126 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2024
    1. But, too often, we burden the Future Self with our hopes and concerns, leaving our Present Self to collapse under the demands of the moment, and so become enraged at our Past Selves for leaving us here.

      Zo herkenbaar.

  2. Feb 2024
    1. the main use of your notes should be for summarizing them to make a study guide for exams.

      You study from your own notes, not the provided materials

    2. The main idea behind re-writing your "raw" class notes (besides making them more legible and organized) is that the very act of copying them is one of the best ways of studying them! Further study of your class notes can then be done from these "cooked" ones that are neater, more legible, more organized, and more complete. I will suggest ways to do this later.

      Study by writing.

  3. Nov 2023
    1. In the specific case of the SAT, something beyond pure mental effort likely contributes to post-exam stupor: stress. After all, the brain does not function in a vacuum. Other organs burn up energy, too. Taking an exam that partially determines where one will spend the next four years is nerve-racking enough to send stress hormones swimming through the blood stream, induce sweating, quicken heart rates and encourage fidgeting and contorted body postures. The SAT and similar trials are not just mentally taxing—they are physically exhausting, too.

      Stress increases energy burn in the whole body

    2. But the brain must actively maintain appropriate concentrations of charged particles across the membranes of billions of neurons, even when those cells are not firing.

      The reason for the high base rate.

  4. Oct 2023
    1. Controversial though some of his ideas may be, Freud wasn’t so far off when he posited the struggle between the animalistic id and the rational superego. But he may have been too generous in his assessment of the superego’s ability to channel our emotions.

      Of course Freud talked about this

    2. In the game, players picked cards from red and blue decks, winning and losing play money with each pick. The players were hooked up to lie-detector-like devices that measure skin conductance response, or CSR, which climbs as your stress increases and your palms sweat. Most players get a feeling that there’s something amiss with the red decks after they turn over about 50 cards, and after 30 more cards, they can explain exactly what’s wrong. But just ten cards into the game, their palms begin sweating when they reach for the red decks. Part of their brains know the red deck is a bad bet, and they begin to avoid it—even though they won’t consciously recognize the problem for another 40 cards and won’t be able to explain it until 30 cards after that. Long before they have a hunch about the red deck, a subconscious prehunch warns them away from it.

      What was wrong with the red decks?

    3. Three Brains in One Think of your brain as composed of three layers, the evolutionarily oldest and simplest at the center and the most modern and complex on the outside. At the top of the spinal cord—the center of the brain—lie the most primitive structures, ones we share with reptiles and fish, which control basic survival functions like breathing and hunger. Wrapped around these is the ancient limbic system, which we share with dogs and other mammals. Containing the thalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus, it is the seat of basic emotions such as fear, aggressiveness, and contentment. It’s the part of the brain that allows your dog to seem so pleased that you’re home while your fish couldn’t care less. Encasing these older structures is the modern cortex, the folded gray matter that we all recognize as the human brain. Dogs, chimps, and other mammals have cortexes, but ours has grown to a huge size. The cortex manages all sorts of higher brain processes like hearing and vision. The frontal lobes and, in particular, the prefrontal cortex (at the front of the frontal lobes) are the parts that make us human. They are the center of personality, reasoning, and abstract thought. Often, the prefrontal cortex is called the “executive” part of the brain because it considers input from throughout the brain in goal formation and planning.

      Great and easy to understand explanation

    1. Bent Flyvbjerg assembled a database of 16,000 projects from over 20 fields in 136 countries. He found that “91.5 percent of projects go over budget, over schedule, or both. And 99.5 percent of projects go over budget, over schedule, under benefits, or some combination of these.” That’s right: one in two-hundred projects arrive on time, on budget and do what they said they’d do.

      What’s the source?

  5. Sep 2023
    1. Ego depletion is an embarrassing moment for science: hundreds of experiments “replicated” an essentially fake phenomenon, and it took the organized efforts of preregistered ManyLabs-style replication police to put it to rest. (I should mention that one of several large replication attempts led by a pro-ego-depletion researcher managed to find a small effect, but this needs to be weighed against the other large replication efforts, the most recent led by another pro-ego-depletion researcher, Kathleen Vohs, that failed to find any such effect, and against the general silliness of the project.)

      I did not know that there were that many studies trying to replicate the ego depletion effect.

    1. That momentous (at least for me) article describes five problems with the to-do list. First, they overwhelm us with too many choices. Second, we are naturally drawn to simpler tasks which are more easily accomplished. Third, we are rarely drawn to important-but-not-urgent tasks, like setting aside time for learning. Fourth, to-do lists on their own lack the essential context of what time you have available. Fifth, they lack a commitment device, to keep us honest.

      Every productivity tool should solve a well-defined problem.

