Recently I have found myself complaining loudly (mostly on Twitter, but also cryptically on Facebook) that some people seem to expect that others do everything for them and that this way, they will still be as good as if they did it themselves.

Particularly in the world of school, I am finding more so now than ever before in my previous experiences, that people are lazier and more uninterested. Frankly, that astounds me. This is University and you are supposed to be studying a subject that you are truly interested in.

What surprises me even more is that the same people who a) are incapable of finding out the simplest piece of information about what is happening or coming up, b) find it impossible to keep track of deadlines and assignments and are constantly surprised to find that something is due tomorrow and c) seem utterly uninterested in the subject as a whole; are people with major goals in their lives and desires to reach senior positions.

My experience tells me that regardless of what you are talking about, be it studying, finding a job or doing your job— expecting someone else to do things for you is a sure way of not getting anywhere and failing miserably. Either way, compared to the minimal effort of being in control (which can reap tremendous benefits), it is not the path I would advise anyone to go down.

Ultimately, you create your own opportunities and the quicker you wake up from that dream, the quicker you can start creating some opportunities for yourself. Don’t for a second think however, that you become CEO of a company and not know what is going on.

End of rant.

Bye, bye Google Apps

For several months, I have been thinking about the alternatives to using Google Apps for my main company email as I haven’t really been fully happy with its reliability, especially in terms of the Calendar. Yesterday, I decided to take the plunge and change over to the alternative that I have been thinking about for quite some time: Exchange through Office 365.

I know what some of you are thinking, a Microsoft product? Yes. In all fairness, I quite like Exchange as a very reliable office system. There’s just no denying that they do know what they are doing in that field. Now, obviously it is not going to be perfect either, but I have high hopes of it satisfying my needs.

During almost all the time that I have been running XLD Studios, I have only had an english website for the company, something I have wanted to change for much of this year. Earlier this summer, everything was almost complete, but for a decision on how to do with the translation, did I want to use a translation plugin or install it on a separate server? The choice now fell on the separate server (for better response times when loading) and I am proud to say that the site is finally live.

The looks and pages are all identical to the english version, so if you don’t understand swedish, you’re not missing a whole lot, however the blog contents will be differ as most likely, posts will not be immediately translated or doubled.

Head over and see the new site »

Book Tip: Your Brain at Work

My Audible account has been gathering credits over the past months, without me taking any time to purchase some new ebooks. Now that the holidays are here, I thought it would be fun to get myself excited about work again by picking up a few business books to learn some new skills.

As I alluded to yesterday, I desperately need to get better at focusing and one way of doing so is understanding how we typically address situations. One of the best selling books listed at Audible was “Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus and Working Smarter All Day Long”, which sounded like what I wanted.

My opinion?

This one is definitely a great book, especially to listen to. The author goes into much detail with clear examples on how the brain works in specific situation and builds the book like a case study, with fictional scenes played out to highlight what we typically do, and could potentially do with some extra insight.

Personally, I have experienced a lot of what the author talks about, but have rarely been able to specifically say what it is, know how to address it or how to conjure it. Thus, it’s a book that I absolutely recommend.

You can get it on Amazon if you like the paper version, or the audiobook on Audible.

On the Subject of Productivity

I have had an alarming development, especially in the past few months that has not just hindered my productivity, but ultimately made my health suffer too. What’s this development you ask? I have had too much of a trouble shutting off the world around me, even just for a little time, to get down and focus on getting a task done.

It is not an issue of being addicted to any type of social network, no, this is some sort of self-created fear (from many bad years). Fear of not being available, in case I miss out on something friends plan, or people talk about, that I want to be involved in. Fear of being forgotten.

The solution is ideally, very simple. I need to just try and shut off others. I used to say I was never the person who cared what others thought, or was never the person who had troubles being alone. Exceptionally enough, I have noticed that what used to be a strength, has now become a weakness. This has changed. I think it is time I get back to a healthy dose of the middle ground, because as it is, this is not helping me be productive in any area and causes me much stress and makes my health suffer too.

What’s the key point I want to share here? Not all productivity issues come out of not being able to prioritize, or not knowing how to best do things, or even lacking good systems. I have all of those. This is deeper.