To read, listen to, or watch
The Dinner Table University
How to Get Better
The video from Ira Glass is from the additional exercises. Despite the informal nature of the interview, it’s one of my favorites on how to improve at anything: small steps, practiced over (and over), with feedback and peer support along the way. Also, here’s a blog post on something that helped me solicit more useful feedback.
Why (and How) to Write More
I started writing in my 40s, and it was not something I found fun or natural. But it was empowering, and over a (long) period of time, I gradually improved.
Like many people, I was extremely uncomfortable presenting on stage or, even worse, in front of a camera. But like my experience with writing, I muddled through and gradually improved. I still have a long way to go. (Read the “Confessions” post below if you want to understand what I mean). But at least now I appreciate that getting better means a lot of practice and feedback.
Chapter 8 - Making You and Your Work Visible
Chapter 18 - The Start of Something Big
Chapter 19 - Shipping and Getting Better
Additional Exercises & FAQ
Something you can do in less than 15 minutes
Read the following posts on why and how people in education Work Out Loud. Do you see how WOL can help them be more effective and also earn them access to knowledge and opportunities? How might this apply to what you do (or want to do)?
Q: Sorry, but I’m just not doing this. It feels too…strange and uncomfortable.
If you’re struggling to do any of the exercises, then use your time to simply explore what other people who have similar goals or similar jobs are doing.
Try as best as you can to remain open and curious. You’re not required to do every exercise in your WOL Circle, and there’s no test or judgment. Just familiarizing yourself with what others are doing can still be meaningful progress.
Examples, Templates & Media
Some “Top Ten” Lists I Published
Think of the Top Ten exercise as a way to contribute your opinions in a low-risk. Sure, it could be directly related to your job. Or it could be your favorite recipes, restaurants, or Rube Goldberg machines. Here are two lists I made:
How Easy It Can Be to Create Original Content
This example is also from the additional exercises. Yes, it’s about decorating cookie and Facebook. But the lessons - the kinds of steps she took and the kinds of learning that resulted - are applicable to almost anything you might try to learn or get better at.