Drivers of Job Satisfaction, Idea Prioritization Framework & Mise En Place

The High Five - Edition #35

Hello friends,

Time is flying fast. We are at the end of August already and 2021 is almost on the final 33% lap. This is the 35th edition of “The High Five” and I am very glad that this newsletter has slowly but quietly gathered some good audience like you all. Thank you very much for subscribing. And if you have been forwarded this email, you can get “The High Five” directly in your inbox by hitting this button.

Here are the 5 things I wanted to share with you all this weekend:

  1. The 5 factors that drive job satisfaction

  2. A framework that helps us prioritize ideas

  3. A secret sauce to productivity comes from a ritual followed by all chefs

  4. A quote on ‘finding yourself’

  5. A question about consciously erasing one thing from your brain

Career: Designing Our Work: 5 Factors That Drive Job Satisfaction

If you have not yet discovered the amazing work of Tanmay Vora, you are really missing a lot. Tanmay is a business leader, entrepreneur, graphic artist, coach, and author (yeah, inspiring, isn’t it?). As a graphic artist, Tanmay often shares (on his LinkedIn page) a lot of leadership and management concepts distilled into sketch note visuals that are simple and extremely digestible. I am a huge admirer of anyone who breaks down complex ideas into simple concepts that are easy to understand and Tanmay’s works are right up there, in the realm of management and leadership.

In this article, Tanmay picks a post from Seth Godin, who resurfaced an old job characteristics model that has not lost its relevance despite the change in “work”. The below sketch note by Tanmay, says it all, cutting the long story short, but if you are keen to dig deeper, do check out his post and also the post by Seth.

The way we design our work has a very significant impact on our well-being. It starts with self-awareness – and then key characteristics that you look for in the work in order to make your biggest contributions. - Tanmay Vora

Creative Thinking: Idea Prioritization Framework

When you brainstorm on ideas - be it for work or for any personal stuff - how do you bring in the layer of decision-making for the optimum results? We all ultimately need to prioritize ideas based on certain criteria - it could be timelines, feasibility, cost, confidence about results etc. I always rely on frameworks to go through the prioritization process. Last week, as I was cleaning some of my old notes, I found this framework that I got to use very often and it always worked. This 2X2 framework is anchored on value vs. complexity (of execution).

Ideas, ultimately, can be categorized into 4 quadrants:

  1. Low value - less complex: These will not take much time and hence can be put on the radar. Their priority rank could be lower.

  2. Low value - more complex: These can be outrightly junked.

  3. High value - more complex: These are “thought starters”; they might need more homework, time and incubation and consequently, they might have interesting challenges that can excite. Given the high value, it is better to work on these on margins/side-hustles to make some progress until the breakthrough moment.

  4. High value - less complex: These are no-brainers; it is better to prioritize them on top and get them moving.

Are there any other prioritization frameworks that you have come across/used? Please share in the comments.

Productivity: This habit of chefs, is a secret sauce for productivity

‘Mise En Place’ is a French phrase that refers to the setup that chefs put in place before actual cooking. Chefs organize all the ingredients before the actual cooking process because it is efficient, ensuring faster cooking time and it also gives a better sense of control, removing any distractions.

Last week, I wrote this article about adopting the Mise En Place approach to boost our productivity - in a work context or in a personal context. In this article, I wrote about what “Mise En Place” could mean in both physical and digital settings. I also provided some examples of how Mise En Place can help us develop/sustain better habits or creative endeavours, through conscious design changes to our living environments. Read on and let me know what you think about it.

An interesting take I liked a lot: On Finding Yourself

A question to ponder about: “If you could erase from your brain one piece of knowledge (memory, or fact/set of facts) what would it be?”

This past week, I have been listening to the soundtrack of “Modern Love - Season 2”. I like the way they used music in this series (even in Season 1). My absolutely favourite is Lockdown Dublin - great rendition, composition and arrangements.