2 min read · Jun 18th · The existential exhilaration of playing chicken with Time
In Phase Two, you get busy. Mountains of energy are suddenly available to you. Straining to avoid one particular thing, dawdling mightily, you can do five others.
And now it’s over. You’ve emerged. You have been a weird little god, playing with Time. You’ve been Max von Sydow, playing chess with Death. And while you haven’t won, exactly, you haven’t lost, either.
Outwardly, I’m at ease: I’m pottering about, I’m picking up books and putting them down again, I’m chatting gaily on the phone, I’m eating tortilla chips. But inwardly, inwardly, I’m in violent Luciferian rebellion against the angels of adulthood, of responsibility, of unfreedom.
6 min read · From 2017 · How do habits work? How do you change your habits? How do you hold yourself accountable? This complete habits guide contains everything you need to know.
Every habit you have — good or bad — follows the same 3–step pattern: Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior), routine (the behavior itself; the action you take), and reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior).
By simply removing yourself from an environment that triggers all of your old habits, you can make it easier to break bad habits and build new ones.
7 min read · Jul 15th · Let’s cut to the chase: there is no universally perfect productivity system. Instead of wasting time trying to copy-and-paste a system from a self-help book, everyone should intentionally design a…
It’s sustainable. The more friction and effort, the less likely you are going to stick to your productivity system. How do you feel after a day using a system? If you are exhausted, chances are it’s not working for you.
It works for short-term and long-term goals. If your productivity system is a toolbox, it should contain tools that work for different timelines
everyone should intentionally design a system that works for them, based on their goals, their personality, and their obligations.
8 min read · 2020-07-19 · Cover image “beauty in the brains” by bedelgeuse A student recently asked me, “How do you have the self-discipline to open up your notes app every time you encounter an interesting idea?” Suddenly I…
~13 min read · 2020-08-10 · In 2016, I read 57 books. I read like I was running out of time. It felt like an achievement, yet by the end of the year, I could scarcely recall even one useful idea from each book. That moment was a…
2020-05-19 · There is a secret to radically improving your productivity – it’s called a Weekly Review. It’s not a very secret secret. It’s a secret hiding in plain sight. We’ve all heard countless times that we…
~14 min read · Jun 29th · Knowledge work is unique among skilled professions in that we lack a culture of systematic improvement. Other skilled trades – from carpenters to welders to nurses to pilots – have been around long…
We spend tens of thousands of dollars on our education, plus thousands of hours learning specialized skills. Yet so little time and effort is spent mastering the most fundamental skill of all: how to manage our work.
Like us, chefs only have so much energy and working memory at their disposal. Chefs use mise-en-place – a philosophy and mindset embodied in a set of practical techniques – as an “external brain.”
There are 6 practices that mise-en-place has to offer us: Sequence Placeholders Immersive vs. process time Finishing mindset Small, precise movements Arrangement
4 min read · Jun 28th · Have you ever come home after a long day at work, with a narrow window of time to eat, shower, and go to bed, but decided to carve out some leisure time at the expense of your sleep? This is called…
Revenge bedtime procrastination is harmful to your physical and mental health. Staying up a bit later to carve out some leisure time may feel good in the short-term, but will lead to some pretty worrisome negative effects in the long-term. It’s okay if we slip from time to time, but breaking this pernicious habit will result in a healthier, more balanced life.
Bedtime procrastination becomes revenge bedtime procrastination when the decision to delay sleep is in response to a lack of free time earlier in the day
In 2020, Daphne K. Lee described revenge bedtime procrastination as “a phenomenon in which people who don’t have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early in order to regain some sense of freedom during late night hours.”
5 min read · Jun 23rd · Focus on the root causes of why you’re so busy — not trying to schedule your way out of it.
Time management promises us that if we become more efficient, we can make space to accommodate all of our to-dos comfortably. And yet, time management is like digging a hole at the beach: the bigger the hole, the more water that rushes in to fill it. In a world of potentially infinite demands, freeing up an hour on your calendar is akin to setting off a signal flare announcing your capacity to jump on another project or take on an additional role.
This is not to say that time management has no value. Productivity is important. But in a world where burnout is running rampant, we also need strategies for eliminating volume instead of simply accommodating it.
“finding the one decision that removes 100 decisions.”
~13 min read · Jun 18th · How do you know that you’re giving good feedback? Erin ‘Folletto’ Casali offers a tangible framework for delivering feedback through the lens of the design critique process in this first installmen…
Feedback is also one of the most underestimated tools, and often by assuming that we’re already good at it, we settle, forgetting that it’s a skill that can be trained, grown, and improved.
There’s another advantage of asynchronous feedback: written feedback automatically tracks decisions.
observation, impact, question, timing, attitude, form, clarity, and actionability