    1. Timeboxing is the act of arranging your schedule so every activity you need to do in a day is accounted for.

      Definition of timeboxing

  6. Aug 2023
    1. One reason per-project procrastination is so dangerous is that it usually camouflages itself as work. You're not just sitting around doing nothing; you're working industriously on something else.

      Busywork is the enemy

    2. For example, while you must work hard, it's possible to work too hard, and if you do that you'll find you get diminishing returns: fatigue will make you stupid, and eventually even damage your health. The point at which work yields diminishing returns depends on the type. Some of the hardest types you might only be able to do for four or five hours a day.

      I think Paul overestimates our capacity to concentrate…

  7. Jul 2023
    1. One common argument against overwork is that productivity and hours worked are not directly related. An oft-cited study from Stanford found that productivity per hour sharply declines after people work 50 hours a week. And those who worked 70 hours didn’t get any more done than those who worked 56.

      How reliable is that study?

    1. But in the world of work what’s easiest is rarely what’s most effective

      Friction increases effectiveness.

    2. A natural fear is that by reducing the amount of work each employee tackles at any given time, it might reduce the total amount of work an organization is able to complete, making it less competitive. This fear is unfounded. As argued, when an individual’s work volume increases, so does the accompanying overhead and stress, reducing both the time remaining to actually execute the tasks and the quality of the results. If you instead enable the individual to work more sequentially, focussing on a small number of things at a time, waiting until she is done before bringing on new obligations, the rate at which she completes tasks might actually increase.

      A lower work load remove communication bottlenecks.

    3. What we need is a movement to reduce the volume of work that is assigned to us in the first place—a movement I call Slow Productivity

      Slow Work means reducing hours worked. Slow Productivity means reducing the workload to increase output.

  8. Jun 2023
    1. Research on human attention shows that when you interrupt what you are doing with another stimulus, it takes the brain a certain amount of time to return to the peak concentration it had before the interruption. This space of time between your brain getting distracted and returning to focus is called an “attention lag”.

      Find definition of "attention lag"

  9. Mar 2023
    1. In a 1992 study, researchers found that participants who cited being unable to lose weight despite dieting underestimated their daily caloric intake by 47%.11Nadja Hermann, “I Lost 13 Stone – Now I Know the Truth about Obesity,” The Guardian, January 05, 2019, … Continue readingwindow.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function() { jQuery('#footnote_plugin_tooltip_4477_1_11').tooltip({ tip: '#footnote_plugin_tooltip_text_4477_1_11', tipClass: 'footnote_tooltip', effect: 'fade', predelay: 0, fadeInSpeed: 200, delay: 400, fadeOutSpeed: 200, position: 'top center', relative: true, offset: [-7, 0], });}); These same participants overestimated their daily activity level by 51%. This study suggests that we have a tendency to overestimate behaviors we know to be good for us – how much we exercise, how healthy we eat, how often we clean our homes.

      Talking about a bias!

    1. "I'm fully committed." This phrase, which comes via Jordan Raynor, may win the prize in the long-running quest to find the right form of words for saying no to a request for your time – without leaving any wiggle room, but also without being needlessly unpleasant to the asker. Of course, now I've mentioned it here, I'll be self-conscious about using it, but never mind. Just look at how elegant it is! "I'm sorry, but I'm fully committed" brooks no objection: it's stronger than merely saying you have lots on your plate at the moment, which leaves open the possibility of adding something more. But it takes responsibility for the situation, too; it's not that the other person's request is low in value, just that my schedule happens to be full. Finally, it's so obviously true: who isn't "fully committed", in some sense? There's no need for the subtle self-aggrandisement of claiming you're "really busy at the moment". You're just fully committed – a fact that the asker will probably recognise as being true about their life as well. (If you want some alternative scripts, there are a whole lot of them here.)

      Something to try out. What would the best Spanish translation be?

    1. Researchers have defined procrastination as the “present bias in preferences, on account of which agents delay doing unpleasant tasks that they themselves wish they would do sooner”. Present bias (or “hyperbolic discounting”) is the tendency, when considering a trade-off between two future moments, to give more importance to the one which happens sooner.

      Definition of procrastination

    1. These actions are optimized for the speed of transfer of information. And while they might make you feel productive in the moment, they’re likely bringing your team down. When everyone is sending and storing information in whatever way is fastest for them, it becomes difficult and time-consuming to retrieve that information later, adding to the endless scavenger hunt.The solution is to instead optimize, team-wide, for the retrieval of information.

      Optimize for retrieval of information instead of transfer of information

    2. Having individually productive employees is great, but it’s not enough. Team productivity requires collaboration, coordination, and sometimes sacrificing one’s own productivity for the greater good of the team. And as you might imagine, highly productive people sometimes struggle with that last part.

      What you optimize for determines the results

  10. Feb 2023
    1. In the beautiful words of psychiatrist David Viscott: “The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.”

