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The 'Busy' Trap

The 'Busy' Trap
Anxiety: We worry. A gallery of contributors count the ways. If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this; it’s something we collectively force one another to do. Notice it isn’t generally people pulling back-to-back shifts in the I.C.U. or commuting by bus to three minimum-wage jobs who tell you how busy they are; what those people are is not busy but tired. Brecht Vandenbroucke Even children are busy now, scheduled down to the half-hour with classes and extracurricular activities. The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it. Our frantic days are really just a hedge against emptiness. I am not busy. Here I am largely unmolested by obligations.

The Science of Waiting and the Art of Delay Voltaire famously lamented. This tension between anticipation and impatience, indeed, seems central to the human condition. In ( ), former investment banker turned writer shines a spotlight on it by bringing together four previously examined grand questions — what is time , how we decide , why we procrastinate , and what it means to be human — through hundreds of scientific studies and interviews with prominent thinkers across psychology, behavioral economics, philosophy, social science, anthropology, and more. What emerges is an important, if counterintuitive, perspective on delay in a culture obsessed with efficiency, speediness, and productivity that bleeds into the hasty and the rash. Partnoy observes: For centuries, leading thinkers …. have told us not to jump to firm conclusions about the unknown. Thinking about the role of delay is a profound and fundamental part of being human. Our ability to think about delay is a central part of the human condition.

Thirty Is Not The New Twenty: Why Your 20's Matter | Experts' Corner Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life's most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last major growth spurt. No. One of my favorite quotes is by American Psychologist Sheldon Kopp: "The unlived life isn't worth examining." Absolutely. One way to keep yourself honest about the future is by making a timeline. Besides, do you know what's not cool? Yes, half of 20somethings are un- or underemployed. That's how people are getting jobs--especially good jobs--even in a tough economy. For those 20somethings who already have jobs but who are underemployed, it is crucial to remember that not all underemployment is the same.

How to Get Doping Out of Sports WHY does an athlete dope? I know why, because I faced that choice. My life on a bike started in middle school. These early rides make up many of my memories from my teenage years; the crashes, the adrenaline and the discipline of training every day. As I sped through the neighborhoods of suburban Denver, my mind was anywhere but. Achieving childhood dreams is a hard road. People who end up living their dreams are not those who are lucky and gifted, but those who are stubborn, resolute and willing to sacrifice. THEN, just short of finally living your childhood dream, you are told, either straight out or implicitly, by some coaches, mentors, even the boss, that you aren’t going to make it, unless you cheat. How much does that last 2 percent really matter? To be clear, running a 9.8 (or faster), winning the 100-meter breaststroke or winning the Tour de France are all very possible and have been done without doping.

What Happens When You Live Abroad A very dependable feature of people who live abroad is finding them huddled together in bars and restaurants, talking not just about their homelands, but about the experience of leaving. And strangely enough, these groups of ex-pats aren’t necessarily all from the same home countries, often the mere experience of trading lands and cultures is enough to link them together and build the foundations of a friendship. I knew a decent amount of ex pats — of varying lengths of stay — back in America, and it’s reassuring to see that here in Europe, the “foreigner” bars are just as prevalent and filled with the same warm, nostalgic chatter. But one thing that undoubtedly exists between all of us, something that lingers unspoken at all of our gatherings, is fear. There is a palpable fear to living in a new country, and though it is more acute in the first months, even year, of your stay, it never completely evaporates as time goes on. It simply changes. But there are the fears.

What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should too. The first hour of the workday goes a bit differently for Craig Newmark of Craigslist, David Karp of Tumblr, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, career writer (and Fast Company blogger) Brian Tracy, and others, and they’ll tell you it makes a big difference. Don’t Check Your Email for the First Hour. Tumblr founder David Karp will "try hard" not to check his email until 9:30 or 10 a.m., according to an Inc. profile of him. Not all of us can roll into the office whenever our Vespa happens to get us there, but most of us with jobs that don’t require constant on-call awareness can trade e-mail for organization and single-focus work. Gain Awareness, Be Grateful Choose Your Frog

6 Ways To Tell Someone You Like Them While it may seem like the simple act of telling someone you have feelings for them, and might be interested in dating them, is just that: an easy straightforward task, nothing could be further from the truth. For many — those of us who do not put “unrbidled charisma around love interests” in the special skills section of our résumé — we have to find new ways to go about letting the special someone know. Here, a few particularly effective tactics: 1. If you are absolutely head-over-heels for someone, what better way to let them know than by refusing to acknowledge their existence? 2. If absolute silence is not your M.O. when it comes to expressing your budding love, you can always change it up and become completely disconnected from your own brain function. 3. 4. You know what your friends, family, coworkers, exes, mailman, barista at Starbucks, dentist, and complete strangers in the street want to hear about? 5. 6. Oh, who am I kidding?

Why Success Breeds Success: The Science of "The Winner Effect" by Maria Popova Biochemistry and the self-reinforcing upward spiral of winning. The past century of science has demonstrated the pivotal role of biochemistry in such human phenomena as love, attraction, and lust. But to consider that individual neurobiology might impact things as rational and complex as, say, stock markets seems rather radical. One particularly fascinating aspect of risk-taking has to do with what is known as “the winner effect,” a self-reinforcing osmosis of the two key hormones driving the biochemistry of success and failure — testosterone, which Coates calls “the hormone of economic bubbles,” and cortisol, “the hormone of economic busts.” Coates explains: An intriguing correlation, certainly, but what is the causal mechanism at work? Life for the winner is more glorious. So does this winner effect also occur in humans? Tying the research back to the human condition itself, Coates puts it rather poetically: Donating = Loving Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter.

Coping with Career Regret - Priscilla Claman by Priscilla Claman | 12:00 PM September 21, 2012 Fall is a time when career regrets tug more strongly than during the laid-back summer months. New jobs appear on job boards, and many colleagues and friends move on to new careers or go off to graduate school. The should haves are hard to turn off. Dwelling what you should have done is especially destructive because it carries a feeling of futility. The right approach is to replace the “should haves” with “what ifs.” Start with the regret, for example, “I should have never chosen Public Relations.” To see how this plays out, take this example: Evelyn’s family persuaded her to go into accounting, but after five miserable years at a financial services firm she still regretted not following her passion into music. But when she started thinking about what ifs instead of should haves, Evelyn’s attitude changed.

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