You haven’t got time to read this

Start your week smarter has two changes this week. The first is it’s coming to you on a Monday; thank heavens for bank holidays. The second is that I’ve changed the headline format. I’ll be interested to see if makes a difference in the number of views and comments the post gleans.

And so, as usual, here are three articles that are helping me to start my (4-day) week just that little bit smarter:

#IfIWere22 I’d make time

There is a lovely series doing the rounds on Linkedin and Twitter in which senior business figures are giving advice to their 22-year-old selves. The favourite tip I’ve read so far is from Arianna Huffington. She quotes writer Brian Andreas in her post: “Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life.”

With more time management technology on the rise (Google just today announced its acquisition of time management app Timeful) it’s clear that scheduling is becoming big business. What if we just stopped for a minute, an hour, or even a whole day and tried to solve our own time famines? We don’t need to have back to back schedules, rammed diaries and endless appointments. What if we just valued having a bit more time to enjoy ‘the now’?

I know that I’ll be trying to address that this week.

Some other articles in the series worth reading are Richard Branson’s and Andy LaCivita’s

Why do brands make us so emotional?

This insightful article explores gender and the role brands could, or should, play in society. If executed correctly, the author argues that shifts in attitudes can come from big companies trying to sell their wares.

I’m unsure. Personal experience has shown me the difficultly of using a brand purpose to actually impact societal change. Trying to convince many agencies, brand managers, marketing chiefs and ultimately business owners makes it much easier to end up adopting the status quo. There’s also a bigger question about whether that change should come from business, or from art and other areas that aren’t driven by a profit margin.

Nonetheless, it makes for a thought-provoking read.

The psychology of Facebook

Following on from last week’s article on how Facebook and Candy Crush got you hooked, this is a worthwhile read from the Buffer app blog. It looks into how Facebook taps into the brain’s pleasure centre, providing instant gratification and self fulfilment that keeps us going back for more.

Very timely after a conversation I had today about how we don’t often see sadness or hard times in a post. The “she said yes!”, “just bought a house!”, “here’s our first born!” updates aren’t precursed by the “this is my second proposal”, or “it took me three years of saving and eating beans to get here” and “after years of trying!” posts. I do wonder whether this will change, and if I had the chance I would tell my 22 year old self to pay more attention to the book and how it would impact society.

That’s it for the week. Enjoy yours; I hope this helped to make you feel a little smarter!

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