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Issue #18 // March 27, 2020
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I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. — Thomas Paine
Why I Stopped Being Busy (2 min read)
Summary: Every time you say you’re busy, you’re actually saying that you can’t prioritize your life.
  • I cannot recommend this enough. We feel the need to constantly have our time occupied. The problem becomes that when you're too busy, you are out of control, you lose creativity, and you can't do the things that matter. Become less busy; become more free.
  • Don't feel bad for saying no; determine a system for when to say yes, otherwise, the answer should always be no
  • “A good man will not waste himself upon mean and discreditable work or be busy merely for the sake of being busy.”

The Buffett Formula: Going to Bed Smarter Than When You Woke Up (5 min read)
Summary: Read, read a lot. But don't forget to think, and think for yourself. This is the secret to knowledge, and it will begin to compound over time.
  • Most of this article is pretty basic until you get to the end. What you really want to focus on is reading the raw stuff (think: 10K's, research papers, whitepapers, etc). Get as close to the raw data as possible, consume it, digest it, and then reflect on it. You don't get smart by reading other people's opinions. You get smart by digesting the raw information, formulating your own thoughts and hypotheses, and validating those hypotheses in the real world
  • Personally, I believe I need to do some more 'raw data' reading

Multiply your time by asking 4 questions about the stuff on your to-do list (6 min read)
  1. Can I eliminate this task?
  2. If I can’t eliminate this task, can I automate it?
  3. Can it be delegated, or can I teach someone else how to do this?
  4. Should I do this task now, or can I do it later?
Summary: Question every item on your to-do list to get stuff done
  • Super short article with an 18 minute TED talk at the end
  • This strategy is essentially GTD or "Getting Things Done" coined by David Allen which I personally subscribe to
  • If you want to learn more about how I manage my GTD process, check it out here:

Different Kinds of Smart (5 min read)
Summary: "Smart" is generally defined as the ability to solve problems, and different problems require different smarts. Smart isn't only the 'school-based' smart of memorization we once believed.
  • There are a variety of smarts out there, and different people possess a variety of these different smarts. It is important to understand each person's smarts in order to understand what problems they would be best suited to solve.
  • Where does your smart shine?
  • What other smart can you develop?
  • You should not only rely on one single type of smart to solve problems, connect disparate smarts to solve problems (I like to think of this as human cloud computing)

How To Keep Going If You Don’t Know What’s Next (3 min read)
Summary: Focus on the now, focus on small, achievable tasks that are now. Don't worry about the past or present.
  • Simple advice, but definitely meaningful: when acting tactically, focus on the now, focus on small
  • When acting strategically, think about the future, this would be a planning session
  • When reflecting, focus on the past (i.e do a personal post-mortem)
  • Past and future should be focused on long thinking sessions (these should be uninterrupted periods of time). Tactical work can be picked up at any time by focusing on what is next on the list, the now, what is right in front of you

The Minimalist’s Strength Workout (8 min read)
Summary: Strength workouts for those who hate the gym
  • Never de-prioritize the physical, as it aids the mental. They work in tandem
  • As I write this, I realize I did all of these exercises today, since I have recently been working from home. This workout was comparable to doing one of my normal lifting-based workouts.
Joe Rogan Experience #1169 – Elon Musk
Listen to this podcast
  • Elon Musk is such an interesting guy (also pretty fun to follow on Twitter)
  • AI will be tempting to use as a weapon
  • We're all cyborgs, a smartphone is an extension of ourselves. I'm curious how this applies to AR and VR in the future--will they be extensions of the smartphone? (therefore be a limb of a limb, i.e. pinky toe)
  • Tesla is not a car, but an experience (it dances)
  • Elon's brain is very hard to turn off, you don't want to be him
  • “Give people the benefit of the doubt. Assume they’re good until proven otherwise. Most people are pretty good people.”
WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork
Listen to this podcast
  • This is a great podcast that starts at the beginnings of WeWork to (almost) today
The Definitive Rules of the Road for Urban Cyclists

Hard Startups

How Silicon Valley ruined work for everyone, everywhere

Should I Kill Spiders in My Home?

Top Economists Study What Happens When You Stop Using Facebook

How a Hacker's Mom Broke Into a Prison—and the Warden's Computer

The World Economy Runs on GPS. It Needs a Backup Plan

Let's Colonize Titan

Six Verbs That Make You Sound Weak (No Matter Your Job Title)
Time Tracking
  • My lawyer friends track their time in 6-minute increments, which sounds crazy to me, given I can barely recite what I've done in the past hour. I used to do this experiment where I track my time every 30 minutes a couple of times a year, but it was not often. I've decided to do an experiment using Toggl, which allows me to track my time by project plus allows me to utilize the Pomodoro technique. I've been using this in addition to RescueTime and Apple's Screen Time. All in all, I have the most insight into my time than I ever have before (work + personal!)
WFH Tips
  • Schedule at least two daily chats -- one with a co-worker, one with a non-work friend
  • Have designated eating times (I've had a tendency to meander my way into the kitchen and eat mindlessly)
  • Have at least a liter of water nearby
  • Get out of the house for exercise
  • Create a designated work spot
  • This podcast from HBR gives additional WFH tips & tricks
Outsourcing Things
  • Where is the line drawn between outsourcing things and doing it yourself? Most say it has to do with your "hourly rate." What about learning the skill for the first time? That way you can effectively hire the right person/team, therefore you have a baseline to measure them,
Systematic Investing Strategy
  • How can I create the optimal investing strategy so that I can mindlessly invest, but take advantage of dips? I've been testing a manual strategy (albeit is emotionally affected) where every day the market drops X%, I invest X% of my total position in an index fund. We'll see how this goes... (so far I'm down)
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