10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“It takes a long time to become young.” — Pablo Picasso

I’m writing this newsletter on my birthday.

Not because I have to, but because I want to.

It’s a privilege to write this newsletter each week and have people like you care enough to read it.

I’m spending my birthday doing things I love and this is one of them.

Thanks for making it more fun for me.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. 43 WAYS I’VE LEARNED TO MAKE LIFE EASIER

“Spend money on things that save you time or use your time. Most material items don’t do either of these things which is why they tend to be a hollow use of money.”

This post was 43 years in the making.

To celebrate my birthday I put together a list of 43 ways I’ve learned to make life easier that includes tips on how to schedule meetings, how to use (or not use) your phone, and why you should use real silverware even when you use paper plates.

2. WHY WE WORRY AND HOW TO WORRY LESS

“The disaster we fear is going to unfold is actually behind us.”

Here’s a simple observation that may change the way you handle a lot of things in your life.

It’s a School of Life video about why we worry and how to cope that points out our core approach to events that worry us is flawed.

We worry about the future, but our concerns are actually rooted in our past.

3. HOW TO LEAVE WORK ON TIME

“The first step in leaving your work on time is realizing that you do not need to work long, crazy hours to be successful.”

If you think it’s impossible to leave the office on time and get all your work done, you need to read this.

The Ladders breaks down how to leave work on time and offers tips on how to recognize working long hours doesn’t lead to better work, how to plan to leave on time, and the value of planning after-work activities.

4. EVERY OPPORTUNITY HAS A COST

“Our default answer to opportunities should always be a ‘no,’ with grace. If our default state is rejecting opportunities, then we’ll surely take on less, because in order for a ‘yes’ to happen we need to be doubly convinced that it’s worth it, either by the person presenting it to us convincing us that it’s a good idea or internally convincing ourselves.”

There are an infinite number of opportunities out there for you…and that’s dangerous.

Paul Jarvis explains why and points out every opportunity has a cost.

He suggests you consider the cost of every opportunity and use that analysis to focus your action and get better at saying no.

5. 12 THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD UNDERSTAND ABOUT TECH

“Tech is not neutral. One of the most important things everybody should know about the apps and services they use is that the values of technology creators are deeply ingrained in every button, every link, and every glowing icon that we see. Choices that software developers make about design, technical architecture or business model can have profound impacts on our privacy, security and even civil rights as users.”

If you’re interested in technology, you should read this post. And if you’re not interested in technology, you REALLY should read it.

Because this Anil Dash post isn’t about the tech of technology — it’s about the impact of technology on our lives and culture.

His 12 things everyone should understand about tech include that tech is often built with surprising ignorance about its users, most tech isn’t from startups, and tech is as much about fashion as it is function.

6. WHY HAVING A SYSTEM IS ESSENTIAL TO INCREASING YOUR CREATIVE OUTPUT

“If you have to think about things like what time, for how long, and what your output is every day, you’re wasting cognitive bandwidth and depleting your willpower by making low-value decisions.”

Creativity may be an art form, but to generate optimal results from it you need to develop a system.

Srinivas Rao explains why having a system is essential to increasing your creative input and suggests an effective system for creative output revolves around three elements: It’s something you control, results in output or progress, and can be measured.

7. HOW TO BECOME A BETTER LISTENER

“One of the most subtle, but effective listening techniques is actually quite simple to learn: It’s the art of the paraphrase.”

It turns out one of the keys to becoming a better listener has as much to do with speaking as it does listening.

Psychology Today suggests the key to becoming a great listener is to learn how to paraphrase and offers three tips on how to get better at paraphrasing what people say to you.

8. 47 DOCUMENTARIES ON NETFLIX THAT WILL MAKE YOU SMARTER

“You’ll learn a lot more about the world, but don’t worry — you’ll also be entertained.”

Since many of you seemed to enjoy last week’s list of the 101 best podcasts for 2018, I thought you’d enjoy this list as well.

Business Insider has put together a list of 47 documentaries on Netflix that will make you smarter and in the process removed your ability to ever say “There’s nothing to watch” again.

9. HOW FACEBOOK’S NEW ALGORITHM WORKS

“Instead of creating content, for your brand, that people interact with, we need to start creating content, for the people, that will spark enough emotion to generate a comment or share.”

Trying to figure out what kind of Facebook content will work best (read: actually get seen by people) is an ongoing challenge, but this post can help point you in the right direction.

Buffer breaks down the secrets behind Facebook’s new algorithm and explains the importance of understanding the difference between the more valuable active interactions (commenting, sharing, and reacting) and the less valuable passive interactions (clicking, watching, and hovering).

Speaking of Facebook tips, you also might want to check out my collection of four ways to create your best social media post ever.

10. YOU HAVE TO BE OK WITH BEING OK TO BECOME GREAT

“You have to be OK with just being OK. Most people aren’t. That’s why they quit. Or never start.”

Nobody starts out great at anything.

In this post I explain why you have to be OK with being OK in order to become great.

It’s a quick read and a reminder that the first step to success is being willing to to live with initial results that aren’t what you envisioned.

This week’s header photo comes from Audrey Fretz.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Jocelyn K. Glei, Storythings, The DO Lectures, Khe Hy, and Postanly — they’re awesome and worth your time.