“When you pay attention to boredom it gets unbelievably interesting.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn
It’s so easy to fill every blank space in our day with on-demand noise that we forget what happens when we’re bored.
That’s a shame because boredom has some interesting side effects.
It’s where ideas emerge, unexpected observations surface, and calm sets in.
You should try it some time.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
“Great change comes from small change. We develop one habit. Try one new thing. Inch past one fear. And it changes everything.”
As the year winds down, I’ve been thinking about what it takes to get where you want to go next year.
That thinking inspired me to write a post that may change the course of your upcoming year.
In it, I explain how to develop a mindset that will set you up for success and offer to help you along the way through my new 30 Days of Doin’ It program.
“Most people who claim to have a time management problem have an attention management problem. Many of the same people I hear lamenting about their lack of time update their Facebook status multiple times a day and post dozens of pictures on Instagram.”
You can’t manage your time until you learn to manage your attention.
His tips include to think of your attention as currency, avoid task switching, and know your essential priorities.
“Some people think they need expensive equipment to start a new hobby, certain clothes to look the part, or for everything to be just right. But resourceful people know they don’t.”
It’s easy to assume you need to do certain things, have certain resources, or go certain places to get what you want — but that’s not true.
Derek Sivers points out it’s in the unlikely places that we often find what we want and suggests it’s important to separate your real goal from your old mental associations.
“Rates of violent crime and property crime have dropped by around 50% in the United States since 1990, yet a majority of people still believe it’s gotten worse.”
Here’s your palate cleanser for a year that badly needs one.
There’s plenty of stats here to give you hope including that global terrorism deaths have dropped 22% from their peak in 2014, cancer deaths have dropped by 25% since 1991, and snow leopards are no longer an endangered species.
“Chasing a huge audience often keeps us from attracting one. Because a meaningful following is the result of connecting with individuals — not the result of broadcasting to the distracted masses.”
We all want a big audience, but the way we go about attracting one is often what prevents us from getting one.
In this post I explain why you’d have more followers if you acted like you only need 10 and suggest that approach would lead you to think more about your target audience, pay more attention to your fans, and ultimately create better and more unique work.
“We aren’t opposed to doing the right things, but we’ve simply trained ourselves to put them off indefinitely because tomorrow is sexy.”
Reading this post will make you think twice about the next time you decide to do something “tomorrow.”
Stephen Guise breaks down why tomorrow is not your friend and suggests that tomorrow is relatively worthless.
This is because we often use the concept of tomorrow to justify making the wrong choices today.
“Everybody has to soul search a little more about what you’re willing to do because your behaviors, you don’t realize it, but you are being programmed. It was unintentional, but now you’ve got to decide how much you’re willing to give up — how much of your intellectual independence?”
You need to watch this video — at least the part from the 21-minute mark to the 32-minute mark.
It’s an interview with Chamath Palihapitiya, an early Facebook VP of User Growth who now says he feels tremendous guilt about what he helped create.
In the video he explains why he doesn’t use social media or allow his children to, and suggests you would be wise to do the same.
“It’s a simple truth: you are less likely to continue doing something that you do not enjoy.”
It’s hard to develop a habit, but it’s particularly hard to stick with a habit based on doing something you don’t enjoy.
“Bringing structure to your week and day schedule is similar to de-cluttering your personal space. When you eliminate clutter, your mind perceives your environment as an organized area and that allows it to analyze patterns in a more effective way.”
This “Da Vinci Schedule” isn’t exactly what Leonardo Da Vinci followed, but it’s inspired by his approach to balancing creative, deep, and administrative work.
“As users migrate to these closed systems, they’re also shifting away from the type of broad-based algorithmic feeds packed with news and media content that were the hallmark of first-generation social media.”
Are we about to see a major shift in how people use social media platforms? Maybe.
Taylor Lorenz predicts social and media are about to split and makes a compelling case that we’re going to see people’s attention shift out of their newsfeed and into smaller, closed communities like Facebook groups and chats.
Speaking of which, have you joined our For The Interested Facebook group yet?
This week’s header image comes from Giuseppe Pepe’s Instagram account.