Categories
Productivity

Environment

  1. Define where you want to be / what you want to be doing
  2. Get around people who are already where you want to be / doing what you want to be doing — let those people make up the numbers you become the average of
Categories
Productivity

Productivity Observations

A few observations to note from my experiments in sleep and productivity:

  • What I eat matters. I might crave high carb (junk food) especially when I have to do difficult work but the outcome is actually a reduction in focus and a general feeling of lethargy. Also eating junk food leads to wanting more junk food which increases the lethargic feeling. It may curb the craving and enable me to work, but soon I’ll feel horrible.
  • Working late. I’ve tried stopping work and packing up to wind down at 8pm and I’ve tried working past 8pm and getting to bed only when I can’t focus anymore. I prefer stopping and packing up at 8pm. For one, the quality of my sleep is much better when I completely go offline at least two full hours before bed. Secondly, when I worked late into the night, I might have gotten “more” done but the quality was a lot less and slower paced. Thirdly, the next morning rather than having a clear mind ready to refocus and do more work, all the information worked on from the night before was still swirling in my mind because my brain did not get the quality sleep (and nutrients) it needed to store, file and process the new connections between information that would’ve made me more creative and productive the next day. In effect, I would’ve been better off stopping at 8pm, winding down and getting quality sleep so as not to impact the next day’s productivity. This is an important point as working into the night makes me less productive and creative the next day.
  • Everything gets out of whack. When I don’t take care of the fundamentals, everything else gets out of whack. A two hour wind down and quality sleep the night before is actually the best preparation for a day of creative work. It will take time to become proficient in executing the fundamentals—it’s a habit change that takes a lot of conscious work over a period of weeks and months before it becomes second nature. But the better I execute the fundamentals, the better I can execute my Highlight.
Categories
Wellbeing

34

Come along… it’s going to be a adventurous ride. Never settle. Always keep the cement wet, break out of the comfort zone.

Categories
Productivity

Commit

Perhaps the biggest differentiator between those who succeed and those who do not: the level of commitment.

Commitment determines execution, and as you probably know the measure of one’s success is the measure of their execution.

Categories
Productivity

Talent Identification vs. Talent Development Initiatives

Today I started reading a book I’ve wanted to read for a very long time: Performance Psychology: A Practitioner’s Guide. I’ve read the first two chapters of Section 1: Introduction: getting ready to perform and Aims, principles and methodologies in talent identification and development.

Categories
Productivity

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Everyday

Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

The Score

There are a couple of metrics I use to judge the value of a book.

  1. To what degree does it change the way I think, live or make decisions? (5/5)
  2. How likely am I to immediately buy copies for friends? (5/5)
  3. What is the quality level of the book (author’s credibility, quality of writing, reliability of research and information)? (5/5)

Based on those questions, I have scored this book with marks out of 5 and taken an average as the final score of its value. (i.e. 15/3 = 5)

For Make Time, I value it as a 5/5 book.

The Review

If you have goals but never have the time to accomplish them, Make Time might be able to help. This is Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky’s—two former Google employees who now dub themselves the Time Dorks—attempt to help you “make time” for what matters most to you.

How?

The methodology is simple. In their own words:

1. The Highlight hypothesis
If you set a single intention at the start of each day, we predict you’ll be more satisfied, joyful and effective.

2. The Laser hypothesis
If you create barriers around the Busy Bandwagon and the Infinity Pools, we predict you’ll focus your attention like a laser beam.

3. The Energise hypothesis
If you live a little more like a prehistoric human, we predict you’ll enhance your mental and physical energy.

The book is organised around these three hypotheses with “tactics” on how to achieve the “Laser” and Energise” principles taking up the bulk of the pages. A lot of the tactics are short and similar to things you have probably read or heard in other places. One of the tactics I have adopted is #24: Ignore the news. The argument being that is probably better and much more informative to ignore breaking news (typically broadcast / internet news) and instead consume the news on your own terms e.g. via a subscription such as the Economist, at a time that most suits you. It is these kind of pithy strategies that make up the bulk of the book.

It’s a good read, one that will inspire you to be more protective of your time and intentional about prioritising the things that matter most to you.

The most useful takeaway however, is this: if you set one Highlight per day (one that is connected to a meaningful priority for you) and schedule some time on your calendar to execute it, whatever happens in that day, no matter where meetings, busyness, or other people’s priorities take you, you can lie down at the end of the day satisfied in the knowledge that at least you completed or made progress on a project or task that is meaningful and important to you.

Categories
Wellbeing

Self-care

Self-care is not selfish. In fact self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and other people.

The better you look after the Fundamentals, the more alive, energised and motivated you will be, functioning at your best and able to bring your peak performance to the situations and people that require it of you.

When you prioritise self-care, you are walking in love and preparing yourself to be of the highest service to others.

Categories
Productivity

Quitting TV News

I used to spend a lot of time watching the news. At breakfast, I’d usually turn to iPlayer for the latest from BBC News. Sometimes, I’d even turn it on at lunch, and at other times, when I just needed to know what was happening in the world.

Well not only does the news not accurately depict “what is happening in the world” broadcast news can also be inefficient and not as scholarly—full of sound bites.

Instead of following TV news now, I’m opting to do something similar to what John Zeratsky does; indeed I was inspired by his book, Make Time. Rather than follow BBC News, I’ve signed up to The Week and will experiment with getting my news from a publication—in depth, and at a time that I can devote my time to actually learning from what I read.

I will give The Week a try and then also subscribe to The Economist to see which I prefer.

The aim is to improve concentration, be present and focused on one task at a time, and actually learn from information consumption rather than just hearing what someone has to say about a topic in 90 seconds.

Will let you know how it goes.

Categories
Wellbeing

The Fundamentals

If you take care of the fundamentals, the fundamentals will take care of you—simple as that.

What are the fundamentals? Sleeping well, eating well, moving well, relaxing well and relating well. These are things you can pursue excellence in for a lifetime; the need to do them well will never change throughout your life—they are the very rudiments of a meaningful and productive life. You will not reach your highest potential if these things are out of whack—and if you do, you won’t have a lot of staying power. These are the fundamentals of life; if you look after them, they will look after you.

Categories
Wellbeing

Let Your Life Speak — Parker J. Palmer (2000, Jossey-Bass)

Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer

The Score

There are a couple of metrics I use to judge the value of a book.

  1. To what degree does it change the way I think, live or make decisions? (5/5)
  2. How likely am I to immediately buy copies for friends? (5/5)
  3. What is the quality level of the book (author’s credibility, quality of writing, reliability of research and information)? (5/5)

Based on those questions, I have scored this book with marks out of 5 and taken an average as the final score of its value. (i.e. 15/3 = 5)

For Let Your Life Speak, I value it as a 5/5 book.