How To be so Productive You Can't Stand it You might think that creatives as diverse as Internet entrepreneur Jack Dorsey, industrial design firm Studio 7.5, and bestselling Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami would have little in common. In fact, the tenets that guide how they – and exceptionally productive creatives across the board – make ideas happen are incredibly similar. Here are 10 laws of productivity we’ve consistently observed among serial idea executors: 1. Break the seal of hesitation. A bias toward action is the most common trait we’ve found across the hundreds of creative professionals and entrepreneurs we’ve interviewed. 2. When our ideas are still in our head, we tend to think big, blue sky concepts. 3. Trial and error is an essential part of any creative’s life. To avoid ‘blue sky paralysis,’ pare your idea down to a small, immediately executable concept. 4. When working on in-depth projects, we generate lots of new ideas along the way. 5. 6. 7. 8. Few activities are more of a productivity drain than meetings. 9.
The Daily Miscellany How to Respond to Criticism – Learning from Dr. King Total read time (bolded sections) = 5 minutes Total read time (all) = 40 minutes I am embarrassed to tell you that, up until three weeks ago, I had never read Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham City Jail. It is, without a doubt, one of the best case studies in how to deal with criticism I’ve ever come across. Much like the historic Declaration of Independence (4-minute read time) and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (30-second read time), not much happened immediately following publication. The direct action that it helped catalyze, however, prompted police abuse that became front-page news around the world. The news created pressure on the US government for a response, and when Martin Luther later spoke with President John F. Reverend King’s response was purportedly a simple statement of fact. JFK’s then sighed and changed his tune: “OK. Check mate… This was not accidental. I have included the bolded highlights I made upon my first reading. April 12, 1963 Signed by:
How to Hack Your Education, Learn Faster, And Skip College This is a guest post by author of Hacking Your Education, founder of UnCollege, and entrepreneur Dale Stephens. What’s happened to your self-improvement list since the start of a new year has come and gone? Maybe your bullet points include joining a local gym, swearing off simple carbs, and purchasing a copy of Anna Karenina. Whatever it might be, your list probably also includes learning something new, like speaking Spanish, coding websites, or deciphering American politics. Reliving the agony of sitting through long lectures and slogging through dense textbooks seems masochistic and perhaps futile, because really, how many of us remember trigonometric functions or the Magna Carta? What most people don’t realize is that learning itself is a dynamic process that we can improve and whip into shape, just like our physical fitness. The brain works in a very simple way. Creating Connections in Your Brain Say, for example, that you want to learn how to code. Synthesizing Information
43 Simple Ways To Simplify Your Life Post written by Sherri Kruger. Follow me on Twitter. Simplicity. How can we make things simpler, more streamlined, or more efficient? Is this all just hype or is there actually something to this simplicity thing? Reducing complexity in my life has reduced stress, increased free time, and top priorities are actually top priorities. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. There are countless ways to simplify your life, these are but a few.
Little Steps: 100 Great Tips For Saving Money For Those Just Getting Started Yesterday, I discussed how anyone can turn their financial life around if they just take that first step – the first step is always the hardest one. After that, you start taking more and more little steps and before you know it, your financial life is getting better and better. What follows is a list of 100 more steps to take. Obviously, not all of these tips will apply to everyone. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43.
