More on Productivity
10 months ago
Three Simple Daily Practices That Will Immediately Double Your Output
Most productive people are habitual.
Early in the day, do important tasks.
In his best-selling book Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy advised starting the day with your hardest, most important activity.
Most individuals work best in the morning. Energy and willpower peak then.
Mornings are also ideal for memory, focus, and problem-solving.
Thus, the morning is ideal for your hardest chores.
It makes sense to do these things during your peak performance hours.
Additionally, your morning sets the tone for the day. According to Brian Tracy, the first hour of the workday steers the remainder.
After doing your most critical chores, you may feel accomplished, confident, and motivated for the remainder of the day, which boosts productivity.
Develop Your Essentialism
In Essentialism, Greg McKeown claims that trying to be everything to everyone leads to mediocrity and tiredness.
You'll either burn out, be spread too thin, or compromise your ideals.
Greg McKeown advises Essentialism:
Clarify what’s truly important in your life and eliminate the rest.
Eliminating non-essential duties, activities, and commitments frees up time and energy for what matters most.
According to Greg McKeown, Essentialists live by design, not default.
You'll be happier and more productive if you follow your essentials.
Follow these three steps to live more essentialist.
Prioritize Your Tasks First
What matters most clarifies what matters less. List your most significant aims and values.
The clearer your priorities, the more you can focus on them.
On Essentialism, McKeown wrote, The ultimate form of effectiveness is the ability to deliberately invest our time and energy in the few things that matter most.
#2: Set Your Priorities in Order
Prioritize your priorities, not simply know them.
“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” — Greg McKeown
Planning each day and allocating enough time for your priorities is the best method to become more purposeful.
#3: Practice saying "no"
If a request or demand conflicts with your aims or principles, you must learn to say no.
Saying no frees up space for our priorities.
Place Sleep Above All Else
Many believe they must forego sleep to be more productive. This is false.
A productive day starts with a good night's sleep.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep) says:
“Getting a good night’s sleep can improve cognitive performance, creativity, and overall productivity.”
Sleep helps us learn, remember, and repair.
Unfortunately, 35% of people don't receive the recommended 79 hours of sleep per night.
Sleep deprivation can cause:
increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and obesity
Depression, stress, and anxiety risk are all on the rise.
decrease in general contentment
decline in cognitive function
To live an ideal, productive, and healthy life, you must prioritize sleep.
Follow these six sleep optimization strategies to obtain enough sleep:
Establish a nightly ritual to relax and prepare for sleep.
Avoid using screens an hour before bed because the blue light they emit disrupts the generation of melatonin, a necessary hormone for sleep.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule to control your body's biological clock (and optimizes melatonin production)
Create a peaceful, dark, and cool sleeping environment.
Limit your intake of sweets and caffeine (especially in the hours leading up to bedtime)
Regular exercise (but not right before you go to bed, because your body temperature will be too high)
Sleep is one of the best ways to boost productivity.
Sleep is crucial, says Matthew Walker. It's the key to good health and longevity.
1 year ago
5 ways to never run out of article ideas
“Perfectionism is the enemy of the idea muscle. " — James Altucher
Writer's block is a typical explanation for low output. Success requires productivity.
In four years of writing, I've never had writer's block. And you shouldn't care.
You'll never run out of content ideas if you follow a few tactics. No, I'm not overpromising.
Take Note of Ideas
Brains are strange machines. Blank when it's time to write. Idiot. Nothing. We get the best article ideas when we're away from our workstation.
In the shower
In our dreams
During dull chats
In the gym
No accident. The best ideas come in the shower, in nature, or while exercising.
(Your workstation is the worst place for creativity.)
The brain has time and space to link 'dots' of information during rest. It's eureka! New idea.
If you're serious about writing, capture thoughts as they come.
Immediately write down a new thought. Capture it. Don't miss it. Your future self will thank you.
As a writer, entrepreneur, or creative, letting ideas slide is bad.
I recommend using Evernote, Notion, or your device's basic note-taking tool to capture article ideas.
It doesn't matter whatever app you use as long as you collect article ideas.
