3 New Ideas 💡
Type-C Procrastination 📑
In this essay, Paul Graham characterises three forms of procrastination: “depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important.” We all put off doing things that we think we need to do, but depending on their importance, we might be better off pursuing something else in the form of Type-C procrastination. The most important step to doing good work is to choose work that matters. By asking ourselves "what is the most important think I could be doing?" (Graham suggests that the answer is tackling big problems instead of errands), we can feel content with putting-off less important tasks for higher yield ones.
Opportunistic addition ➕
In ‘The Rise of the Full-Stack Freelancer’, Tiago Forte describes the principle of opportunistic addition: “there are many things you can spend time on that add value when done in moderation, but whose returns quickly diminish the more of it you do.” Tiago references James Clear’s example of an author who gains enormous per-hour value from holding a few book events but could not - for obvious reasons - do that for the majority of his time. Outside of work or chasing a side hustle, we can apply this principle by reminding ourselves that activities which are detrimental in excess (the first example that comes to mind for me is video game) can still be good in moderation and that variation is an important part to a fulfilling life.
Progressive disclosure 🖥
Progressive disclosure is a concept from design / UX that balances competing desires for having both more options and less overwhelm. The idea is to provide users with only the minimum amount of information or options and conceal the rest behind layers that one may choose to dig deeper into depending on their needs. Progressive disclosure takes shape in 'advanced options' buttons and hidden navigation bars that prevent us from feeling overloaded with choice but it's also a useful concept for minimising our exposure to unnecessary information when organising our digital and physical spaces. Provide yourself with the option to do a wide variety of complex tasks but don’t let that optionality get in the way of doing what’s essential.
3 Favourite Saves 💾
The Secret to My Relentless Optimism is an episode from Gary Vaynerchuck’s podcast featuring his interview with Brian Koppelman. In the high energy conversation where the two fight to speak over each other, there’s a lot of great insights to be found about overcoming disadvantage, avoiding caring too much about what others say and understanding that advice can be true for one person and not for the other.
PARA is a system for organising digital information developed by Tiago Forte. It stands for projects, areas of responsibility, resources and archives which make up the four buckets that Tiago Forte suggests knowledge workers split their information into. For me, the most useful part of this system comes from the distinction between projects and areas: “A project has a goal to be achieved … An area of responsibility, by contrast, has a standard to be maintained. And there is no end date or final outcome.” By drawing this distinction, we can separate two different parts of our lives that require two different modes of thinking and distinguish what actionable steps we can take to realising our goals.
Yvon Chouinard is the CEO of the outdoor apparel brand Patagonia. In this episode of Guy Raz’s ‘How I Built This’, Chouinard shares the history of the company - starting with Chouinard teaching himself blacksmithing to make the kind of rock climbing gear he didn’t see available - and how him and the company ignore growth and profits to focus on priorities they have decided are more important. Big thanks to my friend Radi for the inspiring recommendation.
3 Quotes to Think About 📝
“Plans are never plausible until they contain specifics, and implausible plans tend to be discarded.” - Brian Timar, Mimetic Traps
“If I get an idea, I immediately take a step forward and see how that feels, if it feels good, I keep going and if it feels bad, I step back” - Yvon Chouinard
“For the present is the only thing of which a man can be deprived.” - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
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