Summary of “How To Beat Procrastination”

Procrastination has been around since the start of modern civilization.
Historical figures like Herodotus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Benjamin Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, and hundreds of others have talked about how procrastination is the enemy of results.
The funny thing about procrastination is that we all know that it’s harmful.
Researchers even compare procrastination to alcohol and drug abuse.
Procrastination is a habit that just sneaks into your system.
“The present evidence suggests that procrastinators enjoy themselves rather than working at assigned tasks, until the rising pressure of imminent deadlines forces them to get to work. In this view, procrastination may derive from a lack of self-regulation and hence a dependency on externally imposed forces to motivate work.”
The truth is: Procrastination has nothing to do with what you’re trying to do – small or big, it can wait until later.
Are you an auditory learner? Listen to my latest podcast episode, in which I share more tips about overcoming procrastination.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Persuasion as a Skill and Habit”

“The reality is that visionaries like Steve Jobs haven’t been successful because they thought of something amazing and original out of thin air. Rather, they were gifted at constantly persuading many people to follow them on their journey to something amazing and original.” To succeed, startup founders need to cultivate persuasion as a skill and habit he says.
Coherence”People want everything to always be the same. We want smart people to be smart. We want good people to be good,” says Odean.
“A lot of people know this one, but it hits this point home: Let’s says I describe to you a woman who loves folk music and was active in the nuclear protest movement in college. Then I ask you whether she’s more likely to be a bank teller or a feminist bank teller? Most people answer, ‘feminist bank teller’ because it seems most in line with the rest of the story. But there are no feminist bank tellers who are not also bank tellers. By definition, ‘feminist bank teller’ is a narrower category – which makes it less likely that’s the right answer.”
“People desperately want to seem normal and do what seems normal, so the more you can mainstream an outlandish or unseen product or idea, the better,” says Odean.
The onus of action is on the people who want to object or push back and you just made it cognitively more difficult for them.
“People hate losses much more than they like gains,” says Odean.
“Too many people believe they have to be there in person whenever anyone looks at their deck. They have a vision that their skill and rhetoric will be so overwhelmingly awesome that it will change minds on its own – which, if it were true, would probably be disadvantageous. Whatever you managed to push them into believing wouldn’t stick with them the way you need it to – the way it sticks is when they willingly buy in and make the decision to believe you.”
“Basically, you want everything to be as prominent as it is important for people to remember. Increase or decrease prominence using repetition, simple and vivid statements. Prominence and importance must match.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Stoic Guide To Navigating The Modern Workplace”

Below are Stoic exercises and strategies, pulled from the new book The Daily Stoic, that will help you navigate your workplace with better clarity, effectiveness, and peace of mind.
DON’T MAKE THINGS HARDER THAN THEY NEED TO BE.”If someone asks you how to write your name, would you bark out each letter? And if they get angry, would you then return the anger? Wouldn’t you rather gently spell out each letter for them? So then, remember in life that your duties are the sum of individual acts. Pay attention to each of these as you do your duty … just methodically complete your task.”
We would never let another person jerk us around the way we let our impulses do.
Seneca, On the Brevity of Life, 20.2.Every few years, a sad spectacle is played out in the news.
We must not get so wrapped up in our work that we think we’re immune from the reality of aging and life.
Who wants to be the person who can never let go? Is there so little meaning in your life that your only pursuit is work until you’re eventually carted off in a coffin?
Epictetus, Discourses, 4.3.6b-8.The dysfunctional job that stresses you out, a contentious relationship, life in the spotlight.
Don’t forget to ask: Is this really the life I want? Every time you get upset, a little bit of life leaves the body.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Apple Is The World’s Most Innovative Company”

The only things more impressive than Apple’s financial numbers are the products that generated them.
Fast Company: What makes a good year for Apple? Is it the new hit products? The stock price?
Did we make the best product, and did we enrich people’s lives? If you’re doing both of those things-and obviously those things are incredibly connected because one leads to the other-then you have a good year.
FC: Given the relentless pace of change in the world, how do you prioritize what Apple is going to spend its time on, which things deserve attention and which things are distractions?
In the scheme of things versus our revenue, we’re doing very few things.
TC: What drives us is making products that give people the ability to do things they couldn’t do before.
What comes with that is trying to anticipate not only the great things that people can use your products for but those things that might not be so good, and try to get out in front of those.
TC: For a casual observer who hasn’t been a user of our products, the thing that they might miss is how different Apple is versus other technology companies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tristan Harris on how Facebook and Twitter bring out the worst in us”

When you open up the blue Facebook icon, you’re activating the AI, which tries to figure out the perfect thing it can show you that’ll engage you.
If the first thing you do when your eyes open is see Twitter and there’s a bunch of stuff to be outraged about, that’s going to do something to you on an animal level.
Where are our choices coming from? Ezra Klein If we had had this conversation a couple of years ago, I think the thing somebody would’ve said is, “You’re telling me that rather than listening to the choices I make, you want Facebook to decide what is better for me? You want Google to decide what is better for me?”.
Tristan Harris This is an interesting thing too about changing too fast.
Tristan Harris Now we’re getting into more of the practicality of what is the system and what is the problem and then how do we fix it? The advertising business model is the thing that forces the technology companies to maximize attention.
How do we decouple the link between the stock price and how much attention is extracted? This is the thing that I’m actually most alarmed about in the current system.
Tristan Harris This week, we launched this big campaign with Common Sense Media called the Truth About Tech campaign, because it’s one thing when we talk about adults, it’s another thing when we talk about children.
When you talk about regulation, or we talk about how we’re going to get out of this, the specific things you do is another question.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The media exaggerates negative news. This distortion has consequences”