      A phrase to hang on the wall in a frame.

    2. While the words “purpose” and “meaning” are often used interchangeably, they’re actually two different constructs. Meaning is oriented towards cognition, our ability to mentally process and connect ideas and make sense of our lives. In contrast, purpose is geared toward action rather than comprehension.

      Meaning is not Purpose

    1. Values are everywhere, but opportunities to live up to your values are not.

      Use your values as a catapult

    2. Numerous studies prove that identifying your core values and striving to live in accordance with them leads to greater life satisfaction and well-being.1

      And happiness!

    1. AchievementEnjoymentLoveAltruismExcellenceMasteryAmbitionExplorationPatienceBalanceFairnessPersistenceBeautyFamilyPowerBraveryFameRecognitionBrillianceFortitudeRespectCalmnessFriendshipResponsibilityCandorFunRiskCharityGenerositySecurityCleanlinessGratitudeSelf-RespectCommunityGreatnessSimplicityConfidenceGrowthSpiritualityControlHappinessSuccessCourageHard workTransparencyCreativityHealthTimeCuriosityHonestyUniquenessDignityIndependenceVictoryDisciplineIntegrityVitalityDriveIntelligenceWealthEnduranceKnowledgeWisdom

      Where does this lost come from? Are there any other lists circulating?

  11. Jan 2023
    1. Your goal is to get more done in less time.

      Is it though?

    2. Productivity systems are sets of practices, guidelines, methodologies, and tools that help people get things done efficiently and effectively.

      No habits or skills

    1. But we get so caught up in the daily grind, in the pursuit of the next step of the ladder, that we miss the point of being. I think the default state of life is that we will get filled up with small things. Whether small productivity improvements or minor inconveniences, it doesn’t matter. Either take away our chance to focus on something more.

      When do we take the time to reflect and look at the bigger picture?

    1. The fact that flow is not only rare, but draining; and that taking a break to scroll a different screen or play a game on your phone can be restorative, is proof of the need for nuance. The moralising over productivity and screentime is unhelpful when it comes to finding solutions – but highly profitable as the boom in (useless) blue-light glasses and “distraction-free” tech goes to show.

      We simply cannot be in a deeply focussed state during all the day.

    2. Article based on the book “Attention Span: Finding Focus for a Fulfilling Life” by Dr Gloria Mark

    3. Mark found that email trumped social media as a source of interruptions, with study participants checking their inboxes an average of 77 times daily (one checked 374 times). But most concerning was that 41% were doing so of their own accord, without external triggers. It’s proof that even if we turn off notifications, we can’t escape those internal triggers.

      Interesting. I always advice to turn of email notifications, but we check email anyways…

    4. The results showed that people shifted their attention, on average, every three minutes or so (including to interact with colleagues). When restricted to just computer activity, it was about 30 seconds quicker. At the time this seemed unfathomably fast, says Mark, but it was nothing compared to what was to come. With developments in tracking technology in the 2010s, Mark was able to repeat the study with greater precision, amassing thousands of hours of observation. In 2012, the average time spent on any screen before switching was down to 74 seconds. Since then it has declined even further. Research by Mark and others from 2016 to 2021 put it relatively consistently at just 47 seconds – “crazily short”, she says.

      This is horrifying: An attention span of just 47 seconds

    1. When we notice something new, like an unusual word, we start seeing it more often. It feels like it's become more common but really we're just more alert to it, and we confuse our attention with reality itself. Hence conspiracy theories.

      Caused by the Reticular Activation System

    1. The 10-10-10 method consists in asking yourself a series of three thought-provoking questions to help you project yourself in the future. What are the consequences of this decision in 10 minutes?What are the consequences in 10 months?In 10 years?

      From the book “10-10-10: A Fast and Powerful Way to Get Unstuck in Love, at Work, and with Your Family” by Suzy Welch

    1. To consciously activate your DMN and creative ideas during the day, allow yourself to spend time doing activities that aren’t cognitively demanding—such as going for a walk, taking a warm bath, or gardening—without listening to music or a podcast. Simply let your mind wander. Do this when you’re “in a state of psychological safety, where there’s no danger to having an unusual thought and no immediate task to perform,” Kounios says. (In other words, don’t do this while driving.)

      The case against walking while listening to music or podcasts

    2. Immediately upon awakening from a full night’s sleep or even a 20-minute nap, Christoff recommends paying attention to thoughts and ideas that occur to you in that liminal state between being sound asleep and fully awake—that’s a time when your ideas are “often quite free-flowing,” she adds, which means you can tap your creative potential.

      The case for the morning journal

    3. “sometimes you have to do the work to create a problem space—that sets the groundwork for spontaneous ideas to emerge.” This is often referred to as "the incubation effect," which occurs when you spend time away from a particular problem or challenge and your mind has the chance to wander and generate novel ideas through unconscious associative processes.

