get offline, stay offline, don’t eat meat

Reading

This article on Wired How to Stay in the Moment: Take a Picture – sort of justifying the constant point and shoot nature of the world today. I’m still torn between the guilt of living life through a screen and the knowledge that I will (and do) forget things very easily if I don’t have a photo of it. I literally have a video for every single day since my daughter was born (and the same – but a photo – for my son) and while that sounds like overkill, I know for a fact that it’s an aide memoire that I can’t really do without.

Help Your Team Achieve Work-Life Balance – Even When You Can’t. I think I do have a good work-life balance. It’s something I’ve (ironically) worked hard to get, and something that I’m grateful my employer supports, but it’s always nice to re-affirm how necessary it is. The piece outlines 6 strategies to achieve a good balance; it’s the first 2 that particularly ring true – Communicate that the organization’s success is based on a marathon, not a sprint (i.e. it’s impossible to go flat out all the time, you need rest periods) and Hire enough staff, and take turns taking time off (share responsibilities, let people take time off if they really need to).

If your team would be seriously incapacitated if one person was out, you have a personnel problem. Neither you nor anyone on your team should feel truly indispensable.

Safe your sanity: Downgrade your life was a highlight for me this week, because so much of it hit home. Especially in a week where I’ve ditched my TV package at home, I’ve had to explain (again) why I don’t have Whatsapp (or FB messenger, or whatever) on my phone, and where I’ve even bought a new handset which is purposely old and small; it’s some sort of weird happenstance that that article was published at the same time. I could probably quote the whole thing here, but you definitely should go read it. The bit about leaving your phone outside of the room when you’re with your kids though – that’s something I still struggle with despite repeated attempts. It’s ridiculous, it shouldn’t be difficult. But I keep falling into the trap. No more!

Maintaining the theme that seems to be emerging this week – I liked that page which you can only read when your browser is offline. Go offline “..because to maintain a constant connection to the internet is to maintain a constant connection to interruptions, both external and internal.”.

On a different note entirely, did you know about rongorongo? A set of glyphs from Easter Island that have yet to be deciphered. Love it.

Listening to

A couple of 99% Invisible episodes: El Gordo and The Great Dismal Swamp. Both were delights to listen to; about subjects I’d never heard of before. The former about a small town in Spain that collectively won like £700m on the lottery, and the latter about an area in Virginia/N Carolina which became a home for escaped slaves in the 1700s. I can’t imagine what either of those situations was like, but these podcasts opened my eyes to a lot, condensed in [2] 26minute blocks.

Moral Maze, Veganism and Animal Rights. Not the most satisfying of debates on the topic if I’m honest. It still surprises me that there are people who say they ‘have’ to eat meat for every meal these days. I’d get it more if that’s a choice based on enjoying the taste – because it generally does taste delicious – but claiming that it’s necessary as a human due to biology is a weak argument. Not to mention animal welfare and sustainability and health and horse lasagne. I am admittedly biased – I’m basically 90% vegetarian. I totally *heart* meat, and if I’m eating out, that’s the only part of the menu I’ll look at. At home however, every meal is meat free. If you’re not convinced about the benefits of vegetarianism yet, then that Moral Maze episode won’t do much to convince you.