News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen.
Bad things can happen quickly, but good things aren’t built in a day, and as they unfold, they will be out of sync with the news cycle.
The nature of news is likely to distort people’s view of the world because of a mental bug that the psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman called the Availability heuristic: people estimate the probability of an event or the frequency of a kind of thing by the ease with which instances come to mind.
Putting aside the wiggles and waves that reflect the crises of the day, we see that the impression that the news has become more negative over time is real.
The New York Times got steadily more morose from the early 1960s to the early 1970s, lightened up a bit in the 1980s and 1990s, and then sank into a progressively worse mood in the first decade of the new century.
The consequences of negative news are themselves negative.
Consumers of negative news, not surprisingly, become glum: a recent literature review cited “Misperception of risk, anxiety, lower mood levels, learned helplessness, contempt and hostility towards others, desensitization, and in some cases, … complete avoidance of the news.” And they become fatalistic, saying things like “Why should I vote? It’s not gonna help,” or “I could donate money, but there’s just gonna be another kid who’s starving next week.”
Media scholars who tally news stories of different kinds, or present editors with a menu of possible stories and see which they pick and how they display them, have confirmed that the gatekeepers prefer negative to positive coverage, holding the events constant.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Your First Thought Is Rarely Your Best Thought: Lessons on Thinking”

The best advice I’ve ever gotten about thinking came from a private-company CEO who has a thirty-year track record that’s up there with Warren Buffett’s.
One day he said to me, “Shane, most people don’t actually think. They just take their first thought and go.”
I’m not always thinking about a problem that I’m wresting with.
I’m often just thinking about things I already know or, more accurately, things I think I know.
Setting aside time for thinking works wonders, not only for me but also for most of the people I’ve convinced to give it a try.
A lot of people see thinking more than a few minutes as a waste of time, but this viewpoint is shortsighted and flawed.
The time you spend thinking – walking around a problem in a three-dimensional way and exploring all of the various perspectives and mental models – pays you back tenfold in the end.
Making time to think is a great example of something that’s first-order negative with some future payoff that’s not easily visible.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Steve Jobs’s Advice on the Only 4 Times You Should Say ‘No’ Is Brilliant”

In the frantic pace of life to do more and be more, we hardly think about the importance of focus.
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on.
Without focus, your very ability to think, reason, communicate, problem solve, and make decisions will naturally suffer.
Speaking of which…. Key to better focus: Give up multitasking.
You end up splitting your focus over many tasks, losing focus, lowering the quality of your work, and taking longer to hit your goals.
The less your mind is cluttered, the better your focus will be.
Technology is one of the greatest obstacles to gaining good focus.
Set good boundaries and treasure your time and focus by staying positive and by sharing your BHAG with a few close colleagues so they can cheer you on and help keep you on target.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Megan McArdle’s ’12 Rules for Life'”

Politics is not the most important thing in the world.
You will notice, as you go about your day, that many, many important things are riding on your spouse, things that will have immediate costs and benefits to you.
Very few of the things that irritate you or bring you joy have anything to do with the government.
Give yourself permission to be bad. You know what you’re really good at? Things you’ve done many times before.
No, don’t tell me how expensive your city is; I have spent basically my whole life in New York and Washington, DC. You can save if you want to; what you really mean is “There are all these things I want more than financial security.” And you’re right: You do want them more than financial security right now.
So cut out the things in your life that matter less than the financial freedom that will let you take important risks while sleeping easy at night and save more money.
Tell them exactly how great they are, in how many ways.
Here’s a funny thing I have learned by being just a little bit internet famous: it doesn’t matter how many times you hear them, the words “You are amazing, and here’s why” never get old.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Margaret Atwood: ‘I am not a prophet. Science fiction is really about now'”

While the world – and Gilead – show no sign of getting any cheerier, Atwood is seemingly unstoppable.
Post Trump’s election, the novel is back on the bestseller lists, placards reading “Make Atwood fiction again” appear on the streets, and women have adopted her red robes in silent protest at threatened anti-abortion legislation.
While updating Gilead to a disturbingly recognisable present day, “Lattes had not been deployed in North America in 1985”, the series honours Atwood’s rule of not including anything that hasn’t happened somewhere in the world already; the addition of modern horrors makes it all the more chillingly plausible.
The central theme in Atwood’s fiction is power, inequality or abuse of power, against women or anyone else.
The power structures of boys, Atwood says now, “Are fairly simple and overt hierarchical and stable”.
Atwood recently met a young Korean woman who had been comforted by reading Cat’s Eye after having a horrible time at her all-girls school in British Columbia.
Although Cat’s Eye clearly draws on Atwood’s experience of moving from the Canadian wilderness to school in Toronto, memoir has never tempted her: “I’m more interested in what’s going on in the world than I am in myself,” she says drily.
A committed environmentalist, Atwood blames the state of the planet for “Driving social unrest, wars and revolutions. You get those things when people feel they are running out of food. Why would you not?”.

The orginal article.