      Give your mind something to work on

    4. Raichle named this network the “default” mode network because of its heightened activity during idle periods, says Randy L. Buckner, a neuroscientist at Harvard University. But it’s something of a misnomer because the default mode network is also active in other mental tasks, such as remembering past events or engaging in self-reflective thought.

      The default mode network is not only active during rest.

    1. Based on our research, we believe the work-life balance changes and improvements in wellbeing coming out of the four-day week pilots could lead to an increase in productivity of about 10 per cent. Of course, a 10 per cent increase in individual productivity will not immediately make up for employees working a day less.

      This data will make it difficult to convince companies to adopt the four day workweek.

    1. In ACT, we call these “dead-person goals,” because they are goals that a dead person can do better than a living person. A corpse doesn’t procrastinate, drink, or watch YouTube—they don’t do anything at all.

      Instead of deciding what not to do, set active goals

    2. However, being overly focused on outcomes can get in the way of meaning-making and long-term motivation. This is because goals are always in the past or the future, never in the present.

      Goals do not exist in the present

    1. Humans’ default mode for problem-solving is to add something, rather than take something away. Through a series of studies, Gabrielle Adams of the University of Virginia and her colleagues found that “subtraction neglect” is pervasive. This “addition sickness” also plagues meetings — people keep piling more onto already chock-full calendars without much thought.

      People systematically overlook subtractive changes https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03380-y

    1. We can easily label adaptive thinking as critical thinking on steroids. Or if we can rephrase the words from the author who wrote the deliberate practice book, adaptive thinking is the ability to recognize unexpected situations, quickly consider various possible responses, and decide on the best one.

      Definition of adaptive thinking

    1. And yet, by some estimates, as many as 80% of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions by February. Only 8% of people stick with them the entire year.

      Cannot check the source from the EU

  12. Dec 2022
    1. You might meet someone at a party and repeat her name to yourself in an attempt to add to the memory's storage strength, but repetition will only take you so far: the sixth repetition won't add much more heft than the fifth. What will add to its storage strength, however, is what the Bjorks call the "effortful retrieval" of that memory. Once the name is semi-forgotten, then, "at some time later, looking across the room and retrieving what that person's name is – that can be a really powerful event in terms of your ability to recall that name later that evening or the next day", Robert Bjork told us for our book Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn. By carrying out a challenging retrieval, you can increase a given memory's storage strength and also increase your chances of retrieving it in the future.

      Train remembering, but also train retrieving.

    2. To understanding how forgetting can be useful, it's important to first recognise that a memory is never simply strong or weak. Rather, the ease with which you can summon up a memory (its retrieval strength) is different from how fully represented it is in your mind (its storage strength). The name of your parent, for instance, would be one example of a memory with both high storage and retrieval strength. A phone number you held in your head only momentarily a decade ago could be said to have low storage and retrieval strength. The name of someone you met a party mere minutes ago might have high retrieval but low storage strength. And finally, the lyrics to a song you've sung thousands of times but which stubbornly elude you, as you gaze out from the stage of the Worcester Centrum, would have high storage but distressingly low retrieval strength. Given the right cue, however – if your audience were to feed you the opening lines, for instance – the retrieval strength would snap right back.

      2 × 2 matrix of storage and retrieval strength

    3. At the cellular level, Eric Kandel, in a Nobel-winning series of studies, demonstrated that memories are preserved in the form of strengthened connections between neurons. Training regimes, he showed, whether conducted on intact, living, learning animals, or by electrically prodding neurons in a dish, create such beefed-up connections. And, as Ebbinghaus first observed, training (or rehearsal, or study) with extra time scheduled in between led these connections to be longer-lasting. This is a fact that holds true throughout the animal kingdom, from sea slugs to mammals.

      Repetition reinforces neural pathways.

    4. Perhaps no psychologist was more responsible for this change than Columbia University's number-loving psychologist Edward L. Thorndike, who argued that: "If a thing exists, it exists in some amount; and if it exists in some amount, it can be measured."

      What can be measured can be managed

    1. It was found that the top 10% most productive individuals now work at an average rate of 112 minutes, and then take a 26 minute break. 

      Productive people take long breaks.

    1. Each Time Asset that you create is a system that goes to work for you day in and day out.

      Create systems.

    1. Time as Asset; Time as Debt

      Invest wisely

    2. Time can be stored.  One of the great features about currency is that it functions as a store of value: you create some sort of value for someone via your labor, trade that value for currency, and then the currency will retain value even after the physical effect of the labor has faded.  For example, a pumpkin farmer might not be able to conveniently store pumpkins, but if he sells them the currency will (under normal circumstances) not rot.

      Great concept!

