“I happily don’t know what I’m doing. I feel that it’s an artist’s responsibility to trust that.” — David Byrne
Here we go again.
I invested my time to write this newsletter again and you’re investing your time to read it again.
Those investments — like every investment we make in life — compound in value over time.
If I wrote this newsletter once and you read it once, we’d each get a little value out of it. But when we do it again, and again, and again, the benefits increase.
That’s true of everything we do. The more “agains” we have, the more value we generate for ourselves and others.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
“I didn’t take a ‘digital detox’ and completely abandon social media for a brief period of time because that feels more like a temporary treatment than an actual solution. Instead, I set out to change my phone habits and create a simple set of rules to limit the negative (and amplify the positive) impacts of when and how I use my phone.”
A couple weeks ago I realized I was checking my phone too much and wanted to do something about it.
I came up with 10 self-imposed rules to regulate my phone use and shared them in this post.
I’ve found following guidelines like not checking my phone while in line, creating buffers at the start and end of my day, and putting my phone away after I post something on social media has had all kinds of positive impacts on my day-to-day life.
“Schedule less time for important tasks. This seems counterintuitive, but it isn’t in practice. When you limit how much time you give yourself to work on important tasks, you force yourself to expend more energy over less time so you can get the tasks done faster.”
If you feel like there’s not enough time in the day to get done what you want to accomplish, this one is a must-read.
Thomas Oppong shares 37 daily behaviors that will immediately free up your time including to never sit at your desk in the morning without a plan, keep all emails to five sentences or less, and stop keeping a million tabs open.
“Speak with your parents — and take their advice too. Or at least consider it. You don’t always have to follow it, but certainly don’t throw it out of the window.”
If you live for a century, you’re going to pick up plenty of wisdom along the way.
This video features several 100-year-olds sharing their stories and passing along advice about how to approach your life, health, and marriage.
“Our goal should be to serve our audience, not to use our audience to serve ourselves.”
Last weekend I saw Billy Joel in concert for the first time and besides a great show, he put on a master class in what it takes to connect with your audience. That inspired me to write this post, which you’ll find helpful whether you hope to connect with an audience on stage or online.
I break down seven ways to connect with your audience including to share your backstory, embrace your mistakes, and curate your influences.
Plus, I included some great video clips from the concert to show exactly how Billy did the things I discuss.
“If I have 10 things on my to do list or 10 potential products I could pursue, what to do in that situation? And what I ask myself is which one of these — if done — will make the rest irrelevant or easier?”
Tim Ferriss, author of Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers knows a thing or two about how to beat the bad habit of procrastination.
In this video, he shares his tricks to combat procrastination including to break your goal down into the smallest conceivable action, build incentives and consequences, and establish positive constraints.
“There’s an opportunity cost to everything worthwhile in life. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, you’ll have to give up something in order to make it happen.”
It’s a cliche because it’s true — you have to give something to get something.
He breaks down how giving up other people’s definition of success, financial security, and baggage related to the past were all keys to his success.
“What much of this technology seems to have in common is that it removes the need to deal with humans directly. The tech doesn’t claim or acknowledge this as its primary goal, but it seems to often be the consequence. I’m sort of thinking maybe it is the primary goal.”
I wish more musicians would take the time to write posts like this one from David Byrne.
In it, Byrne offers some thoughts he’s had around the idea that we’re creating new technologies specifically to remove the need for human interaction — and wonders if our powers could be put to better use.
“We need white space in our daily lives just as much as we need it in our designs because the concept carries over: If our lives are over-cluttered and over-booked, we can’t focus properly on anything.”
Designers recognize white space as a valuable design tool because that blank space serves a purpose — to focus our attention.
Her suggestions of how to add some white space to your day include to go for a walk, meditate, or take some time for free writing of drawing.
“Personal genetics can empower patients, doctors, and researchers to make more informed decisions around health care. But while this information could help us make better medical choices, it could also be used to fine-tune insurance algorithms, calculating premiums on a sliding scale of genetic risk.”
Here’s something that’s getting lost in the shuffle of America’s health care debate — the impact new genetic testing is likely to have on what’s considered a “pre-existing condition.”
This Slate article explains how genetic testing might impact the diagnosis of pre-existing conditions and have a dramatic impact on health insurance costs as a result.
“Aspiring leaders work hard to live up to others’ expectations, and so the qualities that made them special to begin with — those that helped them excel and feel engaged — tend to get buried. They behave more like everyone else, which saps their energy and ambition.”
Everybody thinks they want their company to view them as a rock star employee — until that actually happens.
Harvard Business Review breaks down the curse of being labeled a star, and explains the psychology that leads many top performers to struggle once they get identified as such.