Dragged into a conceptual rabbit hole

Effective time management is more than merely getting things done. 

It’s also about honoring the communal need to do the same. 

Because in any shared setting, our agenda is not the only one in the room. Everybody has needs. Including the living organism of the group itself. 

And if we have zero awareness around the value of the group’s time, then we will disrupt the shared energy, piss off everyone and alienate ourselves in the process. 

My old boss had a helpful filter for practicing this principle at our office. He said that any employee had the right to call an all team meeting, but they had to do some math first. 

Imagine what each employee earns during the day as their hourly wage. 

Multiply that amount by the number of people in the room. 

Then multiply that by the potential length of the meeting. 

This will give you a rough unit price for the group’s time, against which to can gauge the usefulness of your idea. 

For example, if there are thirty people in the office, averaging a hundred dollars an hour, and you want to call a two hour meeting, then your goal is to deliver at least six thousand dollars of value. 

Now, people cannot always quantify every single idea with a clean and numeric justification. But in the spirit of honoring the group time, this filter can be helpful to assure no single person is steering the group’s attention to pedestrian matters. 

It sets expectations that protect teams from getting dragged into some kind of procedural or conceptual rabbit hole. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Does this email that you’re about to send demonstrate a deep respect for the other people’s precious time? 

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Team Scottany Live Concert || Trapped In Park Slope — 3/20/20

Hey everyone! 

Hope you’re all staying safe, healthy and sane.

Inspired by a few of my favorite songwriters (Chris Martin, Keith Urban, Ben Gibbard, John Legend) who are performing virtually from their homes, last night my wife and I streamed a concert from our Brooklyn living room.

Thanks to the 300 or so friends, family members and strangers who joined us. We had so much fun, and appreciated your emojis, song requests, comments, digital tomatoes, etc.

If you missed the show, you can watch it here on my Facebook page.

Here was our set list, all songs originally from my catalog:

1. Head Up, Heart Higher

2. Saying Yes

3. Nothing But A Bird

4. One For Them, Three For me

5. Old Heart

6. Bribe Or Burden

7. Blood Sweat & Years

8. A Buffalo Roams

9. Two Lights

10. Straight Eyes

11. Light The Season

12. Treading Lightly

13. Beautiful World

Albert Ayler was right, “Music is the healing force of the universe.”


* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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Count yourselves lucky, you just got screwed by the best

There’s nothing more deflating than the realization that we have just been duped. 

Played. Cheated. Ripped off. Taken advantage of. Deceived by the enticing charm of something or someone. 

It’s such a painfully empty feeling of foolishness and naiveté. Like walking into what we thought was a dinner party, but it’s actually a sales pitch with snacks. Or opening what appeared to be a birthday card, when it’s actually just a brilliantly executed direct mail piece with content highly relevant to our lifestyle and a vanity url that uses our name. Blech. 

What’s interesting about getting duped is, it’s not about the cash value of the thing we have mistaken believed in. It’s the paranoia that strikes deep as a result. 

Because we start wondering to ourselves, damn, where else in our lives are we being taken advantage of? How many other times have we drank the cocktail of false hope? And who else might be secretly playing the fool with our soul? 

Townsend’s anthemic rock song comes to mind:

Tip my hat to the new constitution, take a bow for the new revolution, smile and grin at the change all around, pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday, get on my knees and pray, we don’t get fooled again. 

The sad part is, we probably will. Humans have very short memories. We learn nothing. Most people are poor historians. As much as we would love to tell the powers that be that what lay at the center of our life is not for sale, it probably is. 

Everybody gets duped eventually. We all feel foolish for having placed faith in such bizarre stories. It’s an unavoidable trait of the human condition. 

The secret is not beating ourselves into a bloody pulp each time it happens. 

That brand of forgiveness is what allows us to move the boulder of shame that blocks the entrance to our heart. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Will you continue to fool yourself into believing that there is a chance everything will go according to plan?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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What did you do today that you should do less of tomorrow?

Miyagi explained to his young karate apprentice that the best way to block a punch is to not be there. 



Paradoxical as it sounds, this principle is actually quite useful when fighting the battle of productivity. 



Because we can make all the lists, use all the software, optimize all the calendars, and rank all of our tasks in order of high priority to low, but in many cases, the easiest way to accomplish a task is to eliminate the need to do it. 



One of my friends literally has two hundred items on her do list. She showed it to me. It made my eyes bleed a little. And my only thought was, wow, this is not a productivity problem, it’s a boundary issue. 