    3. There are two types of time involved in business: wall clock time and calendar time. Wall clock time: minutes/hours which you spend actually working. Calendar time: days/weeks/months/years where time passes so that something can happen.

      Active time and waiting time.

    1. hay estudios que indican que implicarse en una actividad física intensa tiende a llevarnos a un estado de activación poco agradable. Aunque muchos de nosotros experimentamos un mejor estado de ánimo después del ejercicio físico intenso, mientras lo practicamos no es tan agradable. La aversión inicial a ponerse en movimiento, y el estar tan a gusto en casita cuando nos planteamos la opción, nos puede llevar a la procrastinación.

      We procrastinate because in order to feel good after having done sports, we first have to suffer a little bit.

    1. Use chat for collaboration that requires immediate, interactive mutual feedback.

      Chat is not asynchronous

    2. Share Find Contextualise Chat 🙂 😐 🙁 Email 😐 😐 😐 Wiki 🙂 🙂 🙂 Issue tracker 🙂 🙂 🙂 Video call 😐 🙁 🙁

      This table instantly shows the best communication canals for remote work.

    3. If your team is distributed, this is equivalent to saying that it works in an asynchronous fashion, that is to say, that people will work on things in parallel, and a capable distributed team will have just as few synchronization points as absolutely necessary.

      It is not possible to have a functioning remote team without working asynchronous most of the time.

    1. Rest is not the opposite of work. It's an integral piece of great work.

      Rest has an intrinsic value. We are accustomed to see rest only as a necessity for doing work, as something adjacent.

    1. The participants of one study who tried to accomplish multiple goals were less committed and less likely to succeed than those who focused on a single goal.


    2. Doing so helps you decide which goals and tasks need to be prioritized now. Try to limit the number of these primary goals and tasks to the most essential. You can always add more later—but the point is to ensure your top priorities have real estate on your calendar.

      Your essential tasks. Limit the number of essential tasks, because if everything’s important, nothing is.

    3. You can categorize your values into three domains of life: yourself, your work, and your relationships

      Can values be categorised? Shouldn't most values be applicable to the whole of your life?

      Furthermore, why does the Work domain encompass the Relations domain?

    4. Sometimes, dedicating time to activities that fulfill a value reveals surprising truths, such as that a value is not as significant as you once thought. Giving time to our perceived priorities helps us learn about ourselves.

      Insight comes from doing.

    1. There’s a lot to glean from the demand-control model. But it doesn’t capture another key dynamic in how we relate to work—resources, including compensation. For instance, consider a low-demand, high-autonomy job that pays well—the kind of job where you collect a nice paycheck and enjoy full benefits, but you don’t have many challenges during the workday. There’s a good chance a worker in that job would have low stress, but they might feel more existential frustration (i.e., “What’s the point?”).

      Resources lower stress

    2. The first model proposed to explain both the joys and the stresses of knowledge work is the demand-control model, developed by psychologist Robert Karasek in 1979. It analyzes work across two dimensions: psychological demand and autonomy. A job with high psychological demand and high autonomy fosters the most motivation and learning. A job with low autonomy and high psychological demand puts the worker at increased risk for distress. Jobs with low autonomy and low demand are, quite literally, mind-numbing. And jobs with high autonomy and low psychological demand are easy to maintain but unfulfilling.

      Love a 2x2 matrix!

    3. Researcher Armand Hatchuel describes this old work model as “confined.” Confined work relies on an established process, a specific outcome, and an expectation of effort required to meet the needs of the process and outcome. A confined work model is relatively easy to manage because the inputs and outputs are stable. If a machine breaks or someone calls out sick, a manager can rearrange the other inputs to arrive at the same output as before. There are transparent and objective ways to measure a worker’s performance.

      Source? Old-style work is called “confined work”

    1. Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you’ll exercise and be social, which, in turn, will make you happier.

      How to get into an upward spiral.

    2. The results are fairly clear that massage boosts your serotonin by as much as 30 percent. Massage also decreases stress hormones and raises dopamine levels, which helps you create new good habits… Massage reduces pain because the oxytocin system activates painkilling endorphins. Massage also improves sleep and reduces fatigue by increasing serotonin and dopamine and decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.

      Getting a massage as an alternative for hugs.

    3. One of the primary ways to release oxytocin is through touching. Obviously, it’s not always appropriate to touch most people, but small touches like handshakes and pats on the back are usually okay. For people you’re close with, make more of an effort to touch more often.

      Humans are inherently social animals.

    4. Making decisions includes creating intentions and setting goals — all three are part of the same neural circuitry and engage the prefrontal cortex in a positive way, reducing worry and anxiety. Making decisions also helps overcome striatum activity, which usually pulls you toward negative impulses and routines. Finally, making decisions changes your perception of the world — finding solutions to your problems and calming the limbic system.

