Five in a row

You’ve started practising*, tried fifty, and hit some. Now keep going until you stick five in a row. Then ten. If you can do ten times in a row you’re a drop, skip and a jump away from being able to do it “reliably,” and mastery can’t be far behind. *I think it might be time for British English to…

Try 50

In the light of Jonny Giger, why not take that discouragingly difficult thing you’re trying to learn* and commit to attempting it fifty times in a row? I made it to fifty far faster than I expected, and ended up stopping at 105, with ten successes. *That piece of sporting/writing/culinary/musical/artistic/technical prowess.

Leaning in and leaning out

Your posture matters: in conversation at the table or fireside; on a video call (especially on a video call!); with your kids; while you work alone. It’s a signal of intent to yourself as much as to others, and so often our minds follow our bodies. Leaning in usually helps, especially when you don’t feel like it. Leaning out comes…

Just one chapter

If you could write a book – any kind of book – with a group of other people, who would they be? What would the book be about? And if you had to contribute a chapter – just one – what subject would you choose, and what do you have to say about it? Go and write your chapter.* Then…

Clarity. Simplicity. Focus. Action. (Redux)

Do you know what you need to do? Can you tell the difference between what’s important and what might be nice one day, and what’s piffle? Do you focus your attention on a maximum of three important goals at a time? Do you get them done? What are you going to do now?

Tim Ferriss on time management as priority management

This is a piece of advice from The Four Hour Work Week that I need to re-learn and re-apply on a regular basis: Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant.…

Resource: Tristan Harris on the attention economy

This is a good interview on the Tim Ferriss show, covering the Attention Economy and extractive economics more generally. Recommend. The fundamental place that went wrong was when we attached financial success directly to the capturing of human behaviour, the controlling and shaping of human behaviour. Because that’s where the persuasive technology stuff comes in. Because those principles became applied…

The switch (1)

“Who is this for?” Your work is always for you. This is true whether we’re working for pay or we’re parenting, whether we’re working on something that’s very obviously for ourselves or giving up time, energy and money to serve others. Even at our best (most generous, most sacrificial) – perhaps especially at our best – we’re working for ourselves.…

Values and vision: the acid test

Peter Drucker and Stephen Covey ask the same simple question to get at the heart of these: “What do you want to be remembered for?” Covey asks you to imagine your funeral: Who is there? What do you hope they’d say about you? Is this consistent with how you live now? Which goals and relationships matter, in the end? Which…

Cut it out, or the impossibility of completeness

Nothing is really complete. That story always needs more context to fully understand, that lesson is inevitably missing something important, that job could always be more polished. With some things (like painting and decorating), we face the law of diminishing returns: more effort results in less and less improvement. There comes a point where going beyond ‘good enough’ is wasteful.…