Friday Favourites: Our Favourite Links of the Week

Posted by Amy Wallace Amy Wallace on .

There are many great articles online but it’s easy to miss them in the daily flurry of digital information. Even with RSS readers and read-later services, it’s easy to overlook some great blog posts throughout the week.

So we’ve rounded up some of our favourite blog posts that we read this week. If we’ve missed your favourite post, blog or author, or you simply have a suggestion for us, please let us know in the comments below! We love to discover new and wonderful writers!

1) Beating the afternoon slump

Most of us have experienced that slump in energy that comes after lunch. Research shows that taking a nap mid-afternoon might be a natural reaction to the body’s circadian rhythms, which change throughout the day.

The iDoneThis blog has a great post about the science behind why you get that slump in your energy levels and what you can do to fight it.

In my opinion, the best tip is to take a nap:

It’s the afternoon. You could really use a nap, but you fight the urge. You press on at half your mental capacity instead of taking time to recharge.
We keep seeing more and more literature that napping is not only natural but really good for you. Consider how many of us aren’t getting enough sleep and a siesta starts to make a lot of sense!

2) Understand yourself better to produce better habits 

There is no one definitive answer to how to be most productive and best stick to your habits. Everyone works best under different conditions and at different times of the day. I know that I usually work best if I’m out in a lively coffeeshop or listening to music at my desk but sometimes, I do need the focus of sitting quietly. And getting yourself to stick to new habits, or change old ones, can be just as difficult as making sure you’re as productive as possible throughout the day. It all depends on how you feel at that particular time but overall, it’s a case of experimenting with your routine.

Gretchen Rubin wrote a great blog post about questions she began to ask to understand herself better. These questions can help you learn interesting things about yourself and allow you to be more successful in your pursuit of adopting habits.

She explains that,

For instance, a while back, in a similar context, I posted the question, “Do you like competition?” and a reader commented that once he read that question, he realized that every time he’d successfully exercised, there had been an element of competition, which he loved. So he changed up his exercise habit to include competition, with great success.

3) Brainstorming

Being creative at the drop of a hat is difficult. Some people say creativity comes from hard work and routine but sometimes your best ideas can come to you at the oddest of times, like when you’re in the shower.

Brainstorming has become known as the best way to get creative juices flowing in a team but it’s not always the most efficient technique. Over on the Buffer Blog, Belle Beth Cooper has found some interesting facts about brainstorming and how to get the best out of your creative mind and team.

We’re using the term brainstorming so often, in so many contexts, that it’s starting to become trite. What I did find in my research were some insights about better ways to come up with fresh ideas than a structured brainstorming session.

4) How good is good enough?

I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this at one time or another: we haven’t started working on a project until we’ve researched it fully, or we’ve been afraid to post a blog post because ‘it’s not quite good enough yet’ – I certainly know I have.

So sometimes it’s all about getting your fingers on the keyboard, getting the running shoes on your feet, or setting up that first important call and just starting.

James Clear discusses just this difficulty in his blog post about “The Power of Imperfect Starts” in which he explains the danger of seeking perfection and the ‘optimal’:

Learning from the experiences of successful people is a great way to accelerate your own learning curve.
But it’s equally important to remember that the systems, habits, and strategies that successful people are using today are probably not the same ones they were using when they began their journey.
What is optimal for them right now isn’t necessarily needed for you to get started. There is a difference between the two.

5) Is fear stopping you from getting going? 

Leading on from the article above, sometimes it’s not difficulty or lack of time and focus that causes us to avoid our work. It’s the fear of not knowing what we’re doing or of failing that keeps us from getting on with things and breeds procrastination.

Fear can hold us back from doing so many things in our lives, even if we aren’t aware of that fear all the time. If you think you might be held back by fear, check out this great article by Leo Babuta of Zen Habits and be sure to read down to his advice about how to deal with the fear:

Every problem you or I have (and they are many, small and large), is rooted in fear.
For some, that might seem obvious: the question is how to beat the fears. For others, it’s not so self-evident: why are my financial or relationship or procrastination problems caused by fear?
Let’s tackle both questions — the Why and the How.
First the Why: think about each problem you have, and then think about why you have the problem. Or why you aren’t able to solve it.

If these blog posts have helped you or you have any others to suggest that you've found particularly inspirational, let us know in the comments below or say hi by Tweeting us or sending us an email.