Hey there! Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick “hit” of interesting learnings I had over the previous week.

This week’s learnings roundup includes links to an inspiring story about coding and prisoners, Stoicism and how the practical philosophy can make you a better person, and a helpful roadmap for overcoming insecurities (and we all have them). I’ve also shared some thoughts around productivity and the importance of thinking about WHY we want to be more productive along with a book recommendation for those who want to become better coaches and managers.


Favourite links from the week:

Why I’m teaching prisoners to code (TED)

Stoicism 101: A Practical Guide for Entrepreneurs (Tim Ferriss)

A Roadmap to Overcoming Insecurities (zen habits)

How a book on stoicism became wildly popular at every level of the NFL (Sports Illustrated)

Productivity tip of the week:

Ask Yourself WHY

This week’s tip is a little different. Usually I share tools and tactics on how to improve your productivity so you can squeeze the most out of your day. Which is all great. But mired in the WHAT and the HOW to do things, we lose focus of the WHY.

Why do you want to be more productive?

Is it so you can get closer to your (insert target/goal)?

Is it so you can look good in front of your peers/friends/family?

Is it so you can serve more customers?

Is it so you can spend time at the gym after work?

Is it because you’re building a bootstrapped business you believe in and you need to squeeze every second from your day?

Is it so you can spend time cooking a meal at home rather than ordering take out?

There is no right answer obviously but I think it’s important to consider whether your WHY is compelling to you. If you’re just being productive for the sake of it, there’s no meaning behind it and in the long run you’re going to lose steam. Think of yourself as a sports car with incredible horsepower (awesome!) without an intended destination (not so awesome). Even the highest amount of horsepower in the world won’t get you to your destination if you don’t even know where you want to go.

The reason why we want to be productive must be tied to our greater need to fulfill our values and our purpose in life. So the next time you look at new productivity tactic, ask yourself WHY you want to be more productive. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

Product/service I’m loving:

Philips Wake-up light

I’ve owned this light for the last couple of years and it’s been a game-changer for my morning wake-up. Instead of waking up to a blaring alarm, the Philips Wake-up light turns on about 30-40 minutes before your wake-up time with a deep red glow (kind of like the sunrise) until it reaches full light intensity at your chosen wake-up time. From there, you can set a specific sound you’d like to be woken up to – I chose birds chirping. It’s a much more pleasant and human way to wake up. In the evenings, you can set it to simulate a sunset which is a perfect way to wind down, read a book, and prepare for bed as the light dims.

Documentaries/books I’m enjoying:

The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stainer

I’ve really been enjoying this new book from MBS. It’s jam packed with useful information around how to ask better questions. In fact, it gives you 7 essential questions to ask in almost any coaching conversation. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a coach, manager, friend, or family member is to ask a question and listen to the answer. This book shows you the ropes on how to do just that. Check it out.

A quote that’s inspiring me:

“Never underestimate the ability of a small group of dedicated people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Meade

As always, thank you to those that liked, re-tweeted, or commented on my Tweets. See you on next week’s round up!