1:15AM, my friend/colleague leaving my apartment:
"Yeah, I'm heading out. You going to bed?"
"Nah, I've still got a few things I want to do."
"Why not sleep and get at them in the morning?"
Question from a reader -
How can I truly combat procrastination and develop self discipline to get things done? Usually this is stuff taught or otherwise developed at a very young age and I have parents who have only ever been able to barely survive and are pessimistic people who tried to hammer their illogical beliefs into me by force. Not very good.
[...story about successful experience where it was effortless...]
Ive never been able to recapture that original magic where I just naturally got things done for the sake of it. I need it back. It would be very helpful now!
So I just read this great quote in The New Yorker about procrastination -
Question from a reader:
how important is having a business license and a business plan to running a successful website that makes money? Is it more important then having a business idea and a product.
Business plan: 1/10, maybe 2/10
A cold urban desert landscape, the sun setting Shall it ever rise again? The nighttime, criss-crossed wires overhead, buzzing faintly with electricity That goes where? That does what?
Why is the way not illuminated?
What if the sun, then,
Would not rise unless we lifted it?
Took it upon our hands and backs Our palms and fingertips scorched for the effort
Yesterday in "Prioritizing" I wrote -
I think most people are at, maybe, 10% of their max capability. Probably more like 2%. That’s where most of my life I’ve been. Lately I’m near 40-50%? It’s intense. Better technology, better coordination, better planning are all necessary.
It didn't occur to me as anything important at the time - just a line thrown into a post on prioritizing. A few people have mentioned it -
Your 2% vs. 50% comment struck me as interesting.
Do you have experience being 2% productive? It would be interesting to hear from you exactly how you are different.
fyi - thank you for your posts on time tracking. I am greatly benefitting from them. There is definitely room for an app/webbased/offline component here. It's gotta flexible, customizable....simple for those just starting out and not needing intimidation but can also get complicated.... I'm currently working with excel to get some graphing and tracking going there. I also use ever note for more text based items. ie. that's where I keep goals and resolutions. So when I get to the part of my routine that I need to review those, that's where I go.
I've greatly benefitted from your blog and am glad a friend of mine passed it along to me. Keep up the good work.
Here's an idea for a post (if you haven't done it already): How I decide what to write a blog post on next...or how I decide what to do next (sounds like you're juggling tons of projects.)
I'm reading "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" and there's some absolute gold in the book. The author's attitude to what he's doing is broadly applicable to anyone in any probability-based endeavor that will sometimes fail and requires self-control to not go on tilt during -
It didn't take me long to realise that there was something wrong with my play, but I couldn't spot the exact trouble. There were times when my system worked beautifully, and then, all of a sudden, nothing but one swat after another. I was only twenty-two, remember; not that I was so stuck on myself that I didn't want to know just where I was at fault, but that at that age nobody knows much of anything.
The people in the office were very nice to me. I couldn't plunge as much as I wanted to because of the margin requirements, but old A.R. Fullerton and the rest of the firm were so kind to me that after six months of active trading I not only lost all I had brought and all that I had made there but I even owed the firm a few hundreds.
There I was, a mere kid, who had never before been away from home, flat broke; but I knew there wasn't anything wrong with me; only with my play. I don't know whether I make myself plain, but I never lose my temper over the stock market. I never argue with the tape. Getting sore at the market doesn't get you anywhere.
Originally written for LessWrong.com. Related to: Humans are not automatically strategic, Rationalists should win
Fashion isn't prioritized in many hyper-analytical circles. Many in these communities write it off as frill and unnecessary. They say they "just dress comfortably" and leave it at that.
To me, that seems like a huge blind spot. It misses a fundamental point -
A piece of clothing is fundamentally a tool.
Definitions are important so everyone is on the same page. I feel like Wikipedia's first sentence on "tool" accurately describes it -
I could use some advice. I have a full-time job as a web developer and I do some consulting on the side. I would like to transition to doing consulting full-time, but I'm having trouble finding more clients. The one (and only) client I have now was a referral from a friend.
I read on your blog that you have done some consulting. How did you find clients?
Four points -
1. Solicit people contacting you 2. Work for free 3. Ask for referrals 4. Keep future desired clients in the loop of your successes
In the past, I've advocated against the word "fair" - I thought it was subjective, emotional-driven, largely arbitrary, and led to muddy unclear thinking.
I've changed my position on it. I now think the word "fair" is okay for external evaluation and communication usage.
See, "fairness" still can screw up your life, if you let it. Lots of people do petty things or self-destruct because of fairness. Or they don't ask for a promotion where they'd do well in that capacity, or they turn a deal that's great for them where they get slightly less than "fair" but still massively more than they would otherwise.
Evaluate your own life and actions based on what's best for you, not fairness. Sometimes that does mean turning things down out of principle, heuristics, or for reputation reasons. But "fairness" shouldn't be a big component of your evaluation for your best action.
It can, however, be a big part of your external evaluation and communication.