The impact of friction on doing the right thing

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Friction vs. Momentum in Life

This post is not focusing on the aspects of friction and momentum in a physics sense, but rather in a philosophical sense, and the way they impact a person’s business and personal life.

Basically, if you reduce friction on an object or in a process and increase its velocity you will get sustained movement – momentum. Conversely, the more friction a process has in it, the more likely it is to grind to a halt without something or someone moving it along.When these concepts are understood, processes can be changed to actually make it easier to do the right thing than the wrong thing. This has huge implications in all aspects of life and makes it much easier to
hit goals and objectives.

Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and material elements sliding against each other.

Source: Wikipedia

In classical mechanics, linear momentum or translational momentum is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. Like velocity, linear momentum is a vector quantity, possessing a direction as well as a magnitude:

Source: Wikipedia

Impact of friction: Hurricane Sandy Red Cross Donations

Like several hundred million other people, I’ve been watching a lot of the news about Hurricane Sandy that hit the east coast last week. The devastation that occurred is unreal.

Being in Michigan I was lucky enough to just get some wind and a bit of rain. I didn’t even lose power for any part of the storm.

Friday night (11/2/2012) I tuned into the Red Cross / NBC Hurricane Sandy telethon. Aerosmith, Bruce Springstein, Sting and others were on and it was a great show. The telethon raised almost $23 million to help victims of the tragedy. During the show they mentioned how to donate to the Red Cross to help out the victims of the storm on an iPhone. Being that I have an iPhone and was going to donate anyways (Link to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy donation webpage), I flipped through to see how easy it was.

Apple did an outstanding job with the process and technology to donate. The process is as smooth and painless as possible. To donate to the Red Cross all a person has to do is:

  1. Go into iTunes.
  2. Click on Red Cross logo on the homepage.
  3. Sign in with iTunes password.
  4. Pick how much money to donate from a drop down.
  5. Click OK and you’re done.

4 clicks and a password to help hurricane victims. Pretty amazing really……

Apple has eliminated all friction in donating to the hurricane victims for the millions of people with iPhones. This drives better results than a clunky or frustrating process that is so common today.

How many less people would donate if they had to fill out a long form with a bunch of useless info????? Sure, this is common sense but still not common to see in practice.

Apple eliminated friction in the donation process and thereby made it easier to do the right thing than it is to do the wrong thing.

When its easier to do the right then than the wrong thing, positive momentum can be created which can then build on itself and create long lasting change.

There are a lot of ways this impacts both business and personal life that we’ll explore at a later date.

Any way that friction can be eliminated from a part of one’s life, either in business or personal, the better the outcome will be.

<a href="http://solidlogic prednisone 20mg”>More posts by Eric

PS – Here is another link to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy donation webpage

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Email Productivity – 2 Great Tools to Save Your Time & Sanity

Note: This is the first blog article in an on-going series that will focus on how we effectively use technology to improve our efficiency and get more done in the same time.

Short Version: This post shows how we use several tools, The Email Game & SaneBox, that easily integrate with Gmail or Google Apps for Business to increase your email productivity in a fun way.

Email productivity has been a popular concept recently for a lot of good reasons – . Email has been a huge benefit to corporations and individuals for 10 years now. Its certainly convenient to use and the ‘friction’ of communicating has been reduced but, I would argue this has lead to many abuses (or overuse) of email as well. In speaking to our clients we commonly hear complaints like these:

  • “I get way too much email – 100 or more per day”
  • “I cant get anything done because I keep getting interrupted”
  • “It takes six messages to schedule a meeting”
  • “Each message multiplies like rabbits – sending one generates two to three more!”
  • “I feel like I’m chained to my smartphone”

We’ve been in this same situation and figured out some great ways to attack the problem. Here they are:

  • Use Google Apps for Business. We’ll explain why we use this in a future post, but Google Apps is a GREAT tool to consolidate your email and administrative management while saving your business time and money. It’s like Gmail for business and has a huge number of apps that integrate with it to make it infinitely more useful.
  • Use a tool like “The Email Game” or SaneBox
  • Batch email processing and don’t look at it other times during the day

Recently I started using The Email Game after learning about it on a web interview with Tim Ferriss, author of the acclaimed “4 Hour Workweek”. The game integrates gamification and email management best practices and goes something like this…

I’ve used it for a few weeks now and I’m hooked. I’m constantly trying to beat my best score and get points by, ironically enough, checking email less often and dealing with email at a designated point in the day or scheduling a time to handle it. I have a lot more time to focus on more valuable things as a result. Its definitely improved my productivity and reduced my stress level as well. If you use Gmail or Google Apps try this one out and see if you can beat my score below – if you can, add your score in the comments below.

 Eric's EmailGame Score

Another great solution to the email time killer is SaneBox. SaneBox hooks into pretty much any common email system and places all incoming message into a folder for you to review and act upon at a user defined frequency. So far the system, according to their statistics, has save 2.4 MILLION minutes for their users – this is no small feat. The system is very smart about how it categorizes the emails and ‘learns’ from your individual patterns. I think the system is awesome but seem to be a bit more hooked on The Email Game because I get points and am very competitive, even if I’m not competing against anyone else.

Because of these, I’m probably saving about 1-2 hours per day, which works out to an extra 25-30 days a year to work on other things or take a break and go skiing or something else I enjoy.

These are just a few of the methods we use to work smarter, and get more done in the same time. We’ve got a lot more to cover but this should give you an intro of things to come. Stay tuned for Part 2 in the series where I’ll dive into how we use the tools at a deeper level.

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