In this edition: Filament Friday, the 23-minute distraction, phone-free networking, eulogy virtues, untouchable days, the half-time hybrid sweet spot, rubber bands, Mozart's bird, and more.


‌Welcome to another edition of Idea Surplus Disorder.  I’m Matt Homann, the founder of Filament, and I’m glad you’re here!

In this edition: Filament Friday, the 23-minute distraction, phone-free networking, eulogy virtues, untouchable days, the half-time hybrid sweet spot, rubber bands, Mozart's bird, and more.

Filament Friday This Week

We're doing another Filament Friday this week on August 4th.  Join us for a unique blend of networking, co-working, and skill-sharing where you can meet new innovation-focused peers, find new ways to overcome current work challenges, and roll up your sleeves to make real progress on that project that never seems to get off the ground.

Join us any time starting at 9:00 am to plug into our innovative community for the day. Then at 3:00, we’ll transition into an early networking happy hour that includes a unique board game building and problem-solving activity. This fun, collaborative exercise will get your creative juices flowing while also providing you with a new team-building exercise you can bring back and implement with your own colleagues.


Ideas + Insights

Don't do anything else until you finish this newsletter, because it takes 23 minutes to refocus your attention after a distraction:

The researchers found that most of the time, workers managed to get back on track and complete their task on the same day. However, as they now had less time to complete it, each interruption contributed to higher feelings of time pressure and significantly more stress.  So interrupted people actually worked faster to compensate but experienced more stress as a result.

You're happier when you network without your phones:

Researchers asked people to spend 20 minutes with 2-3 strangers in a room. Some groups could use their phones; other groups needed to remove their phones beforehand. When people removed their phones beforehand, they enjoyed the interaction more. If people could use their phone, they did. And they were less happy with the experience.

Want to be rich and famous?  Bill Murray has some advice:

I always want to say to people who want to be rich and famous: ‘try being rich first.’ See if that doesn’t cover most of it. There’s not much downside to being rich, other than paying taxes and having your relatives ask you for money. But when you become famous, you end up with a 24-hour job. . . . The only good thing about fame is that I’ve gotten out of a couple of speeding tickets. I’ve gotten into a restaurant when I didn’t have a suit and tie on. That’s really about it.

Are you focused on building Résumé Virtues or Eulogy Virtues:

The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?
We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.

This week I stumbled across a new I-can't-believe-I-didn't-know-this-already iPhone tech tip in Tim Ferriss' Five-Bullet Friday.  Here's how to filter your text messages to keep the unread ones on top:

Go to (Settings > Messages, then scroll down to Message Filtering, then turn on Filter Unknown Senders. In the Messages conversation list, tap Filters, then tap Unread Messages)

At work, is half-time together the hybrid sweet spot?  According to McKinsey, it is:

[T]eams see steep increases in development, connection, trust-based relationships, and overall team performance when roughly 50% of their time is spent in-person, over the course of a project. For example, colleagues are 10x more likely to feel that they are working well together when co-locating 50% of the time.

You need an "untouchable day" every week:

Untouchable Days have become my secret weapon to getting back on track. They’re how I complete my most creative and rewarding work. To share a rough comparison, on a day when I write between meetings, I’ll produce maybe 500 words a day. On an Untouchable Day, it’s not unusual for me to write 5,000 words. On these days, I’m 10 times more productive.
How do I carve out Untouchable Days?  I look at my calendar sixteen weeks ahead of time, and for each week, I block out an entire day as UNTOUCHABLE. I put it in all-caps just like that, too. UNTOUCHABLE. I don’t write in all-caps for anything else, but I allow UNTOUCHABLE days to just scream out to me.

Instead of "culture" maybe organizations should focus more on building Relational Infrastructure?

Relational infrastructure refers to the social connections, interactions, and collective intelligence that underpin a community, network or group's ability to collaborate, solve problems, and drive change. It is an emergent framework of trust, shared values, and common goals that allows individuals, groups, and organizations to work together effectively, pool their resources, and amplify their impact.

Fun Finds

Want to be creative like Mozart?  Get a bird.

Use an animated "This is Fine" meme background for your zoom calls.

ChatGPT goes to Harvard – and does better than you think.

Can a LEGO car roll downhill forever?

How rubber bands are made.

Words of Wisdom

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up." – Anne Lamott
"Every difficult decision would have been easier had I made it earlier." – Jason Fried
“If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” -- Shirley Chisholm
“[Problem solving] has to do with curiosity. It has to do with people wondering, ‘What makes something do something?’ And then to discover, when you try to get answers, that they’re related to each other. The things that make the wind make the waves, and the motion of the water is like the motion of air, [which] is like the motion of sand.” — Richard Feynman
The biggest obstacle to increasing your self-awareness is the tendency to avoid the discomfort that comes from seeing yourself as you really are.”
-- Travis Bradberry
"Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again." – André Gide
Let the cymbals of popularity tinkle still. Let the butterflies of fame glitter with their wings. I shall envy neither their music nor their colors. – John Adams

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