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Is the problem that dislikable work feels more productive?

Patrick McKenzie writes in "The Hardest Adjustment to Self Employment"

I wanted to have AR in beta six weeks ago. Between consulting, vacation, and BCC, I haven’t made almost any forward progress on engineering.

I know that to be true for AR because code isn’t getting written, but I always think it to be true for BCC. It turns out that I am smoking something: I ran a shell script to compare my productivity (commits, A/B tests, etc) prior and post quitting. I thought it would show me spinning my wheels. Turns out I am getting more done than ever. ... Sales are up, too. Why doesn’t it feel this way?

I've been thinking about this since I read it this morning. Could it be that work you dislike and are being mandated to do feels more productive? I did about six hours of great work today, but most of it was talking to people I enjoy talking to and learn a lot from and playing around in Google analytics. I felt like I got nothing done until I looked at my list at the end of the day - tons of good stuff checked off.

One of the greatest things about working for yourself is that you can focus on what you want to do, and often that's work-that-feels-like-play-but-also-pays-you. Isn't that magnificent? Work that doesn't feel like working that's highly productive? Just, it's easy not to feel productive afterwards, since it felt like playing all day... what do you think?

Nootropic Stack Review

On Joshua Thomas

My job and just about everything I do is reliant on having a well-oiled machine of a brain, so among the most important things that I do like eating healthy, exercising, and meditation, I also consume legal nootropics or "smart drugs" to give me the final edge I need to keep up with the work I demand of myself.

My modus operandi with performance-enhancing substances is to drop everything I'm on for a week when I first start taking a new substance. This is so that I can focus on the new substance and understand how it works on my body in isolation. Through this process I've weeded out a powerful synergistic mix that works very well for me. Keep in mind, a few of these chemicals are research chemicals, and PRL-8-53 in specific is very untested. You might find experimentation like this reckless, and I'd agree with you, but by carefully adding new substances to my "stack" one at a time, I've been able to so far safely avoid any perceivable negative side-effects.

One thing I've experimented with and found to just not work for me is phenyl-piracetam. Regular piracetam is awesome, but the additional phenyl group is just too much stimulation for me. I always crash at the end of the day and get really moody, to put it lightly.

Another rule of thumb I follow is to never touch anything that messes too much with my dopamine system. My will-power and reward system is something I try to delicately craft to do precisely what I want. I won't take amphetamines, coke, or anything with addictive properties... or anything dopaminergic whatsoever. The only exception of which is caffeine, which only acts on dopamine as a side effect of working on blocking the adenosine receptors. I also only get my caffeine from green tea in low doses. Dopaminergics usually aren't nootropics anyways, so that's a subject all its own.

What I usually do is cap my low-dose compounds in a pill so that I don't have to spend 10 minutes every morning mixing powders. You can get a huge bag of empty pills on Amazon for really cheap:

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