We live in an age of interruption. Ping – you have a text message. Ping – you have a new email. Ping – you have a Facebook friend request. Ping – you have a match on your online dating app. Ping-ping-ping, all day long.
A recent Gallup poll found that more than 50 per cent of Americans who own smartphones keep their phone near them “almost all the time during waking hours”. Over 50 per cent say check their smartphone at least several times an hour and 11 per cent say they check it every few minutes. And that’s just what they’re aware of and admit to – I would not be surprised if the real frequency and intensity is much higher.
Until relatively recently in our technological history we did not have a lot of content coming to our devices. Now, we have texts, all kind of notifications and what seems like an endless stream of both personal and work emails. And it’s not just our phones. How many times have you been at your computer working on something when you get an email notification? And of those instances, how often did you stop what you’re doing to look at your email, realised that it was not that important and returned to your work – after taking a few minutes to remind yourself where you were and what your train of thought was?
At this point, it should be painfully clear to everyone that we need to be worried about the interruptions economy. What value do interruptions provide, under what conditions, and what are their costs? A little ping may seem innocuous, but there is cumulating evidence that the cost of an interruption is higher than we realise, and of course given the sheer number of interruptions, their combined effect can very quickly become substantial.
Source: Why you should turn off push notifications right now | WIRED UK
I remember it like it was yesterday. I spent months crafting this piece. It never felt right. I tore apart every sentence a dozen times. I questioned every word. It felt like I was in a romantic relationship with my thesaurus and style guide.
This was a sales letter for my first copywriting piece. It took about three months from start to finish. It should have taken two to three weeks. Good enough would never cut it. I craved perfection.
Source: How I Beat Perfectionism And Started Publishing Reams Of Content
Have you ever wondered why some people are more productive than others? What’s the magic formula?
I have had the privilege of working with and coaching some outstandingly successful men and women who are out there changing the world in a profound way. Each one of them is extremely busy, but they’re never too busy to do what needs to get done, because they’ve built good habits and practices that they follow every day.
Their good habits for super-productivity include being disciplined about the things they refuse to do.Here are nine of the most important that you can start implementing today:
Source: 9 Things Enormously Productive People Refuse to Do | Inc.com
Need to think? Sherlock Holmes provides the template.
MEDITATION and mindfulness: the words conjure images of yoga retreats and Buddhist monks. But perhaps they should evoke a very different picture: a man in a deerstalker, puffing away at a curved pipe, Mr. Sherlock Holmes himself. The world’s greatest fictional detective is someone who knows the value of concentration, of “throwing his brain out of action,” as Dr. Watson puts it. He is the quintessential unitasker in a multitasking world.
More often than not, when a new case is presented, Holmes does nothing more than sit back in his leather chair, close his eyes and put together his long-fingered hands in an attitude that begs silence. He may be the most inactive active detective out there. His approach to thought captures the very thing that cognitive psychologists mean when they say mindfulness.
Source: The Power of Concentration – The New York Times
To be clear, the chances of me ever clearing out the teetering piles of unread books that litter what used to be my study are approaching zero.
If you possess more will-power this might help.
…Marie Kondo‘s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, [was] first published in Japan in 2011 and in English in 2014. Now people all over the world have read it to learn the simple secrets of Kondo’s “KonMari method” of decluttering — or have given it to friends and relatives they see as badly in need of such a method. Still, all but the most ascetic of us occasionally bend to the hoarder’s instinct in certain areas of life, and it would surely surprise none of us to find out that Open Culture readers have, on occasion, been known to let their bookshelves run over.
Source: Organization Guru Marie Kondo’s Tips for Dealing with Your Massive Piles of Unread Books (or What They Call in Japan “Tsundoku”) | Open Culture
Guilty as charged.
There are some words out there that are brilliantly evocative and at the same time impossible to fully translate. Yiddish has the word shlimazl, which basically means a perpetually unlucky person. German has the word Backpfeifengesicht, which roughly means a face that is badly in need of a fist. And then there’s the Japanese word tsundoku, which perfectly describes the state of my apartment. It means buying books and letting them pile up unread.
Source: “Tsundoku,” the Japanese Word for the New Books That Pile Up on Our Shelves, Should Enter the English Language | Open Culture
Paring down one’s wardrobe is one thing, but what kind of degenerate only wants to own 30 books (or fewer) at a time on purpose? What sort of psychopath rips out pages from their favorite books and throws away the rest so they can, as Kondo puts it, “keep only the words they like?” For those of us for whom even the word “book” sparks joy, this constitutes a serious disconnect. Still, as the weather gets warmer, many readers will tackle their spring cleaning with The Life-Changing Magic in hand.
Source: On the Heartbreaking Difficulty of Getting Rid of Books | Literary Hub