This person needs to learn how to say no. 



With two hundred items on her list, every magnet for her attention could not possibly be that urgent or important. 



The best way to block a punch is to not be there. 



My advice was to consider a few boundary exercises. 



What if she perused the list and culled anything that was not a hell yes? 



What if she threw the list away and only did the items she could remember? 



What if she showed the list to her husband and allowed him to challenge some of the more irrational tasks? 



None of these boundaries would tilt the world on its access. They might make the controlling instinct start welling up inside of her, and they might trigger a sense of loss or a fear of missing out, but in the end, should would survive the difficult feeling. 



It just seems to me that when trying to organize our time, we allow the complexity to consume too much valuable energy. 



When we could give ourselves the equivalent to a second life by simply saying no. 



The easiest way to accomplish a task is to eliminate the need to do it.



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Where could you benefit from doing less?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Did you just get away with not having to face something again?

Movies are necessary to the world because they distract us from our daily struggles. 

For those precious two hours, we get to sit back, forget about the tragedy of the impermanence of everyday life and just be entertained. 

What’s not to like? Pass the cheddar corn and let’s watch some buff men in spandex fake punch each other. 

But that time is finite. It’s not life, it’s break from it. And the danger is when we take that concept to an extreme level. 

When we distract ourselves from more significant needs with frivolous rabbit holes and futile obsessions and fruitless compulsions. 

Imagine someone whose personal life is chaotic, unsatisfying and toxic. His relationship is on the rocks and his repressed anger is out of control. But instead of trying to stop the bleeding and do some long overdue work on himself, he decides to invest all of his time and energy trying to micromanage the weekly poker game. 

He starts sending out daily emails with suggestions for updating the group bylaws, links to best practice articles about betting, and making recommendations for the highest rated pizza restaurants in the neighborhood to order from during next week’s game. 

Thanks for trying to help, his friends would think, but is really the best use of your time? Aren’t there some more pressing issues that deserve your attention? 

This is how distraction works. Our ego, out of fear, convinces us that the house needs paint, when in reality, the foundation needs repair. Lots of it. 

Truth is, whenever we distract ourselves from the obvious, our problem evolves into a crisis without us knowing until it’s too late. 

And then before we realized it, the monster we have spent a lifetime running to avoid starts breathing down our neck. 

Which sounds like a fun movie, but not one we need to watch

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Did you just get away with not having to face something again? 

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Finding an elephant with a microscope

There isn’t a job description on the planet that doesn’t include the words detail oriented. 

Human resource managers have apparently decided that this is the most important trait for a potential team member to possess. To the point that they are scared of being fired themselves for not including this trait on the application. 

And yet, what would be more far more useful and interesting is finding out how the attribute of detail orientation affects people emotionally. 

Imagine the last person you worked with who was extremely detail oriented. Pretend they are sitting next to you under a heavy dose of truth serum. Ask them the following set of questions. 

If something is not working in your exact way, do you become emotionally offended? Are you unable to move forward if a project is a millimeter away from what you expected it to be? Does your perfectionist nature obsessively focus on the unnecessary and distract the rest of the group from what’s important? Is your inability to let things go and feel satisfied producing excess stress for you and others? 

Sounds exhausting to me. Like trying to find an elephant with a microscope. 

Yoga teachers implore their students to strike a balance. They remind us that we can become so focused on details of the posture that we lose sight of the large energetic flows that circulate through the whole body. 

The goal, they say, is to be detailed oriented enough so there will be no injury to the body, but also so the posture serves its unique function. Otherwise trying to do too much subtle work before becoming physically aligned will lead to a collapse in the posture and a sense of frustration. 

Dilbert famously wrote that the vision is the hard part, the idiots can work on the details. 

All jokes aside, his point is well taken. Being detail oriented is smart. But entering into an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes us to get stuck in details, is not. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Is going on and on about details your way to hide?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Always in danger of learning something.

Hendricks writes that the secret to raising our consciousness is approaching life as a learning project, not a healing one. 

Instead of presuming that something was wrong with us, we simply accepted that there were things we could learn to make our life better. 

This certainly takes the pressure off. A learning paradigm is much more compassionate and peaceful than embarking on a relentless quest to fix ourselves. 

One of my software applications is perfect for putting this into practice. 



Junkie is metacognition program that helps maximize the rate of return on investments. Especially experiential ones. And so, at the moment of mistakes and failures and other learning opportunities, we ask ourselves specific compelling questions. 