When you practice 'idea-capturing' enough, you'll have an unending list of article ideas when writer's block hits.
More books, films, Medium pieces, and Youtube videos I consume, the more I'm inspired to write.
What you eat shapes who you are.
Celebrity gossip and fear-mongering news won't help your writing. It won't help you write regularly.
Instead, read expert-written books. Watch documentaries to improve your worldview. Follow amazing people online.
Develop your 'idea muscle' Daily creativity takes practice. The more you exercise your 'idea muscles,' the easier it is to generate article ideas.
I've trained my 'concept muscle' using James Altucher's exercise.
Write 10 ideas daily.
Write ten book ideas every day if you're an author. Write down 10 business ideas per day if you're an entrepreneur. Write down 10 investing ideas per day.
Write 10 article ideas per day. You become a content machine.
It doesn't state you need ten amazing ideas. You don't need 10 ideas. Ten ideas, regardless of quality.
Like at the gym, reps are what matter. With each article idea, you gain creativity. Writer's block is no match for this workout.
Perfectionism is bad for writers. You'll have bad articles. You'll have bad ideas. OK. It's creative.
Writing success requires prolificacy. You can't have 'perfect' articles.
“Perfectionism is the enemy of the idea muscle. Perfectionism is your brain trying to protect you from harm.” — James Altucher
Vincent van Gogh painted 900 pieces. The Starry Night is the most famous.
Thomas Edison invented 1093 things, but not all were as important as the lightbulb or the first movie camera.
Mozart composed nearly 600 compositions, but only Serenade No13 became popular.
Always do your best. Perfectionism shouldn't stop you from working. Write! Publicize. Make. Even if imperfect.
Write Your Story
Living an interesting life gives you plenty to write about. If you travel a lot, share your stories or lessons learned.
Describe your business's successes and shortcomings.
Share your experiences with difficulties or addictions.
More experiences equal more writing material.
If you stay indoors, perusing social media, you won't be inspired to write.
Have fun. Travel. Strive. Build a business. Be bold. Live a life worth writing about, and you won't run out of material.
11 months ago
You can dominate your daily productivity with these 9 little-known Google Calendar tips.
Calendars are great unpaid employees.
After using Notion to organize my next three months' goals, my days were a mess.
I grew very chaotic afterward. I was overwhelmed, unsure of what to do, and wasting time attempting to plan the day after it had started.
Imagine if our skeletons were on the outside. Doesn’t work.
The goals were too big; I needed to break them into smaller chunks. But how?
Enters Google Calendar
RescueTime’s recommendations took me seven hours to make a daily planner. This epic narrative begins with a sheet of paper and concludes with a daily calendar that helps me focus and achieve more goals. Ain’t nobody got time for “what’s next?” all day.
Return to the Paleolithic Era
Plan in writing.
Not on the list, but it helped me plan my day. Physical writing boosts creativity and recall.
Find My Heart
RescueTime suggested I prioritize before planning. Personal and business goals were proposed.
My top priorities are to exercise, eat healthily, spend time in nature, and avoid stress.
Priorities include writing and publishing Medium articles, conducting more freelance editing and Medium outreach, and writing/editing sci-fi books.
These eight things will help me feel accomplished every day.
Make a baby calendar.
Create daily calendar templates.
Make family, pleasure, etc. calendars.
Google Calendar instructions:
Press the “+” button
Create a new calendar
Create recurring events for each day
My calendar, without the template:
Empty, so I can fill it with vital tasks.
With the template:
My daily skeleton corresponds with my priorities. I've been overwhelmed for years because I lack daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly structure.
Google Calendars helps me reach my goals and focus my energy.
Get your colored pencils ready
Color labeling lets me quickly see what's happening. Maybe you are too.
Google Calendar instructions:
Determine which colors correspond to each time block.
When establishing new events, select a color.
My calendar is color-coded as follows:
Yellow — passive income or other future-related activities
Red — important activities, like my monthly breast exam
Flamingo — shallow work, like emails, Twitter, etc.
Blue — all my favorite activities, like walking, watching comedy, napping, and sleeping. Oh, and eating.
