Wednesday, June 22

▷ The Podcast #52 - 6 degrees of Elon Musk

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "productivity, business, books, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time Radek talks about his trip to San Francisco to Apple's WWDC and we learn to introduce ourselves:

The latest episode of The Podcast

After 50 episodes we're trying to improve our podcast and reach new audiences. As a listener could you share here in the comments or on social media what can we do to make the show better? Thanks!

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Monday, June 20

☆ How banning email improves team productivity

There's a new book "Under New Management" by David Burkus coming soon that includes some unconventional management practices, and one of them is apparently "banning email.” Something I did in my company three years ago. Something I didn't think was new but now I see it really is. Whenever I talk about "No Office,” people ask me about my email policy and they're surprised that we banned email in our company. They give me this "Can you do that?" face. Of course you can. You actually should if you want to have a productive environment for your team. Only allow email to the "outside world" and ban email within your team. This is how it's done:

Ban emails in your company

I originally posted this on Medium where I post about remote working as a part of NoOffice publication. I'd appreciate if you followed me there and recommended my posts, thanks!

If you manage your projects through email you are doing it wrong!

Email is bad for you and your team because we get too many messages every day and the important internal emails get mixed up with other correspondence with people from the outside world.

To solve this problem we designed a new way to communicate: we use email for the outside world and something else for "internal communication.” We use two apps for that: Slack and Nozbe. This is how we communicate:

Friday, June 17

☑️ A triathlon-packing checklist I created for me and you [Nozbe.HOW]

As you know from this blog, I started my triathlon adventure when I lost weight thanks to the "Slow-carb diet" two years ago. This year I've already done one Olympic-distance triathlon in April, I'm doing my next one this Sunday and I'm planning to do a third one in September. Each race lasts a little less than 3 hours and as I'm doing three sports one after another, a good checklist is necessary to make sure I don't forget a thing. Thanks to Nozbe.how templates I created a checklist that you also can use, even if you don't have a Nozbe account:

ImageOptional on Nozbe.how

Triathlon checklist at Nozbe.how

I wrote more about it on the Nozbe blog, but basically it's all about having everything for each of the sports (swimming, biking and running) and having a good routine right before the race.

If you've never tried a triathlon but you're already getting in shape, I encourage you to give it a try. In September a friend of mine will race his first triathlon - he'll go with the "Sprint" distance which is half of what I'm doing (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run) and it's exactly what I did when I was getting started.

Doing triathlons forces you to do three sports every week instead of just running, so I totally recommend it! And here's what it takes to pack for a race like the one I have on Sunday (wish me luck!)

Triathlon checklist at Nozbe.how

Question: Have you ever tried racing a triathlon? Which of the sports is your best (swimming, biking or running)?

Powered by Nozbe.how

Friday, June 17

► How to motivate #NoOffice employees - Productive! Show #109

What motivates people in No Office company? People work for money but not because of money.

Give your employees something cool, a purpose to work in your company. Let them make decisions and give them freedom. They should choose how they reach the goal and when they'll work on that. The key to keep the flow is asynchronous work.

The most important thing is that you have to trust your employees. Treat them as partners and adults so they'll work as adults.

Check it out:

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Thursday, June 16

▷ The Podcast #51 - WWDC2016

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "productivity, business, books, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we talk about how latest Apple related news will impact our app, Nozbe and our productivity overall:

The latest episode of The Podcast

My co-host Radek is actually attending WWDC in San Francisco and he's complaining that "sunny California" can be really cold when you stand in line for the Apple's keynote...

Bonus: we invited Craig Federighi of Apple to help us out. You'll love it!

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Tuesday, June 14

✔ Why America's gun ownership leads to so many mass shootings and innocent deaths. And how it can be stopped.

Another day and another mass shooting in the USA. This time the deadliest ever. I usually try to avoid political statements and arguments because frankly, everyone is entitled to their own views. However, I believe the idea of gun ownership has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the gun industry and facts that are interpreted wrong. And innocent lives being taken. Facts just speak for themselves and very often I'm drawn into a debate on Twitter with people who simply haven't done their homework. So here, five reasons why more guns lead to more people being killed. From the perspective of a person who luckily lives in Europe:

Guns

Before we start, a story close to my heart - how my podcast co-host was assaulted two years ago in San Francisco.