How can we use this situation as an opportunity to learn something about ourselves and change for the better? 



What aspects of our circumstances might we view as a gift to be treasured? 

That way, we are always in danger of learning something. 

Remember, there is so little in this world that we can actually fix. In trying to heal all the broken parts of ourselves, we enter into a totally antagonistic relationship with ourselves. 

Let us focus more on learning, and we will raise our consciousness in the process. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you approaching life as a quest to fix or a project to learn? 

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Foolish enough to put our whole heart on show

To publish is to make something publicly known. 

It is a privilege, a responsibility an act of courage, an expression of vulnerability and a formidable business strategy. 

But when we are young, new and scared, publishing can also be a highly intimidating prospect. It can feel like hanging our balls out the window. 

No wonder our procrastinatory urges kick in and prevent us from executing. 

In my early years of composing and performing original music, sharing my thoughts, ideas, feelings and options with the world did not come as easy as it does today. Not solely out of an abundance of fear, but out of an absence of practice. A lack of reps. Not enough accumulated experience putting my whole heart on show and revealing my feelings to the crowd below. 

Thankfully, a journalist friend of mine gave me a brilliant idea. She suggested to start publishing anonymously. Doing so would dissociate my ego from the process, allow me to fail quickly, quietly and cheaply, give me to freedom to share myself without repercussions, and grow my confidence until the time finally came to publish under my real name. 

She was right. There was nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Fast forward to a year later, and my confidence started to reach a critical mass. The time had come to graduate from the minors and move up to the big show. And there was no looking back. That was nearly twenty years ago.

Lesson learned, anytime we are scared of putting ourselves out there, we can always execute within a circle of safety and privacy first. 

Doing so allows for the creation of our portfolio of experiments. And over time, our accrued safety in that established base will makes it easier for us to take risks in the future. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Do you have access to a safe forum in which your tender feelings can be aired, purged and understood without risk of humiliation?



* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Leaping into the unknown with a message of promise

Prolific individuals make things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. 

We act of our own volition without needing guidance or oversight, without requiring expectations to be agreed upon, and without waiting for instructions to product. 

In short, we just hire ourselves and get to work. 

One of the best micro practices for becoming more prolific is to take the initiative where we are, not where we are not. 

Meaning, not relating to ourselves from a sense of scarcity and lack, but taking action as an exercise in trusting our judgment, trusting the process, and trusting that the world will not destroy us if we do imperfectly. 

Campbell once wrote that all the gods, all the heavens, and all the hells, were inside of us. What if those powers were enough to motivate us to start? What if we carried faith in our hearts instead of negotiating it with the external world? 

Stoic philosophers would remind us that external events are not sentient beings, which means they cannot respond to our shots and cries. 

And so, even if we were pulled by external forces that were increasingly more powerful and harder to resist, ultimately, the path to prolificacy would still be within. 

The best part is, whatever it is we are trying to build, it doesn’t have to be great when we start. 

Because we will turn it into something great by our very act of beginning. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you someone who moves forward when they don’t know all the answers? * * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


We cannot conceive of anyone else doing a better job

Nobody is standing in the way of our ability to create value. 

If we walk into a room and make everybody feel validated, like they are about to make a very good decision in hiring us, then it’s only a matter of time before we get to yes. 

My screenwriter friend once gave me a titillating piece of advice about pitching any new business venture. He said, whether you are selling a movie or a television show or a startup, or simply yourself, walk in the room with an ammunitions wagon behind you. Give people all the words they are going to use to describe your work to their friends. 

In short, make it easy for them not to keep you a secret. 

As someone whose ideas have gone viral multiple times, someone who has never spent a dime on advertising in twenty years, and someone who built his entire empire on the power of worth of mouth, one thing is for sure. 

Language is the strongest lever we have. 

That’s why people enjoy sharing the story about a guy who wears a nametag every day. It feels good coming out of their mouths. Other stories that are thrilling but complicated to explain; exciting but embarrassing to hear; remarkable but awkward to express, are simply not retold. 

Because people have not been given the proper ammunition. Their desire to share is not greater than the fear of having an uncomfortable conversation. 

Ultimately, the once thing we can always do for other people is create an environment in which they feel safe. And so, if our goal is to do work worth talking about, then we have to consider the audience of the audience. 

We have to give people the words they are going to use to describe us to their friends. If our stories are hard to understand, difficult to bottle, and not worth the cost to share, then will we keep winking in the dark forever. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are people excited about your idea, but afraid to bring it up in conversation?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


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