Green — money-related events required for this adulting thing
Purple — writing-related stuff
Associating a time block with a color helps me stay focused. Less distractions mean faster work.
Open My Email
aka receive a daily email from Google Calendar.
Google Calendar sends a daily email feed of your calendars. I sent myself the template calendar in this email.
Google Calendar instructions:
Select the calendar that you want to send (left side)
Go down the page to see more alerts
Under the daily agenda area, click Email.
Get in Touch With Your Red Bull Wings — Naturally
aka audit your energy levels.
My daily planner has arrows. These indicate how much energy each activity requires or how much I have.
Rightward arrow denotes medium energy.
I do my Medium and professional editing in the morning because it's energy-intensive.
Niharikaa Sodhi recommends morning Medium editing.
I’m a morning person. As long as I go to bed at a reasonable time, 5 a.m. is super wild GO-TIME. It’s like the world was just born, and I marvel at its wonderfulness.
Freelance editing lets me do what I want. An afternoon snooze will help me finish on time.
Ditch Schedule View
aka focus on the weekly view.
RescueTime advocated utilizing the weekly view of Google Calendar, so I switched.
When you launch the phone app or desktop calendar, a red line shows where you are in the day.
I'll follow the red line's instructions. My digital supervisor is easy to follow.
In the image above, it's almost 3 p.m., therefore the red line implies it's time to snooze.
I won't forget this block ;).
Reduce the Lighting
aka dim previous days.
This is another Google Calendar feature I didn't know about. Once the allotted time passes, the time block dims. This keeps me present.
Google Calendar instructions:
To view choices, click.
Check Diminish the glare of the past.
Two additional RescueTimes hacks:
Maintain a space between tasks
I left 15 minutes between each time block to transition smoothly. This relates to my goal of less stress. If I set strict start and end times, I'll be stressed.
With a buffer, I can breathe, stroll around, and start the following time block fresh.
Find a time is related to the buffer.
This option allows you conclude small meetings five minutes early and longer ones ten. Before the next meeting, relax or go wild.
Decide on a backup day.
This productivity technique is amazing.
Spend this excess day catching up on work. It helps reduce tension and clutter.
That's all I can say about Google Calendar's functionality.
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1 year ago
Humanity is not even a Type 1 civilization. What might a Type 3 be capable of?
The Kardashev scale grades civilizations from Type 1 to Type 3 based on energy harvesting.
How do technologically proficient civilizations emerge across timescales measuring in the tens of thousands or even millions of years? This is a question that worries me as a researcher in the search for “technosignatures” from other civilizations on other worlds. Since it is already established that longer-lived civilizations are the ones we are most likely to detect, knowing something about their prospective evolutionary trajectories could be translated into improved search tactics. But even more than knowing what to seek for, what I really want to know is what happens to a society after so long time. What are they capable of? What do they become?
This was the question Russian SETI pioneer Nikolai Kardashev asked himself back in 1964. His answer was the now-famous “Kardashev Scale.” Kardashev was the first, although not the last, scientist to try and define the processes (or stages) of the evolution of civilizations. Today, I want to launch a series on this question. It is crucial to technosignature studies (of which our NASA team is hard at work), and it is also important for comprehending what might lay ahead for mankind if we manage to get through the bottlenecks we have now.
The Kardashev scale
Kardashev’s question can be expressed another way. What milestones in a civilization’s advancement up the ladder of technical complexity will be universal? The main notion here is that all (or at least most) civilizations will pass through some kind of definable stages as they progress, and some of these steps might be mirrored in how we could identify them. But, while Kardashev’s major focus was identifying signals from exo-civilizations, his scale gave us a clear way to think about their evolution.
The classification scheme Kardashev employed was not based on social systems of ethics because they are something that we can probably never predict about alien cultures. Instead, it was built on energy, which is something near and dear to the heart of everybody trained in physics. Energy use might offer the basis for universal stages of civilisation progression because you cannot do the work of establishing a civilization without consuming energy. So, Kardashev looked at what energy sources were accessible to civilizations as they evolved technologically and used those to build his scale.
