The Box Theory of Communication

When it comes to passing on information I believe there are two types of people; those that can talk and those that can show. While they are not mutually exclusive, but usually a person is better at one than the other. So what does this have to do with boxes?

The Box Theory Explained

The Box Theory is how you can determine in which category a person falls. Imagine this, a person is presented with a box and are asked, how do I open this? Your target (victim) will either tell you or show you. Think for a moment about yourself, what do you prefer to do? When someone asks you something, is it easier to tell or to show?

While neither has benefits over the other, understanding how a person likes to explain things can go a long way in better communication; especially if you are the opposite. If you like people to explain things verbally, having someone show you might appear demeaning. However understanding that this is just the way that person operates, you know there is nothing sordid behind what they are doing. They are just conveying the information in the best possible way they know how.

I feel that understanding this can have further benefits in many instances; for example, during a job interview. Not everyone is comfortable with a sit down talking interview. Many people think better on their feet, and walking through an environment can give them the chance to show you something rather than just talking about it. A perfect interview should have a mix of the two, as an ideal candidate would be relatively balanced.

Understanding in which category you fall gives you the opportunity to improve. Are you the person that can brilliantly explain what object A is and what it does, but the moment you need to demonstrate you’re all thumbs? Or, are you the person who built object A, but when asked to explain how you did it your eyeballs roll back and your tongue falls out?

The key is practice, understand which type you are and practice the opposite. Personally I’m a big shower, but I’m taking steps to improve on my verbal communication skills. I start with a simple task and work my way up. Something easy, like opening a box…

There are times when both forms of communication are needed and the more balanced you are the better results you will have.

Feature Image: Project365-Day21 by Farouq Taj (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Procrastinators Guidebook; How to Free Up Your Time

I am just brilliant at so many things, but what I am best at is PROCRASTINATING!! I love it so much (pause for effect) that I’m probably doing it right now…

// I actually went looking for a video to insert and dropped into the pitfall of YouTube //

Hold on while I pack away all this vicarious living that YouTube has brought me. Anyway, back to the point. Procrastination is basically, as I view it, the avoidance of work. It is the bane of those moments when we are relaxed and feel the need to fill the void with something other than staring at the walls. It’s a pause, a break or just a stop gap measure. But, it becomes a problem when it can’t be shaken off and you loose precious minutes (or hours) to the black hole of the procrastinated life.

The best and probably easiest way to slay the procrastination beast is to fill your day with things to do. And while that may be sound advice some days are just going to be empty, there will be times when you literally have nothing to do, so what then?

Well, your time has value and you need to ask a question, what value am I getting from this activity? You are giving up your precious time to some other thing, and you need to decide what exactly is it giving back? If it is giving you nothing, then it is not worth your time. Here, how about an example?

Often I find myself watching, or re-watching television to fill time. I get bored and flick channels until I find something that I’ve probably seen before, but it will do for the moment until I find something better. But what value am I getting from this seventh viewing? Nothing. I don’t even laugh at the jokes anymore. I’m not even getting a minutia of entertainment, the thing is just on so my brain can go bye byes for an hour or so. Now, when I find myself in this type of situation I peel myself off the couch and force a job into my head, something that needs to get done, something that is going to improve my life. Currently I’m growing a veggie garden (although it’s mostly fruit) so I can be a bit self sufficient. So my job of choice is watering or just going out to check on it. And then I have turned my wasteful procrastination into something productive. Then when the day is close to over, there is some sense of achievement. I don’t feel like I have wasted a large part of the day. Any time that I am able to step back and look at something I have done in that particular day, I feel good. I have used time effectively, and instead of feeling like I wasted time, I can reflect and take note.

Naturally we can’t make big sweeping changes to our lives. But just one small bite at a time and it will get better. Remember it is all about value! Get good value out of your procrastination and then it is not time wasted but rather earned and banked to use later.

And because I had to:

That video is 15 mins, but what did you learn? Coyote is wildly entertaining and informative. If your going to watch YouTube make it something that you can take back from, make IT pay for giving them your time. Then your time will come back to you. After all I got back into gardening by watching a few gardening videos, it inspired me to go out and achieve on my own, so in that way I don’t feel the time was wasted, instead it worked for me.

How do you free your time, and slay the beast? Comment below.

Feature Image: Posters Vintage by Camila Leite de Oliveira (CC BY 2.0)

How to Find Your Passion for Work

Words that are often spoken when finding a (new) job are, ‘Follow your Passion’. I’ve always thought of this as a ridiculous idea, and here is why.

What if my passion is sitting on the couch watching Red Dwarf reruns? Not too many job titles there… I mean, I could write a blog about the show, but is writing my thing? Reviews? Nah, they take away some of the fun.

What if I am yet to find my passion? The one thing that drives me onward regardless of success or, dare I say it, failure…

Some might say that the only way to find your passion is to try out many things, have a go at all sorts of things and eventually one of them will stick and EUREKA! You’ve done it! Your passion has been uncovered like the rough uncut diamond that it is, now go find that chisel!

But can that really work in a workplace environment? Unlikely. I’d suggest that a large majority of people work to pay the bills, there is little passion but rather just a set amount of time given up in order to gain money so they can live. Wow, that’s all a bit depressing. Well it is if you think of it like that; let’s alter that thinking slightly.

Instead of doing what you are passionate about, instead choose to be passionate about what you are doing. I’m a big believer in life being totally controlled by what we think. If you feel that you are stuck in a mundane and thankless work-a-day job then guess what, you will be. But with a tweak of our mindset, then regardless of what our work may entail we can be passionate about doing it in a spectacular way.

Even if it doesn’t lead to better things at work. You will be going home happier and with a better sense of accomplishment then before. And nothing drives creativity better then that; it makes you want to do more, learn more and achieve more.

Oh, and just so you know, I mop floors like an absolute legend!

Feature Image: Passion Fruit by Tara Severns (CC BY-NC 2.0)