Do You Make Your Bed?

When you get up in the morning, do you make your bed? Some people like to start off the day with an accomplishment, however small. Others think, “Hey, I’m just going to mess it up again when I go to bed at night.” Where do you fall?

Share why if you wish.

How Can We Be More Productive?

Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.  When your to-do list is frustratingly long, what can you do to be more productive?

While there is something to be said for the need to relax in our over-scheduled society, sometimes you just need to get stuff done. That might include running errands, preparing a work project, or performing home maintenance. Whatever the task is that you feel is crucial, how can you avoid procrastination and distractions, and actually accomplish said task?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What is the value of inefficiency?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How can we encourage debate?’


Productivity has been steadily increasing in our modern society, thanks to tools like the computer and the internet, as well as the labor-saving machines that magnify the effort of an individual. Not to mention increasing the weekly hours spent at work, or even working during “off hours” like answering emails from home.

Are there further advances to be had? Do productivity programs or apps actually work? Are there routines or practices that can further improve how much we can accomplish? Or is the attempt to increase productivity bound to further increase daily stress and unhappiness?

If you feel that your list of tasks — for work, home, or even for enjoyment — is too long and needs to be reduced more efficiently, what can you do about it? How can we be more productive?

Related questions: How can we turn ideas into actions? How do you set priorities? What is important? How can we encourage collaboration? Do you keep lists?

Politics: Incremental Or Transformational?

We don’t ask too many overtly political questions, but here is (a non-partisan) one: do you think politics is inherently about steady, incremental progress, or broad, sweeping, transformational change?

Share why if you wish.

Politics: Incremental Or Transformational?

When Have You Made Good From A Bad Situation?

A bad situation can happen to anyone, no matter how smart, lucky, rich, or talented they happen to be. When one occurs, what do you do?

Having a setback happen to you, while unfortunate or unpleasant at the time, can ultimately lead to improvement. If, that is, you treat it in an appropriate way.

One skill that you can learn is how to think creatively within constraints. Let’s imagine you are forced to produce something with a diminished budget, or have to include on your team someone you don’t get along with, for example. How can you overcome these obstacles?

Another potential benefit streamline your project. If you can’t do everything that you would like, what can you cut and still have your core principles intact? This re-imagining may even result in a better finished product or experience.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What is the value of inefficiency?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How can we encourage debate?’


If you have tried something and failed at it, that failure is actually an opportunity to learn what went wrong, or what might be improved on a subsequent attempt.

Or, at the very least, you can develop a thicker skin. There is a value to not letting difficulties derail you from your next project or opportunity.

All of these situations depend on a proper mental approach to struggle. You have to get up when knocked down.

Can you think of a time when you faced a bad situation, and made the most of it? Is there an instance — or instances — when a good outcome came from a dubious scenario?

Related questions: When is it useful to fail? When is doubt helpful? What humbles you? How do you define success?

How Has Your Work Life Changed?

The nature of work life had been changing, but the COVID pandemic accelerated that change. How we work may never be the same again.

While some companies closed temporarily or permanently, others adapted in ways that may have long-lasting impacts.

Many companies were hesitant to encourage their employees to work from home. There was some concern that productivity would plummet, if workers were at home, where there were innumerable distractions.

However, those fears appeared to have been overblown. Productivity did not take a noticeable hit when employees were forced to work from home, even if they have kids they suddenly needed to provide daycare for. And office space can be quite expensive, so downsizing corporate buildings can have measurable financial benefits.

Even beyond that, quality of life for employees working from home can improve significantly. Commute times drop to zero, and a worker can put in just as many hours at their job, and still have time to devote more time to family. A happy employee is a productive employee.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How do you define success?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘Is happiness the most important purpose in life?’


Still, there are concerns that communication between co-workers may suffer. It is also difficult to build a sense of camaraderie between employees who spend little to no time in close proximity.

As government guidelines change, so companies are requiring their workers to go back to the office, while some are not. Even those that go back may find some things have changed in the year and a half since the pandemic started.

What about you? Are there differences in the way you do your work? Are there differences in the way your business or your company thinks about remote work? How has your work life changed?

Related questions: How do you want this to change you? Work or play? What is your dream job? What is the value of inefficiency?