Behance.net Photography Served Art AMERICA THE GIFT SHOP


The 5 Types of Work That Fill Your Day

What We Learn When We Audit Our Work

Taking all five types of work into perspective, we can audit our day and the types of work we engage in most.

My typical day includes 2-5 types of work, with the majority being Reactionary Work. I hate to admit it, but I find that Reactionary Work constantly bleeds over into my efforts to schedule myself (Planning Work) and the deep thinking required to solve problems (Problem-Solving Work).

I also find that, between nearly any type of work, I usually slip into a period of Reactionary Work that may include surfing the top of my email inbox, or a period of Insecurity Work, which usually comes in the form of scanning Twitter messages about our business.


http://the99percent.com
by Scott Belsky
Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco
Hacking work is all the rage these days, along with tips for managing email, taking notes, and running meetings. But, at a higher level, what can we learn from analyzing the different types of work we do and how we allocate our time?First, let’s take a look at the five kinds of work we do every day:

1. Reactionary Work
In the modern age, most of our day is consumed by Reactionary Work, during which we are focused only on responding to messages and requests – emails, text messages, Facebook messages, tweets, voicemails, and the list goes on. You are constantly reacting to what comes into you rather than being proactive in what matters most to you. Reactionary Work is necessary, but you can’t let it consume you.

2. Planning Work >>> Leer más “The 5 Types of Work That Fill Your Day”

The Five Levels of Communication in a Connected World

In the digital world in which we live, it has become too easy to send emails, ping people via instant message, text, tweet, etc. Upon reflection, I think I’ve been too haphazard about how I communicate with my colleagues, clients, friends, and family. Oftentimes, an email about a problem should have been a phone call. And sometimes a phone call should have been an in-person meeting.
Knowing what to say and when to say it is not enough. In the modern day, we must decide HOW to communicate. [Más…]
Consider the five levels of communication:

Level 1: Message into the Ether
Snail mail and email have a few things in common: They can be of any length, and they are not conversational. Emails and letters are sent out, and then new messages are composed and returned. Sometimes it takes days or weeks before a response arrives. Since emails and letters are not conversational (they lump all points together rather than go point, counterpoint, point, etc…), there is a HIGH LEVEL of misunderstanding with this medium of communication. As many of us know, little issues can escalate over email.


In the digital world in which we live, it has become too easy to send emails, ping people via instant message, text, tweet, etc. Upon reflection, I think I’ve been too haphazard about how I communicate with my colleagues, clients, friends, and family. Oftentimes, an email about a problem should have been a phone call. And sometimes a phone call should have been an in-person meeting.
Knowing what to say and when to say it is not enough. In the modern day, we must decide HOW to communicate. Leer más “The Five Levels of Communication in a Connected World”

Shaping the Future: 7 Predictions for the Creative Community

At the start of every year, it’s fun to think about what’s next. However, for the creative professional community, considering the future is not just a casual exercise. It’s a necessity. The creative industries are rapidly changing, as is the way we manage our own creative careers.Do you rely on the web for inspiration, feedback, or any other part of your creative process? Do you rely on online networks or websites as a source of new customers, clients, or collaborations? Are you involved in the worlds of advertising, design, fine art, or any other industry that ultimately relies on matching the right creative talent with the best opportunities?

If you answered yes, get ready.


At the start of every year, it’s fun to think about what’s next. However, for the creative professional community, considering the future is not just a casual exercise. It’s a necessity. The creative industries are rapidly changing, as is the way we manage our own creative careers.Do you rely on the web for inspiration, feedback, or any other part of your creative process? Do you rely on online networks or websites as a source of new customers, clients, or collaborations? Are you involved in the worlds of advertising, design, fine art, or any other industry that ultimately relies on matching the right creative talent with the best opportunities?

If you answered yes, get ready. Leer más “Shaping the Future: 7 Predictions for the Creative Community”

Experience Trumps Theory: Reviving the Apprenticeship Model

Once upon a time, we learned only by doing. A quality education meant finding an expert to take you under his or her wing. Whether you wanted to be a blacksmith or a shoemaker, the ultimate break was ultimately a relationship. In exchange, your capacity would be stretched. You would learn in real-time, soaking up the knowledge through trial and error. You would learn the trade in practice rather than theory. You would also build a network and gain respect based on your performance rather than any sort of degree.This era of apprenticeship is now largely a relic of history. Somewhere along the line we decided to economize and scale education. Given the time-intensive and intimate nature of apprenticeships, we sought to train more people at once with a streamlined curriculum. As we moved more and more learning into the classroom, we compromised the intense learning that happened in the field. We traded experiential learning for a more standardized but less potent education.

I believe the classroom underserves us. We become dissuaded by theoretical lessons, disenchanted teachers, and a reward system that is all about the grade and not at all about the trade. If experiential education is so important, why don’t we give college credits for what happens outside the classroom?

As we moved more learning into the classroom, we compromised the intense learning that happened in the field.

Unfortunately, undergraduate education is centered on the classroom experience and takes extracurricular activities (clubs, etc.) as an
afterthought. Many schools provide credit for internships, but they don’t stress them as an integrated aspect of the overall program. What’s more, the schools usually play little to no role in coordinating the internships, so it’s very hit or miss: A student could have a life-changing experience, or spend a semester fetching coffee and sitting on the sidelines.

Most of the passionate creative people I have met are motivated more by a genuine interest than by money. We are driven by our pursuit of an expertise in what fascinates us. The Holy Grail for most creative careers is becoming a leader in your interests and making an impact. Experiential on-the-job learning is the most natural conduit for developing such an expertise.


