“Inaction saps the vigor of the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci
The Interested value time.
We know it’s a precious resource we can employ to accomplish amazing things.
But it can also be wasted. Can disappear into distractions, be stolen by insecurities, and taken for granted.
While we can’t stop it from ticking away, we can harness its power.
Because our time is as valuable as we make it.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
“It’s time to stop waiting. Waiting for somebody to give you an opportunity. For the right moment. Waiting doesn’t get you closer to success. Starting does.”
It takes less than two minutes to read this post I wrote, but that’s enough to give you the nudge you need to stop waiting and go get that thing you want.
I share some simple thoughts about what it takes to start something including to recognize you can’t expect to get it right the first time, that action is always better than inaction, and that mistakes are opportunities.
“A feature is what your product does; a benefit is what the customer can do with your product.”
No matter what kind of product or service you want to promote or sell, this post will help you do so.
Buffer breaks down how to market the benefits of your product instead of the features and shares some great real-world examples of companies that do so including case studies from Twitter, Apple and LinkedIn.
“Boringness seems to be relative: things are painfully dull to the degree that they’re less engaging than other things you might be doing. Boredom feels more intolerable, these days, because there’s so much stimulation to be had.”
It turns out things actually are more boring than they used to be — sort of.
The Guardian breaks down the results from the largest ever study on the experience of boredom and debunks the old adage that there are no boring things, only boring people.
It turns out things seem boring only in comparison to other activities and as we’ve encountered more stimulating activities in our world, those that are less stimulating feel more boring.
“Women are probably a little too concerned that their husband may be gay. I think there are 10 times more searches for ‘Is my husband gay?’ than ‘Is my husband depressed?’ But, there are a lot more depressed men married to women than gay men married to women.”
I doubt it will take much to convince you to read this one.
The Atlantic interviews Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Google data scientist and the author of Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, to discuss what anonymous Google search data reveals about our collective sexual insecurities.
Long story short (no pun intended): Women search for violent porn more than men, who are too busy searching for information about penis size.
“Why questions draw us to our limitations; what questions help us see our potential. Why questions stir up negative emotions; what questions keep us curious. Why questions trap us in our past; what questions help us create a better future.”
I’m a big believer in the power of “Why” questions and highly recommend Simon Sinek’s book on the subject, but this New Yorker article makes a compelling case for the value of What questions as well.
It suggests that What questions help you make better decisions because they force you to name your emotions, which in turn helps you better understand yourself.
“We don’t naturally perceive time as a specific quantity. We instead perceive changes that happen as a result of time passing. We observe the duration and succession of events, and translate that into measurement units — seconds, minutes, days.”
We can’t control time, but we can alter our perception of it.
“People hate their jobs because they don’t know they’re the ones supposed to bring meaning, passion and fun to them.”
You’re not always going to love your job, but that doesn’t mean you ever have to hate it.
“In contrast to these big things, I noticed that my to-do lists rewarded small tasks. Checking that ‘done’ box feels good, and if you spend your days on bite-size activities you get to check that box a lot. Yet at the same time, the list was never complete.”
Last week I introduced you to the Personal Kanban time management system, and this week I’ve got another simple productivity system to share.
John Zeratsky breaks down his One Big Thing system for getting things doneand points out how it emphasizes bigger, more meaningful projects over the kind of small tasks that typically fill up most To Do lists.
The system revolves around a daily outline that distributes time among one big thing, three medium things, and additional little things you want to get done. There’s even a free app to help you visualize and track each day.
“Blending both the arts and sciences was extremely crucial to da Vinci’s work. For him, everything was literally connected to something else. And contrary to popular belief, he was not a solitary figure, churning out ideas. He relied on the outside world and others to help empower and enrich his ideas.”
It’s well known that Leonardo da Vinci was prolific in a number of different fields, but what you may not realize is one of his greatest skills was note-taking.
Evernote shares five lessons you can learn about note-taking from Leonardo da Vinci including to create your own system, cross-pollinate, and track everything.
“People who receive help prefer it to be agentic — they want to choose. When aid is paternalistic, recipients are more likely to resent the help, less likely to accept it, and less likely to reciprocate. Yet people who give help prefer it to be paternalistic.”
There are two ways to help those in need and unfortunately the type most people prefer to give doesn’t match the type most people in need prefer to receive.
Behavioral Scientist explains this paradox of helping and that’s it rooted in the fact that most people believe they have greater mental fortitude, are more rational, and more sophisticated than the average person (but they’re not).
To truly help those in need, the article suggests recognizing the help they need is more like the help you would want in their situation.