Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review- Six Frames For Thinking Abut Information

Edward de Bono provides tools for thinking outside of ones habitual ruts. In Six Frames For Thinking about Information he describes 6 "frames" or perspectives for analysing information to assist with effectively locating, assessing and drawing value from it.


  • Triangle Frame- what's our purpose for the information?
  • Circle Frame- how accurate is the information?
  • Square Frame- what are the alternate points of view?
  • Heart Frame- what are the points of interest? what can be read "between the lines"?
  • Diamond Frame- what are the values of the information?
  • Slab (Rectangle) Frame- what are the conclusions and/or outcomes?

I can recognise my use of some of these frames when I am searching the internet, the volume and diversity of information available necessitates some skill in filtering through it. de Bono's 6 Frames offers a more structured approach.

Whilst this isn't de Bono's best work given the volume of information we are exposed to daily any tools that aid us in dealing with it all is a valuable addition. It's a short read but worth the investment.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cerberus the Red Eyed Hellhound

After getting all sentimental about the not-an-apocalypse I thought I'd balance things out with an apocolyptic Christmas carol.


Cerberus the Red Eyed Hellhound

Cerberus the red eyed hellhound
had two very hellish eyes
and if you ever saw him
you would probably even die

All of the other demons
feared him and cast him into chains
They made that mad-dog Cerberus
guardian of their underworld games

Then one smoky Apocolyptic Eve
Satan came to say
Cerberus with your eyes so bright
won't you lead my hoards tonight

Then all the other demons followed him
and they rended souls with glee
Cerberus the red-eyed hellhound
began the end of history!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Poem For The End Of The World

Just in case...


Poem For The End Of The World

According to some interpreters
of Mayan lore and calendars.
Tomorrow,
marks the last day of the world.

And just in case,
those soothsayers and doom-mongers
are right this time.
I thought it best
I straighten a few things out.

Firstly let me say,
I'm sorry.

For all the stupid-idiot, thoughtless
and plain boneheaded things,
I said and did, and didn't do.
I'm sorry.

And,
I forgive you.
If this is our last day,
go knowing
between us
the slate is clean.
Even of the things
you've been certain
I could never forgive.

I also want to say,
Thank-you.

For all the things you did.
For all the things that made me smile.
For all the laughter and tears
and the multitude flavours
of emotional angst
we shared along the way.
For making life beautiful.
Thank-you.

And lastly I want to say,
I love you.

Yes you specifically,
Mum, Dad, Wife, Sibling, Child.
But also,
you and you and you.
All of you.
Without condition, without exception.
I love you.

If this really is
the end of the world.
Then this poem,
is irrefutably,
a grand and pointless gesture.
But if it really is
the end of the world.
So was everything else too.
I'm still glad
I had the opportunity.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Rules

Little Miss 3 (nearly 4!) came up with these herself. Not bad rules to live by really.

  • No crossing the road without a grown up.
  • No climbing trees without a ladder.
  • No going up in the sky without wings.
  • No going faster than you think you can.
  • No saying hello when it is nearly bed time.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Getting Great Things Done

"Great things are not done by impulse, but a series of small things brought together." -Vincent Van Gogh

I am a self confessed productivity geek; systems, methodologies & techniques for productivity, I love them. I practise a hybrid of David Allen's Getting Things Done and Leo Babauta's minimalism with a dose of techniques from Landmark Education programs. I've probably spent nearly as much time pottering around with my productivity systems and learning about new ones as I've done on actual tasks. I could argue that it's free time allowed by the increased efficiency of my systems but that's only true to a point, beyond that it's a hobby. And it's an insidious one, mucking about with ones systems looks like actual work- I know my other distractions intimately but it took a while to recognise this one.

I'm not going to give up my productivity hobby/habit just like I am not going to give up reading blogs or playing the occasional game. But I'm now on the alert for it displacing actual work. So here's my productivity tip, partially courtesy of Van Gogh; keep track of and manage your projects and tasks in some way that works for you, how isn't that important. What is important is to take actions. Little ones are best. And keep taking actions and watch them join up to cause the great things you envisaged.

NB- some shepherding is still required to ensure that the actions taken are the right ones to forward your great thing; if your aim is to build a castle, quarrying rocks is more appropriate than ship building.