Seth Godin:

Most organizations think nothing of having twenty valuable employees spend an hour in a meeting that’s only tangentially related to their productive output.

But if you’re sitting at your desk reading a book that changes your perspective, your productivity or your contribution, it somehow feels like slacking off…

I work from home, for myself, and it is still a mental hurdle to allow myself time in the day to read and learn without it feeling like slacking off.

Seth’s got a great list of books. Here are a few I’d put in:

Reading at Work

Continuing in this week’s theme of “Rubber Accessories to Make Your Apple Gear Work Better”, let’s talk about the Apple TV remote.

The Apple TV remote is a case study in form over function. It’s a beautiful little remote control that is an absolute pain in the butt to use.

I highly recommend this $8 case. It makes your Apple TV’s remote much easier to hold, and it helps you know which side of the remote is actually up.

Apple TV Remote Case

Over on The Focus Course blog, my friend and one of our Focus Course alumni, Mo Bunnell, wrote this article on the conundrum we face when we have more ideas than time.

As I look back, distinguishing between my successes and failures is really simple: nearly all of my successes in life have been when I’ve focused on very few things, obsessed over them, and pushed them until they are ready to ship, good enough for my standards. Nearly all of my failures? Starting too many things, saying Yes to too much, or beginning more things than I can finish to my standards. Trying to do too much leads to fragmentation, dysfunction. And despite what you read, there’s no fun in dysfunction.

More and more, my success seems correlated to what I say Yes to and what I say No to.

Mo’s article originally appeared in one of his Founder’s Friday newsletters. And as soon as I read it I felt super encouraged, because it came at just the right time.

Just a few months ago Isaac (my production manager) and I were getting ready to start on a big new project. But things felt rushed… as if we were behind before we even began.

Isaac suggested we move our project deadline back by 30 days to give ourselves additional margin. But I wasn’t sure. And for several days I was stressing out over this conundrum of how much we needed to do but how I didn’t want to miss our deadline.

Reading Mo’s article reminded me of my own advice. More often than not, it’s better to sweat the details and ship something that is up to standards than it is to rush something out the door.

And so we did choose to move our project deadline back by 30 days, and it was clearly the right decision.

When Mo talks about the power of focus, he’s talking about the results you’re capable of when you give yourself the time and the margin you need in order to obsess over a project and really make it something special.

The Power of Focus

A while ago, Unsplash came out with this nifty MacOS Menu Bar utility app. Every day it changes out your desktop wallpaper with a random photo from the Unsplash vault. If you don’t like a day’s photo, you can easily click refresh to grab a new one.

Here’s the desktop wallpaper it served up for my iMac today:

Unsplash Desktop Wallpaper Retina iMac

P.S. And, speaking of Unsplash, here’s a page full of holiday and wintery images if you want to get your iPhone, iPad, et al. into the holiday spirit.

Unsplash Wallpapers Mac App [MAS Link]

Kieran Snyder with an excellent twitter thread on leadership. Here’s part of it:

The best leaders lead from the front when things are tough. They are visible, accountable, and own the challenge + their own failings. Sometimes the only way to guide or coach things to improvement is to live in the difficulty yourself.

The best leaders lead from the back when things are going great. When things are going great, that’s a sign that the organization knows what it’s doing, and you’d be foolish to mess with the day-to-day. Your job in that case is giving credit + setting up the next challenge.

Ineffective leaders often make the choice backwards: they stay in the background when things are difficult, hoping someone else will figure it out. They get in front when things are going well, hoping to take credit. No one wants to follow these leaders for long.

(Via Sean Sperte.)

“You Can Lead From the Front or From the Back”

Long-time readers will know that for the past several years the original Monument Valley soundtrack is part of my daily, morning writing routine.

Well, a few weeks ago the soundtrack for Monument Valley 2 came out and it’s fantastic. I’ve been listening to it all this week instead of the original soundtrack. If, like me, you like music while you work but you need something that’s instrumental and isn’t too crazy, this is perfect.

And speaking of, the soundtrack for Land’s End is also quite excellent.

Monument Valley 2 Soundtrack