective-taker.
She’s always asking herself, “How do I think about this in a way that makes it more inclusive, that helps explain what’s going on, and also makes it more human.”
She’s a speaker, a writer, she helps people with communications. But really, it all comes down to trying to find out how to take someone else’s perspective to try to find out about a situation.
But the real reason I invited her on the podcast is that Cathy has a unique perspective on productivity.
Most people tend to think about productivity as a “value in / value out” model.
You do a certain amount of work, you get a certain amount of value out the other end. This is a very industrial way of looking at things. It’s based all around efficiency, where every hour is equal, and this model has tended to dominate the way we think about work and productivity.
But it doesn’t work for all pursuits!
Take speaking. Or athletics. Or any kind of performance.
In this performance kind of model, to produce something of value the end result is very time-bound and space bound (for example, a 3-minute song onstage, or a 20-second footrace). You put a lot of work in up front, over a long period of time. The industrial model of “value in / value out” doesn’t apply at all.
And there are other models, too, such as the agricultural model, which Cathy touches on in our conversation.
We talked about how the domination of the industrial model has affected us, and how “inaction heroes” can shift the paradigm to become more productive, and ultimately happier as a result.
It was pretty eye-opening, and mind-expanding. Have a listen and let me know what you think!
M by Staples (TM) Arc hole punch and Arc Notebook accessories for custom notebooks
I have been messing with making my own planner, but I hate 3-ring binders. I am really enjoying the Arc system by Staples, which is a disc binder system. Circa is another brand of the same kind of system; papers are bound together by plastic discs.
To be able to make your own notebooks, you need to invest the Arc Hole Punch, a special paper punch, but once you’ve done that, you can do all sorts of experimentation.
From Melissa (and Cathy):
It’s a meditation app, available online and as an app on smartphones. I use it on my iPhone, but you can also download the app via Google Play and from Amazon, and you can also use it online.
I like it because I love the way Andy Puddicombe (the app creator) teaches meditation (it’s friendly and light but not fluffy), and because its incentive structure works for me. It’s ultimately subscription based, but the cool thing about the “rewards” for consistency is that you receive rewards (coupon codes for subscriptions) that you can give to someone else.
If you tend to be someone who often ends up working in “performance mode,” some kind of mind training is a huge help. Being able to observe your own thoughts and feelings in the moment without judgement, developing the habit of gently drawing yourself back into focus, and allowing yourself to stay present with whatever’s happening in the moment — all those are essential skills for someone who must perform in the moment. Meditation and mindfulness training can help us develop these skills, although they are not the only ones.
Your Creative Sandbox play time is a similar practice, because again, it involves staying in the moment and observing (and doing) without judging.
I’ve tended to resist meditation apps because (a) isn’t this something that you can do by yourself, for free? and (b) a lot of meditation training seems to involve cultural trappings that don’t *have* to along with a sensible practice. But I really like Headspace, and would recommend it to anyone who would like to try meditation but is afraid that someone might make them wear a long robe or burn incense.
Want a creative kick start?
Check out my book!
What would change for you if you could totally revel in the joy of creating? You CAN, with The Creative Sandbox Way!
- Melissa’s 10 fool-proof guideposts that have helped thousands get joyfully creating.
- 5 reasons why creative play is good for you, AND for the world (it’s neuroscience, baby!)
- Why “I’m not creative” is always a lie, and how to bust it.
- How to turn creative blocks into friends.
AND you’ll get creating right in the book itself.
“It’s one part field guide, one part creative practice—and I loved it. The Creative Sandbox Way is an adventure packaged as a book.”
NYT best-selling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup
Hear ye, hear ye! This is to serve as official notice that all links to anything for sale, be it books or courses, are likely to be affiliate links. What this means is that if you click through said links and make a purchase, although it won’t affect the price that you pay, a few coins will jangle into my coffers, enabling me to buy a packet of hard gluten-free biscuits to feed myself and my husband for another day, or perhaps a pen with which to create some artwork. Or perhaps they will contribute toward paying a fraction of my web hosting bill, so that this blog and podcast can continue to exist. Thank you kindly for your attention.
Thanks for Listening!
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Now go get creating!
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