How To Keep Your Doritos as Fresh as Your Skills Learn this chip bag fold and you will never need a clamp ever again! Have you ever had a bag of unfinished potato chips which you want to keep fresh? These simple steps will allow you to close the potato chip bag without using a clip or clamp. An example of a silly (but undeniably useful) origami fold. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. How to Level Up in the Game of Life Ding! This may be the sweetest sound you can possibly hear when playing a role-playing game (henceforth referred to as an RPG). “DING!” or something similar depending on the video game you’re playing, means that your character completed a certain number of quests, killed a specific number of monsters, and ran enough errands to level up. Congratulations, or “grats!” It’s this particular reason that games like World of Warcraft, Rift, Oblivion, Everquest 2, and any other RPG are so damn addictive: there’s always another level to reach, another dragon to kill, and better armor to acquire. Today, we’re going to turn life into a giant role playing game. Since day one, the tagline for Nerd Fitness has been “Level up your life.” Today, you’re going to learn how. Don’t complain about your starting zone Let’s assume that you hit the random button when creating your character in World of Warcraft - you were hoping for a good looking elf and ended up with a goofy-looking ogre. That’s life. Nope. -Steve
Designing The Perfect Daily Routine: The Ultimate System Harvard’s Positive Psychology Professor, Tal Ben-Shahar, believes happiness is the result of balancing meaning with pleasure. But understanding what gives us meaning and what gives us pleasure is not as easy as it sounds. In this article, I will teach you how to track everything you do and then restructure your activities in the optimal way. You will learn the best way to end procrastination and develop the right habits such as meditation, exercise, and learning so that you can grow every day. You will learn how to work diligently on that which gives you meaning and reward yourself accordingly with pleasure. Work, for example, is thought of by most people as annoying and tedious, but psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Judith LeFevre show otherwise. In their article, Optimal Experience in Work and Leisure [PDF], they show that while people say they prefer leisure over work, actually, they have more ‘flow’ and ‘peak experiences’ at work. aTime Logger 2 The Meaning Map 1. 2. 3. 4.
SCHOPENHAUER'S 38 STRATAGEMS, OR 38 WAYS TO WIN AN ARGUMENT Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), was a brilliant German philosopher. These 38 Stratagems are excerpts from "The Art of Controversy", first translated into English and published in 1896. Carry your opponent's proposition beyond its natural limits; exaggerate it. The more general your opponent's statement becomes, the more objections you can find against it. The more restricted and narrow his or her propositions remain, the easier they are to defend by him or her. Use different meanings of your opponent's words to refute his or her argument. (abstracted from the book:Numerical Lists You Never Knew or Once Knew and Probably Forget, by: John Boswell and Dan Starer)
How To Eat Smart to Get Smart A new UCLA rat study is the first to show how a diet steadily high in fructose slows the brain, hampering memory and learning -- and how omega-3 fatty acids can counteract the disruption. The peer-reviewed Journal of Physiology publishes the findings in its May 15 edition. "Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think," said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage." While earlier research has revealed how fructose harms the body through its role in diabetes, obesity and fatty liver, this study is the first to uncover how the sweetener influences the brain. Still planning to throw caution to the wind and indulge in a hot-fudge sundae?
Best, Worst Learning Tips: Flash Cards Are Good, Highlighting Is Bad In a world as fast-changing and full of information as our own, every one of us — from schoolchildren to college students to working adults — needs to know how to learn well. Yet evidence suggests that most of us don’t use the learning techniques that science has proved most effective. Worse, research finds that learning strategies we do commonly employ, like rereading and highlighting, are among the least effective. (MORE: How to Use Technology to Make You Smarter) The scientific literature evaluating these techniques stretches back decades and across thousands of articles. The WorstHighlighting and underlining led the authors’ list of ineffective learning strategies. The BestIn contrast to familiar practices like highlighting and rereading, the learning strategies with the most evidence to support them aren’t well known outside the psych lab. (MORE: ‘Implicit Learning’: How to Remember More Without Trying)
How to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Day - Ron Friedman If you’re working in the kitchen of Anthony Bourdain, legendary chef of Brasserie Les Halles, best-selling author, and famed television personality, you don’t dare so much as boil hot water without attending to a ritual that’s essential for any self-respecting chef: mise-en-place. The “Meez,” as professionals call it, translates into “everything in its place.” In practice, it involves studying a recipe, thinking through the tools and equipment you will need, and assembling the ingredients in the right proportion before you begin. It is the planning phase of every meal—the moment when chefs evaluate the totality of what they are trying to achieve and create an action plan for the meal ahead. For the experienced chef, mise-en-place represents more than a quaint practice or a time-saving technique. “Mise-en-place is the religion of all good line cooks,” Bourdain wrote in his runaway bestseller Kitchen Confidential. Most of us do not work in kitchens. Finally, prioritize your list.