Two years ago my young iOS developer Radek (my current The Podcast co-host) went to San Francisco for Apple's WWDC conference. One evening coming back from the conference he was assaulted with a gun by two people who stole his passport and his iPhone. This was his first ever trip to the USA and his first few days in the country. He was shocked and scared.

Yes, people steal iPhones in Europe but they don't do it with a gun! Usually when your phone is stolen all you worry about is that you lost a valuable device. Radek was scared for his life!

This is the main difference - where in the USA they pull a gun on you, in Europe they'll maybe slap or punch you in the face. Usually not even that. This is the reality of modern-day America:

Wednesday, June 8

▷ The Podcast #50 - Four Disciplines

Wow! The 50th episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "productivity, business, books, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we dive deep into a book called "The four disciplines of execution" and we are discussing how you can get your goals done by basically tracking things you didn't think you should be. And doing it regularly:

The latest episode of The Podcast

And it's our 50th episode! Wow come celebrate with us by listening to our show and letting me know what you think about our podcast so far. Should we keep doing it?

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Thursday, June 2

▷ The Podcast #49 - Zero sum game

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "productivity, business, books, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we discuss the very well known, yet under appreciated fact that in life there are trade offs and if you say yes to something, you're at the same time saying no to something else:

The latest episode of The Podcast

Also a basketball “corner” as a bonus. Something I discussed and updated in my last blog post. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, May 31

★ Lessons on humility and hard work from the Warriors vs Thunder basketball playoffs battle

I’m a big basketball fan. I’m a short guy but I love playing the game and I’ve been watching NBA games since my high-school days. This last season was particularly interesting as my favorite team “Golden State Warriors” broke the record of most wins in the regular season set by none other than the famous Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan. The “Dubs” (that’s how “Warriors” are nicknamed) won 73 games and lost only 9. They made history… but they still have to go through play-offs and win the Championship title, and they barely made it to the finals… here’s what we can learn from their 7-game match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder:

Warriors win Western Conference Title

1. Even if you’re the best, you still have to play your best

There’s a reason champions come and go. Things change. Even if you’re at the top, you still have to bring your best. They have in the regular season, but not so much at the play-offs. They lost a game in the first round, lost another in the second round… and lost their first game vs OKC Thunder. Something odd for a team that lost only 9 games in the whole year!

They later won one game and lost two… and with 1-3 deficit almost were doomed to go home. They made it 4-3 as they gave it all in the last three games. They finally played at their best. They had to.

2. Enjoy your hype, but don’t rely on it

Stephen Curry is not only the best point guard in the league, the MVP of the regular season… but also the best 3-point shooter ever to play the game. He scored 402 3-pointers this regular season. He beat his own record of “treys” set last year by more than 100. He shot from any distance and he almost always made it. He had around 50% hit rate! From the 3-point line!

That’s where he started making mistakes in the play-offs. When things got tough he started shooting from anywhere, without preparing the shots, without passing to his team mates. He thought he’d score anyway. Well he did once or twice, but his percentage in playoffs was way below 50%… it was somewhere closer to 30%… He’s still amazing and I’m his biggest fan, but he should have known better. He believed too much in his own hype.

Which brings me to the last point:

3. Team wins, team loses… and wins again - it’s all about the team!

It’s all about team work. What made Steph also great in the regular season was his passing ability. His assists. In the last three games against OKC Thunder finally the Dubs were playing like a team. Steph was not only shooting, but also passing. Also letting other team mates shine (just think about game 6 and Klay Thompson’s 11 record-braking treys!).

“Never give up, just do it” - is my favorite slogan… and it fits perfectly what the Warriors team did in these last three games. They played like champions. And out of 200+ teams in the history of the NBA who had a 1-3 game deficit, they’re one of only 10 that made it anyway. They are true warriors.