From Kardashev’s perspective, there are three primary levels or “types” of advancement in terms of harvesting energy through which a civilization should progress.
Type 1: Civilizations that can capture all the energy resources of their native planet constitute the first stage. This would imply capturing all the light energy that falls on a world from its host star. This makes it reasonable, given solar energy will be the largest source available on most planets where life could form. For example, Earth absorbs hundreds of atomic bombs’ worth of energy from the Sun every second. That is a rather formidable energy source, and a Type 1 race would have all this power at their disposal for civilization construction.
Type 2: These civilizations can extract the whole energy resources of their home star. Nobel Prize-winning scientist Freeman Dyson famously anticipated Kardashev’s thinking on this when he imagined an advanced civilization erecting a large sphere around its star. This “Dyson Sphere” would be a machine the size of the complete solar system for gathering stellar photons and their energy.
Type 3: These super-civilizations could use all the energy produced by all the stars in their home galaxy. A normal galaxy has a few hundred billion stars, so that is a whole lot of energy. One way this may be done is if the civilization covered every star in their galaxy with Dyson spheres, but there could also be more inventive approaches.
Implications of the Kardashev scale
Climbing from Type 1 upward, we travel from the imaginable to the god-like. For example, it is not hard to envisage utilizing lots of big satellites in space to gather solar energy and then beaming that energy down to Earth via microwaves. That would get us to a Type 1 civilization. But creating a Dyson sphere would require chewing up whole planets. How long until we obtain that level of power? How would we have to change to get there? And once we get to Type 3 civilizations, we are virtually thinking about gods with the potential to engineer the entire cosmos.
For me, this is part of the point of the Kardashev scale. Its application for thinking about identifying technosignatures is crucial, but even more strong is its capacity to help us shape our imaginations. The mind might become blank staring across hundreds or thousands of millennia, and so we need tools and guides to focus our attention. That may be the only way to see what life might become — what we might become — once it arises to start out beyond the boundaries of space and time and potential.
This is a summary. Read the full article here.
1 year ago
I Posted Six Times a Day for 210 Days on Twitter. Here's What Happened.
I'd spend hours composing articles only to find out they were useless. Twitter solved the problem.
Twitter is wrinkled, say critics.
Nope. Writing is different. It won't make sense until you write there.
Twitter is resurgent. People are reading again. 15-second TikToks overloaded our senses.
After nuking my 20,000-follower Twitter account and starting again, I wrote every day for 210 days.
I came across the strange world of microblogging.
Traditional web writing is filler-heavy.
On Twitter, you must be brief. I played Wordle.
Twitter Threads are the most popular writing format. Like a blog post. It reminds me of the famous broetry posts on LinkedIn a few years ago.
Threads combine tweets into an article.
Sharp, concise sentences
No regard for grammar
As important as the information is how the text looks.
Twitter Threads are like Michael Angelo's David monument. He chipped away at an enormous piece of marble until a man with a big willy appeared.
That's Twitter Threads.
I tried to remove unnecessary layers from several of my Wordpress blog posts. Then I realized something.
Tweeting from scratch is easier and more entertaining. It's quicker and makes you think more concisely.
Superpower: saying much with little words. My long-form writing has improved. My article sentences resemble tweets.
You never know what will happen.
Twitter's subcultures are odd. Best-performing tweets are strange.
Unusual trend: working alone and without telling anyone. It's a rebellion against Instagram influencers who share their every moment.
Early on, random thoughts worked:
My friend’s wife is Ukrainian. Her family are trapped in the warzone. He is devastated. And here I was complaining about my broken garage door. War puts everything in perspective. Today is a day to be grateful for peace.
Documenting what's happening triggers writing. It's not about viral tweets. Helping others matters.
There are numerous anonymous users.
Twitter uses pseudonyms.
You don't matter. On sites like LinkedIn, you must use your real name. Welcome to the Cyberpunk metaverse of Twitter :)
One daily piece of writing is a powerful habit.
Habits build creator careers. Read that again.
