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Productivity

Let Go: How and Why To Make Space in Your Life

By | Health Insights, Life 101, Lifestyle, Mental Perfomance, Productivity | No Comments

Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark… ― Agnes De Mille It may be my selection bias or maybe it’s just because I live in New York, but I believe we’ve become OBSESSED with productivity and control. I myself have spent countless hours (and probably dollars) acquiring, learning and implementing elaborate systems for getting things done. Or creating “optimal” structures that oftentimes lead to nowhere. Yet for all my explorations, experiments & shenanigans, here is the ONE THING I’ve found that consistently works: Creating Space. Last night over dinner I was talking with a friend. We spoke about taking action when action is required. I mentioned creating space for our outcomes to…






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How to Catch the Ultimate Ride (in surfing and in life): A lesson in discernment

By | Experiments, Gaming, Human Performance, Physical Performance, Productivity | One Comment

Yes! Another surfing post! Sort of… In my recent post on the power of taking a pause, I used surfing as a proxy to convey the value of slowing down in “critical situations.” Now I’d like to share another insight that came from my beloved sea. Although this post deconstructs the act of surfing, I believe the process can be replicated to expedite improvement for virtually any desired outcome. One question that I always find myself asking when striving to make tangible improvements in any aspect of my life (physical, mental or beyond) is, “what’s the most important thing?” – There’s something in physics called the Critical Point Analysis (CPA), which says that every system has a critical point where the lightest touch has the greatest impact. One analogy used is that even a powerful locomotive running flat out can be stopped by the lightest touch if you know exactly where to…






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How We Make Progress in Work and Life

By | Life 101, Positive Thinking, Productivity, Self Improvement | One Comment

Author, psychologist, and Silicon valley leadership expert Gustavo Rabin  says: There are three things in life that better well work, in order for your life to work well… And they are: Your relationship to your work Your relationship to others, and Your relationship to yourself Many books have been written on all subjects in each category so I will not delve into psychology here. What will be most advantageous and get us to the point, will be the simple identification of the one universal roadblock that stands in the way of all personal, professional, and relational progress: Doubt. – Everyone has it, despite its utter uselessness. Still, as Friedrich Nietzsche so eloquently put it, “the irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.” So we’ve got that squared away. Now, we can move on to the 9 actionable practices that must be implemented,…






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The Automated Morning Routine: Making the Most of Your Least Productive Times

By | Experiments, Habit Design, Mental Perfomance, Productivity | 6 Comments

Let’s get one thing straight here… I am NOT a morning person. If left to my own lack of devices, I would lay in bed for several hours before frittering away the rest of the morning while trying to decide how to best begin the day. It’s nothing to do with laziness, I profess to myself – my brain simply runs on Pacific Standard Time, despite having lived in New York for most my life. So what can a guy do to transform what can only be seen as a massive black hole of wasted time, into something more useful, maybe even productive? What guys do best… try and control as many discomforting variables as possible and follow 3 steps: 1) Design a structure that prohibits wasteful procrastination (not all procrastination is useless, see my article on How to Use Procrastination to Foster Productivity) 2) Install a program complete with rewards to accomplish…






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Outsourcing Motivation: The End of Discipline

By | Experiments, Habit Design, Lifestyle, Productivity | One Comment

Want to get better at upholding personal commitments? (rhetorical question) – Try outsourcing them… Brought to you from the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, and the gurus of Behavior Design; in order to accomplish any goal, we need to have the following three things: 1) Ability – the physical capacity to carry out the task or tasks that will result in our intended outcome 2) Motivation – an incentive that outweighs the cost of acting. And, we need to have what they call: 3) A “Hot-trigger” – this is our call to action… Short story:  Thursday, March 22rd, 2012 – 10:00am…  “Leave it with your doorman and I’ll come by first thing tomorrow morning – Would you like me to pick up one load or two” – asked Kirsten. “One trip should do it”, i said, “It’ll be such a relief to finally get this stuff off my hands”. “Well I’m glad…






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The Art of Doing Less (and Accomplishing More)

By | Human Performance, Lifestyle, Productivity, Self Improvement | No Comments

I felt like starting this one off with something funny, and this clip get’s me every time! The following post is inspired by my friend Ari Meisel – founder of LessDoing.com   Two things happened in the past three weeks that have profoundly influenced my sanity in a very positive way: 1) I went on a weekend-long silent meditation retreat after what had been one of the most chaotic, productive, engaging yet mind-scrambling months of my life, and 2) I attended Ari Meisel’s skillshare class in Soho, New York. The details of my schedule that lead to such catalysts are inconsequential – what is noteworthy here, and the main takeaway of this brief post, is the importance of taking a step back. Very generally, there are two types of problems we typically face: problems of abundance, and problems of scarcity. The former are always better then the latter, but problems…






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Don’t Miss the Boat!

By | Experiments, Productivity, Zen | One Comment

I first came across the following poem while visiting the very scenic Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, back in May. – It reminds me how important it is to remain “tuned in” – not distracted by external influence, during any time of great decision:   Missing the Boat by Naomi Shihab-Nye It is not so much that the boat passed and you failed to notice it. It is more like the boat stopping directly outside your bedroom window, the captain blowing the signal-horn, the band playing a rousing march. The boat shouted, waving bright flags, its silver hull blinding in the sunlight. But you had this idea you were going by train. You kept checking the time-table, digging for tracks. And the boat got tired of you, so tired it pulled up the anchor and raised the ramp. The boat bobbed into the distance, shrinking like a toy— at which…






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