Once upon a time, we learned only by doing. A quality education meant finding an expert to take you under his or her wing. Whether you wanted to be a blacksmith or a shoemaker, the ultimate break was ultimately a relationship. In exchange, your capacity would be stretched. You would learn in real-time, soaking up the knowledge through trial and error. You would learn the trade in practice rather than theory. You would also build a network and gain respect based on your performance rather than any sort of degree.This era of apprenticeship is now largely a relic of history. Somewhere along the line we decided to economize and scale education. Given the time-intensive and intimate nature of apprenticeships, we sought to train more people at once with a streamlined curriculum. As we moved more and more learning into the classroom, we compromised the intense learning that happened in the field. We traded experiential learning for a more standardized but less potent education.

I believe the classroom underserves us. We become dissuaded by theoretical lessons, disenchanted teachers, and a reward system that is all about the grade and not at all about the trade. If experiential education is so important, why don’t we give college credits for what happens outside the classroom?

As we moved more learning into the classroom, we compromised the intense learning that happened in the field.

Unfortunately, undergraduate education is centered on the classroom experience and takes extracurricular activities (clubs, etc.) as an
afterthought. Many schools provide credit for internships, but they don’t stress them as an integrated aspect of the overall program. What’s more, the schools usually play little to no role in coordinating the internships, so it’s very hit or miss: A student could have a life-changing experience, or spend a semester fetching coffee and sitting on the sidelines.

Most of the passionate creative people I have met are motivated more by a genuine interest than by money. We are driven by our pursuit of an expertise in what fascinates us. The Holy Grail for most creative careers is becoming a leader in your interests and making an impact.  Experiential on-the-job learning is the most natural conduit for developing such an expertise.
Leer más “Experience Trumps Theory: Reviving the Apprenticeship Model”

How Analog Rituals Can Amp Your Productivity

As a society, we are engaged in a constant pursuit to be more productive. For the most part, this is a good thing. We want to work smarter. We crave efficiency. Time is our most precious commodity, and productivity tools help us spend it more wisely. Over the past few years, I have observed all sorts of methods for productivity. One consistent surprise is the role of monotonous rituals and what could be described as “analog drudgery” among the especially productive. For such accomplished people, I am shocked by the apparent lack of efficiency in their daily routines.

At one point during my research for Making Ideas Happen, I interviewed Bob Greenberg, the legendary CEO of the digital agency R/GA. With high-flying clients like Nike and other household names, Greenberg is overseeing a tremendous number of heavyweight projects at any point in time. He’s a busy guy and he’s been leading his industry for decades.

One consistent surprise is the role of monotonous rituals and what could be described as ‘analog drudgery’ among the especially productive.

Despite his digital interests, Greenberg’s productivity tools are entirely analog. He uses a paper agenda with a series of lists written at the top that he writes every single day. In the morning, Greenberg will manually bump uncompleted tasks from the previous day to the current day. He also re-writes the names of key clients and other areas of focus; often transcribing the same names again and again, daily, for weeks if not months or years.


As a society, we are engaged in a constant pursuit to be more productive. For the most part, this is a good thing. We want to work smarter. We crave efficiency. Time is our most precious commodity, and productivity tools help us spend it more wisely. Over the past few years, I have observed all sorts of methods for productivity. One consistent surprise is the role of monotonous rituals and what could be described as “analog drudgery” among the especially productive. For such accomplished people, I am shocked by the apparent lack of efficiency in their daily routines.

At one point during my research for Making Ideas Happen, I interviewed Bob Greenberg, the legendary CEO of the digital agency R/GA. With high-flying clients like Nike and other household names, Greenberg is overseeing a tremendous number of heavyweight projects at any point in time. He’s a busy guy and he’s been leading his industry for decades.

One consistent surprise is the role of monotonous rituals and what could be described as ‘analog drudgery’ among the especially productive.

Despite his digital interests, Greenberg’s productivity tools are entirely analog. He uses a paper agenda with a series of lists written at the top that he writes every single day. In the morning, Greenberg will manually bump uncompleted tasks from the previous day to the current day. He also re-writes the names of key clients and other areas of focus; often transcribing the same names again and again, daily, for weeks if not months or years. Leer más “How Analog Rituals Can Amp Your Productivity”

Micro vs Macro: Using “Success Factors” To Manage Your Team

Every creative leader faces the challenge of building and managing a team. Finding the right folks is half the battle. After you find them, it is your responsibility to manage the team. Great management happens on both a
“micro” level and a “macro” level. Micro-management – not the notoriously negative “micromanagement,” but rather what I call the MICRO aspect of management – is all about the day-to-day management that keeps the team on track.


by Scott Belsky | //the99percent.com

Every creative leader faces the challenge of building and managing a team. Finding the right folks is half the battle. After you find them, it is your responsibility to manage the team. Great management happens on both a
micro” level and a “macro” level. Micro-management – not the notoriously negative “micromanagement,” but rather what I call the MICRO aspect of management – is all about the day-to-day management that keeps the team on track.

A great MICRO manager asks questions like:

  • What are the deadlines for a particular project?
  • How do we measure progress (and are we making progress)?
  • Is there sufficient feedback exchange?
  • How do we promote more accountability within the team?

But what about the MACRO part of management? Beyond your day-to-day role as a manager, you must also consider each person’s career trajectory. Leer más “Micro vs Macro: Using “Success Factors” To Manage Your Team”