Twitter is an easy habit to pick up. If you can't tweet in one sentence, something's wrong. Easy-peasy-japanese.
Not what I tweeted, but my constancy, made the difference.
Daily writing is challenging, especially if your supervisor is on your back. Twitter encourages writing.
Tweets evolved as the foundation of all other material.
During my experiment, I enjoyed Twitter's speed.
Tweets get immediate responses, comments, and feedback. My popular tweets become newspaper headlines. I've also written essays from tweet discussions.
Sometimes the tweet and article were clear. Twitter sometimes helped me overcome writer's block.
I used to spend hours composing big things that had little real-world use.
Twitter helped me. No guessing. Data guides my coverage and validates concepts.
Test ideas on Twitter.
It took some time for my email list to grow.
Subscribers are a writer's lifeblood.
Without them, you're broke and homeless when Mark Zuckerberg tweaks the algorithms for ad dollars. Twitter has three ways to obtain email subscribers:
1. Add a link to your bio.
Twitter allows bio links (LinkedIn now does too). My eBook's landing page is linked. I collect emails there.
2. Start an online newsletter.
Twitter bought newsletter app Revue. They promote what they own.
I just established up a Revue email newsletter. I imported them weekly into my ConvertKit email list.
3. Create Twitter threads and include a link to your email list in the final tweet.
Write Twitter Threads and link the last tweet to your email list (example below).
Initial email subscribers were modest.
Numbers are growing. Twitter provides 25% of my new email subscribers. Some days, 50 people join.
Without them, my writing career is over. I'd be back at a 9-5 job begging for time off to spend with my newborn daughter. Nope.
Collect email addresses or die trying.
As insurance against unsubscribes and Zucks, use a second email list or Discord community.
What I still need to do
Twitter's fun. I'm wiser. I need to enable auto-replies and auto-DMs (direct messages).
This adds another way to attract subscribers. I schedule tweets with Tweet Hunter.
It’s best to go slow. People assume you're an internet marketer if you spam them with click requests.
A human internet marketer is preferable to a robot. My opinion.
210 days on Twitter taught me that. I plan to use the platform until I'm a grandfather unless Elon ruins it.
9 months ago
Understanding several Value Proposition kinds will help you create better goods.
Fixing problems isn't enough.
Numerous articles and how-to guides on value propositions focus on fixing consumer concerns.
Contrary to popular opinion, addressing customer pain rarely suffices. Win your market category too.
Core Value Statement
Value proposition usually means a product's main value.
Its how your product solves client problems. The product's core.
Answering these questions creates a relevant core value proposition:
What tasks is your customer trying to complete? (Jobs for clients)
How much discomfort do they feel while they perform this? (pains)
What would they like to see improved or changed? (gains)
After that, you create products and services that alleviate those pains and give value to clients.
Value Proposition by Category
Your product belongs to a market category and must follow its regulations, regardless of its value proposition.
Creating a new market category is challenging. Fitting into customers' product perceptions is usually better than trying to change them.
New product users simplify market categories. Products are labeled.
Your product will likely be associated with a collection of products people already use.
Example: IT experts will use your communication and management app.
If your target clients think it's an advanced mail software, they'll compare it to others and expect things like:
adequate storage space
list of contacts
If your target users view your product as a task management app, things change. You can survive without a contact list, but not status management.
Find out what your customers compare your product to and if it fits your value offer. If so, adapt your product plan to dominate this market. If not, try different value propositions and messaging to put the product in the right context.
Finished Value Proposition
A comprehensive value proposition is when your solution addresses user problems and wins its market category.
Addressing simply the primary value proposition may produce a valuable and original product, but it may struggle to cross the chasm into the mainstream market. Meeting expectations is easier than changing views.
Without a unique value proposition, you will drown in the red sea of competition.
Find out who your target consumer is and what their demands and problems are.
To meet these needs, develop and test a primary value proposition.
Speak with your most devoted customers. Recognize the alternatives they use to compare you against and the market segment they place you in.
Recognize the requirements and expectations of the market category.
To meet or surpass category standards, modify your goods.
Great products solve client problems and win their category.