      Pass to action!

    5. It’s not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place. Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful.

      You can learn how to be more emotionally intelligent.

    6. In the short term, worrying makes your brain feel a little better — at least you’re doing something about your problems.

      The purpose of any emotion is to draw our attention to something that is important.

    7. Article based on the book The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time by Alex Corb.

    1. “He de crear mi propio sistema o seré esclavizado por el de algún otro”, dijo un tal William Blake.

      Look up source

    1. The most important thing to do to prevent Highlight Dementia is creating context around your highlights. For every highlight that you make, try to also note down a couple of words on why you are highlighting the sentence.

      I’ve read this advice in several articles now. It’s time I put this into practice. This means, no more highlights in Hypothes.is, only annotations from now on.

    1. This conundrum is reflected in the usual advice about what to do with quadrant three tasks, which is that they ought to be delegated to others. Well, OK, yes: some things are better done by other people. But delegation isn’t always an option. And besides, if a task is truly unimportant, it’s not clear why anyone is doing it anyway.

      Great to read that I’m not the only one who always thought this advice is ridiculous

  13. Nov 2022
    1. Part of the activation energy required to start any task comes from the picture you get in your head when you imagine doing it. It may not be that going for a run is actually costly; but if it feels costly, if the picture in your head looks like a slog, then you will need a bigger expenditure of will to lace up. Slowness seems to make a special contribution to this picture in our heads. Time is especially valuable. So as we learn that a task is slow, an especial cost accrues to it. Whenever we think of doing the task again, we see how expensive it is, and bail. That’s why speed matters.

      The story you tell yourself creates reality.

    1. Tenemos tres tiempos que rigen nuestra cronobiología: el interno, que es el tiempo que nuestras células sienten como producto de habernos adaptado al ecosistema dónde vivimos; el externo, que es el de la luz solar y artificial; y el social, que es el de la hora a la que vamos a trabajar o comemos. Si están desincronizados, aparece un desequilibrio molecular y fisiológico denominado cronodisrupción

      Definición de la «cronodisrupción»

    2. Además del tiempo ambiental, que es el ciclo de luz y oscuridad natural, está el tiempo social: los hábitos horarios, como ir al trabajo o los contactos sociales, ayudan a sincronizar. El otro sincronizador es el tiempo metabólico, como los horarios de comida, que ayudan a controlar los relojes del tubo digestivo o del hígado

      Tres factores para regular el reloj biológico:

      • Luz
      • Contactos sociales
      • Comida
    3. su reloj biológico generaba ciclos de más de 24 horas.

      Por eso hablamos del ritmo circadiana.

    4. Artículo escrito a raíz del libro «Cronobiología. Una guía para descubrir tu reloj biológico» (Plataforma Editorial) de Juan Antonio Madrid

    5. Estamos en un momento en el que no escuchamos el cuerpo: tenemos un pico de hambre a las 12 de la mañana, pero comemos a las tres de la tarde.

      Hay que escuchar más a nuestro cuerpo.

    6. luz azul

      Nuestros ojos son más sensibles para el luz azul, pero deberíamos evitar luz de todos los colores.

    1. And yes: that’s certainly how a lot of capitalist cultures think about time — as something that can be wasted or optimized. It’s often predicated on the idea that you should be focused on doing one thing, and one thing only, very efficiently: time is money, etc. etc. But that itself, sometimes referred to as a “monochronic” understanding of time, is no more or less “natural” than other ways of conceiving of time, like “polychronic” culture, which understands time as dynamic, flexible, and filled with several tasks at once, each of which will take the time that they need. Monochronic cultures may be more “efficient” in their use of time, but in their treatment of time as a commodity, they lose the richness that comes with allowing tasks, conversations, and interactions to move forward at a more natural and sustainable pace.

      Monochronic: the Greek ‘Chronos’ Polychronic: the Greek ‘Kairos’

    1. For micro-tasks, single-tasking is a far more effective way to complete projects, boost creativity, and even reduce stress levels

      What is the recommendation for macro-tasks (AKA projects)?

    2. Take regular breaks

      Focussing depletes your energy. Take the ultradian rhythms into account.

    3. Use the Pomodoro technique

      Or better: time boxing, adopting the length of your time boxes to your level of energy and motivation.

    4. Focusing on one task can, surprisingly, boost creativity. Whereas multitasking creates a constant stream of distraction, the tedium of focusing on a single task gives your brain the space it needs to explore new paths that you might otherwise not have considered

      This contrasts in a certain way with the results in https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2017.01.005 (cited in [[@madore2019]]):

      For example, recent data suggest that there are certain domains––like creative problem solving––that may benefit from task switching by reducing fixation on a problem. Weighing the costs and benefits of multitasking is important.