This reminds me that at Nozbe we can only achieve greatness as a team. It’s me at the helm but without my team I wouldn’t be where I am today. And I have a great team!

OK, now let’s have some fun in the Finals and get that ring!

Question: Anything else you’ve learned recently from watching sports?

Sent from my iPhone 6 Plus

Bonus: Watch the 10-minute recap of the game 7 between Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder

Friday, May 27

▷ The Podcast #48 - Three-point-three wave

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "technology, productivity tips, business, and books we recommend..." is out! This time we talk about the third wave of our society development and within that the third wave of the Internet:

The latest episode of The Podcast

We give you some tips on how to prepare for the conferences like WWDC... and we also prove that Nozbe can work on Mars!

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Wednesday, May 25

✔ iPhone Only on vacation? Why it’s not a good idea to bring your laptop or iPad on vacation.

I just got back from a “honeymoon” with my wife. We took a romantic trip to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. We try to go on a getaway like this every year and almost always succeed. While we’re gone, my parents take care of our girls, so we can spend some time alone. This time we decided to go to Italy and we didn’t take our laptops. I just took my iPad Pro.

iPhone only on vacatiion

Note: The following article appeared first in the 5/2016 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.

Why did I bring along my iPad Pro?

Good question. I took it because I had to write an article; because I always travel with my iPad; because I’m "iPad Only" and in case I needed to do some work, I could do it on my iPad; because if there aren’t any interesting movies at the hotel, I can watch something on Netflix on my iPad; because it’s much easier to book a hotel or read a tour guide on iPad’s bigger screen...

There are many reasons to travel with your iPad.

Really?

Wednesday, May 18

▷ The Podcast #47 - Quit social media

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we discussed our reliance on social media that very often borders on addiction. We started questioning the value we get from it:

The latest episode of The Podcast

No. You don't have to quit social media altogether. I'm not using Snapchat, I stopped going to Instagram as often as I used to, same with LinkedIn or Facebook. I still use Twitter a lot but I'm planning on being more mindful about it...

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Tuesday, May 17

▷ The Podcast #46 - Deep Work

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we talk about the book "deep work" which we both loved. It's all about focused work:

The latest episode of The Podcast

When Radek recommended this book I thought not to read it... I thought I already knew all there is to know about "focused work". I was wrong. Listen to our show and get that book!

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Thursday, May 5

▷ The Podcast #45 - Tree of knowledge

New episode of your favorite weekly podcast about "technology, productivity tips, business, publishing, and whatever else comes to mind..." is out! This time we continue talking about books and their positive influence on our lives:

The latest episode of The Podcast

We discuss why books can't be too short to "condition" you to the message they're trying to convey and why a single-themed book is better than the one with lots of loose pieces of advice...

And if you're curious which books I'm reading now, check this list out. And here are all the reviews of all my books.

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And please let me know what you think about my new podcast with Radek - post your comments over here or on our podcast site. Thank you!

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Thursday, April 28

☆ Individual talks with your team members. How? When? And... why?

I'm lucky to be running a small team of 20+ people that I get to know very well. I don't know how it's going to be with a team of 30 or 40 or 50 folks but I'm going to find out in the years to come, since we’ll eventually have to get to these levels to be able to spread Nozbe’s "good message of productivity" to as many people as we'd like. I guess we'll see. Now while I can, I still try to get to know my team as much as possible and be approachable to them. That's why I hold individual one-on-one talks with each company member every three months and this is how I do it:

Nozbe team Photo by Krzysztof Lenda

I originally posted this on Medium where I post about remote working as a part of NoOffice publication. I'd appreciate if you followed me there and recommended my posts, thanks!

One-on-one meetings are important!

Again, I'm writing this from the perspective of a 20+ person company, not a 100+ one... so my opinion on this might change with time, but for now I think it's essential to meet with everyone one on one at least every three months. I schedule a 30- to 60-minute window for this conversation to make sure we give each other full, undivided attention. And it's important to be prepared for it, to actually have notes and topics to discuss.