    5. While micro-level multitasking, such as responding to an online work chat while producing a report, will lead to lost efficiency, it’s important to note that macro-level multitasking can be achieved when you are balancing several projects at once.

      There is a difference between multitasking on a task level and on a project level.

    6. Furthermore, it is worrying that those who multitask often inaccurately consider their efforts to be effective, as studies have demonstrated that multitasking leads to an over-inflated belief in one’s own ability to do so. Not only are we bad at multitasking, but we can’t seem to be able to see it.

      We think we are better than we actually are. Just like walking in a straight line when you're drunk.

    1. In her book, Fabritius identifies four “neurosignatures,” which are the unique activity patterns in a person’s brain:Dopamine-dominant people are visionary risk-takers who are up for a challenge. They tend to be entrepreneurs.Testosterone-dominant people are direct and love to take charge. They also are drawn to data and often thrive in sales or research.Serotonin-dominant people focus on details and plans and love keeping schedules. They’re often found in accounting or law.Estrogen-dominant people are nurturing and empathetic. They often go into jobs in human resources or education.

      This fits perfectly with the four main types defined by Insights Discovery and DISC:

      • Dopamine-dominant: Yellow
      • Testosterone-dominant: Red
      • Serotonin-dominant: Blue
      • Estrogen-dominant: Green
    1. Because Autofocus doesn’t rely on dates, it’s essential to combine it with a calendar system so you can account for time-sensitive tasks like appointments and turning in forms at certain deadlines.

      No system is perfect

    1. Un robatiempo es una tarea o reclamo que conlleva el consumo de un tiempo valioso que debería gastarse en temas de mucho más valor añadido o importancia

      This made me think of Warren Buffet’s prioritisation principle

    1. Give “seasons” to your life—say, 90 days to a year—in which you focus on one thing before moving on to the next. It may make you more comfortable prioritizing a value if you know it’s just for a certain period.

      Something I should experiment with.

    2. Values are the attributes of the person you want to become. They are “how we want to be, what we want to stand for, and how we want to relate to the world around us,”

      How do we want to interact with the world?

    1. $10,000/hour work is the exact opposite of its $10/hour brethren. There’s no swoosh sound when you complete it. Zero dopamine. The results aren’t seen for years, if not decades.

      Delaying instant gratification is a superpower.

    2. In reality, it’s a framework to consider a “continuum of impact.” If the numbers feel too big, think of the multipliers instead. If your lowest unit value work is $10/hour (i.e. hitting inbox zero), what’s something that’s 10x more impactful? How about 1,000x more impactful?

      I prefer the multipliers over dollar amounts

    3. $10,000 per hour work is the process of identifying your highest leverage activities and committing a small amount of time to them each day.

      The dollar amount one the different types of work is attractive, but may also be a distraction, since most high leverage activities are almost impossible to quantise.

    4. This quadrant is busywork at scale. It’s the domain of productivity gurus, shiny tech tools (like Superhuman, Notion or Hey.com), Zapier automations, Text Expanders and the budding no-code movement.

      Interesting, Khe put an image of David Allen's Getting Things Done book in the image accompanying this quadrant.

      I assume he is talking about creating and maintaining the GTD system, or also about using the system to get results? After all, an important aspect of GTD (though not made clear in the book) is getting perspective.

    1. For example, one study at the Carnegie Mellon University’s human computer interaction lab took 136 students and got them to sit a test. Some of them had to have their phones switched off, and others had their phones on and received intermittent text messages. The students who received messages performed, on average, 20% worse. It seems to me that almost all of us are currently losing that 20% of our brainpower, almost all the time. Miller told me that as a result we now live in “a perfect storm of cognitive degradation”.

      20% performance loss due to context switching. I would love to study the original research on this…

    1. I love this from Sonia Sparkles – the psychological safety pizza! How many slices do you have?
    2. The best performing teams are generally Small, Lean, Long-Lived, Autonomous, and Multi-disciplinary – and psychologically safe. It’s fair to say that psychological safety is generally more difficult to foster as group size increases. As a member of a group, predicting the “risk” of interpersonal consequences of speaking up is an easier mental calculation in a group of 3 versus a group of 30, or 300. The chances of someone punishing or humiliating us as a result of speaking up naturally increases as group size increases: as a result, we tend to feel psychologically safer in smaller groups.
    3. Jeff Bezos famously adhered to Amazon’s “two-pizza-team” rule as a way to limit team sizes and maintain the effectiveness of small, tight-knit teams: No team should be larger than the number of people that can be adequately fed by two large pizzas. However, whilst this is effective for teams that can truly own a value stream, it appears less crucial for functional teams that have complex and unavoidable organisational dependencies. It seems that biggest predictor of a team’s success wasn’t whether it was small, but whether it had a leader with “the appropriate skills, authority, and experience to staff and manage a team whose sole focus was to get the job done.” 
    4. As much as Dunbar’s limits on group sizes might seem to be common sense, and reflected in many real world examples, Dunbar’s theories on group size boundaries have been deconstructed and shown to possess confidence intervals too large to be robust in the real world. That is, group size boundaries do exist, but may be anywhere from 30 to 250, depending on context, culture, and other factors. “Dunbar’s assumption that the evolution of human brain physiology corresponds with a limit in our capacity to maintain relationships ignores the cultural mechanisms, practices, and social structures that humans develop to counter potential deficiencies.” Ruiter et al, 2011.
    1. Arguably it’s something different. So I’ll just mention it briefly and that is Constrain. So circling this whole idea is how you figure out what gets on your plate to be managed in the first place, and how you actually manage that work

      In my view, Constrain should be part of Configure, since it makes no sense to organise things you should not be doing at all.

    2. Now, I know people get concerned. They say, “Well, I might be injecting too much structure into my life and this is going to make my work life more rigid and I’ll be less creative.” I call nonsense on all of that. Just because you’re in control of everything doesn’t mean you need to schedule every seven minutes of your time like a crazy person.

      It is important to find the right granularity of your planning. Too small time block and you'll have an unrealistic plan, too large blocks and they don't help you prioritise.

    3. So those things get pushed back down to zero.

      Interesting, Cal empties all his inboxes as the last acton for the day.

    4. At the end of every day I do a shutdown

      “Shutdown”: I use the term “check out”.

    5. You’re giving your time a job as opposed to asking in the moment, “What should I do next?”

      A lot like budgeting money in YNAB: «every dollar has a job».

      However, Cal doesn't mention the tension between having a rigid schedule and being flexible by deciding at the moment.

    6. You’ll hear me talk about multi-scale planning. This is where that actually applies. And what I recommend is that you should be doing this type of planning on three time scales, quarterly, weekly, daily.

      I like the term “multi-scale planning” for working in nested cycles.

    7. So these are our two goals with organize. A, that the information is organized well. What you want to have happen here is that you can very quickly get the gestalt of what’s on your plate, what’s due, what’s not, who you’re waiting to hear back from. The information is put aside in such a way that it’s not just a list with a hundred things. And two, all the relevant information is there. I’m not scrambling around to figure out what I need to know to do this thing. All the information is there.

      Configure: Make sure all relevant information is available Make sure that information is structured for easy access.

    8. In addition to each of your commitments being somewhere you trust, I want your plans to also be somewhere you trust. So any thinking you’ve done about what you’re working on, on all sorts of different time scales, that should be written down somewhere you trust and review regularly as well. I think that’s often overlooked.

      Your second brain should offload more than just the task management. It should also contain the context of those tasks.

    9. Now, everyone who works has some sort of time management system they’re using. If you don’t know what it’s called, if you can’t tell me the details of it, if you’ve never thought about that, it’s just a really bad one probably, but you still have one. One way or the other, you’re making these decisions. The question is just how do we want to make these decisions? What is going to work better?

      Everybody already has a systems that is, more or less, working properly.

      So there is no need to throw it all out of the window to start over.

    10. The way you deal with your time outside of work is a little bit different, and so I’m going to put that aside.

      I wonder in what ways the time outside of work is managed differently. In the end, it is all about allocating your time to the uses you decide on.

    11. I’m going to define time management to be whatever philosophy, process, systems, or rules that you deploy to make decisions about what you’re going to do right now with your time.
    12. And David Allen was there at the beginning. He had this idea of full capture where he said all of your tasks should be a trusted system that you review regularly, not in your head. He actually adapted that idea from a previous business thinker named Dean Acheson, unrelated to President Truman’s Secretary of State, same name, different person, who had first developed, I believe in the 1970s, this notion of full capture and David Allen expanded it.


    1. Preemption points are different from deadlines because they’re synchronous and uniform. Instead of arbitrarily setting a deadline for each task, we create synchronous deterministic feedback by regularly checking the task’s status. One way to do that is to use your task manager to highlight tasks with different colors once their duration exceeds three, five, or ten days, for example. At each of those points in time, we review whether there’s something we could improve to ship the task earlier, cut its scope, or scrap it altogether.
    2. That’s not to mention the Stock-Sanford corollary to Parkinson’s law: “If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.”
    3. At the root of deadlines’ pointlessness is the fact that you can’t control outcomes. You can only control the processes that generate those outcomes.
    1. But we are drinking sea water, making us thirstier for more.

      Nice analogy. Drinking see water when you’re thirsty makes you even more thirsty. Checking social media in your break makes you even more exhausted.

    1. Using a shortcut1 you can either share the url to their service or inject their javascript library and start annotating and commenting Medium style on any article you read, even on your phone!

      Wouln't the Hypothesis bookmarklet be preferable and easier to use?