A lot of people think happiness is about saying “yes” to the right stuff. Well, that’s one side of a coin. There are many things we say “yes” to that we really should be saying “no” to. You’re almost always better than you think you are.
Writing down our goals is what we naturally do in every other area of life when we want to produce a result. If you're renovating your kitchen, you don't just wake up and take a sledgehammer to the sink. You first design a plan on paper. Need to pick up groceries from the supermarket? Write a list.
Achieving success is a long, winding road, and often signs that you're headed in the right direction are too far and few between. It's easy to feel off track or downright lost. Every misstep can feel like a leap backward and perseverance can just plain wear down.
Instead of defaulting to 'fight or flight' responses, rely on these open-ended questions and phrases to navigate conflict and reconnect with your partner. Relationships go through seasons, and sometimes the winter is so frigid it may not feel like there’s a spring warming in sight.
About 2 million books get published every year in the world. The indexed web contains at least 5.75 billion pages. So much to read, so little time. In a world obsessed with speed and productivity at all costs, it’s no surprise that someone came up with a solution.
Nir Eyal is the author of the forthcoming book, Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. This piece is part of weeklong series on how to battle distraction, co-edited by Eyal. know how distractions work from the inside.
We’re all drowning in email. And if you’re spending 15 minutes on every reply, no productivity system is ever going to save you. Not inbox zero, not batching, not turning off notifications—nothing. Your only hope is retirement.
Email is one of those things you enter into mindlessly, but one that really requires a more mindful approach. You have to be intentional about managing your email so it isn't a time drain and be careful about what you say in it so it isn't a career drain.
Algorithms are becoming increasingly relevant in the workplace. From sifting through resumes to deciding who gets a raise, many of these new systems are proving to be highly valuable. But perhaps their most impressive, and relevant, capability is predicting which employees will quit.
Most people go through life not really getting any smarter. Why? They simply won’t do the work required. It’s easy to come home, sit on the couch, watch TV, and zone out until bedtime rolls around. But that’s not going to help you get smarter.
Writer Josh Kaufman shares his own tried-and-tested technique to learn a new skill by putting in just 45 minutes a day for a month.
Back in 2009, I made the decision to upgrade from my trusty old Franklin Planner and to implement the Getting Things Done (GTD) philosophy.
OK, this post won’t tell you how to magically make each day 38 hours long (we’re still working on that). But by assessing our tasks in terms of their significance, we can free up more time tomorrow, says leadership coach Rory Vaden.
Do you really think Richard Branson and Bill Gates wrote long to-do lists and prioritized items as A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and on and on? In my research into time management and best practices for productivity, I've interviewed over 200 billionaires, Olympians, straight-A students and entrepreneurs.
This post originally appeared at LinkedIn. Follow the author here. The eight-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.
Do you know that feeling of being so busy that time flies with a blink of an eye? We’re so busy with all kinds of things—work, friends, going out, holidays, etc. But being busy is not a good thing at all. Especially because we waste most of our time on nonsense.
Love was the most disgusting thing in the world to me. What the hell was he talking about? Love was living in another neighborhood at that time. Or another planet.
Tired: Shallow work. Wired: Deep work. Welcome to the Smarter Living newsletter! Every Monday, S.L. editor Tim Herrera emails readers with tips and advice for living a better, more fulfilling life. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.
Our time on this planet is limited. Most of us realize that sooner or later. And yet, we keep on squandering our time and running around in circles. Why is it that we waste so much of our time? Most people think that we, humans, don’t understand the value of time.
Note-taking is an incredibly powerful tool for learning. Notes extend your memories. I’ve explained before how writing can be seen as an external enhancement of your brain, allowing you to think more complicated thoughts and solve harder problems.
Creative thinking is essential for everything from solving problems to personal fulfilment. So, how can we do more to nurture it? Every day we are expected to make hundreds of decisions and judgements.
As a coach who works with a lot of business owners and solopreneurs, I’ve seen my clients do everything from marketing to idea generation to logistical firefighting. Often, they’re doing all these things on the same day, if not the same hour.
Entrepreneurs are always on a quest to win the race against time. As if that weren’t stressful enough, we also have to enhance our willpower and strengthen our self-discipline. If not, then all of the distractions flying around will stand in the way of us getting things done.
The last time you saw your grandma before she died. That work presentation last month. Yesterday’s argument with your SO. Your performance eval next quarter. That damn toast you agreed to give at the wedding next summer. What do they have in common? You can overthink the hell out of them.
Multi-tasking is to your work what smoking is to your health. Trying to do more than one thing at the same time is killing your productivity. Luckily, it’s not all bad news. 44% of those work distractions are self-inflicted and another 23% come from emails.
You simply have more chance of career success if you have more skills.
Consider the daily schedule of famed novelist Haruki Murakami. When he’s working on a novel, he starts his days at 4 am and writes for five or six continuous hours.
You can’t take advice from someone too different from you. You would feel like a dog learning how to be a cat.
Have you said any of these recently? Maybe that wasn’t the word you were expecting. But reactivity is a problem people have been contemplating for thousands of years. And, yes, it’s a bigger issue now than ever.
I want to share a system I have used and perfected over the past nine years and that has helped me achieve my goals while reducing my stress. I like to think of it as a simplified GTD built for the modern world. The truth is that most people don’t use a systematic personal workflow.
What are some of the best life tips? originally appeared on Quora--the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Over the past 31 years of my life, I've learned a lot through my experiences. These include:
Voltaire was right. Welcome to the Smarter Living newsletter! Every Monday, Tim Herrera emails readers with tips and advice for living a better, more fulfilling life. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.
Reading is a skill that once you’ve learned, you probably don’t spend much time trying to get better at. (Not all that different from, say, breathing.) And yet, many of us don’t have to look far to see signs that there’s plenty of room for improvement.
Imagine if you could take a pill that would double your intelligence. What would that feel like? You’d be able to keep more thoughts in your head. You could draw new connections between ideas. You could solve problems you’ve been stuck on for years.
It’s the season of New Year’s resolutions once again. At the end of each year 45% of us roll up our sleeves and optimistically decide what we want to accomplish in the year to come.
Getting started with anything is easy. Anyone can become a writer, singer, designer, illustrator, entrepreneur, you name it. But only a few stay one. For example, a lot of people want to start a business. But it seems like the emphasis is on starting. Most businesses don’t exist after 5 years.
This past week, I was in a Lyft. My driver was telling me about all of her ideas for side projects. She had ideas for a children’s book, an app that helps people find parking, and a more efficient way to package gifts. The problem was she was frozen by indecision.
Music isn’t just a means of entertaining ourselves: it can also encourage creativity and help us become more productive. Listening to music can also be therapeutic, relieving feelings of stress so you can concentrate better.
Chris Pratt! Hugh Jackman! Halle Berry! Kourtney Kardashian! What these celebrities have in common, other than a gratuitous exclamation point after their names, is a professed fondness for intermittent fasting, the diet craze turning the fitness world on its sweaty, well-toned head.
In 2011, then-deputy NBA commissioner Adam Silver told the New York Times that “everyone in the league office knows not to call players at 3 p.m.” This is not because 3 p.m. is when NBA players gather for a massive, secret game of knockout, although they should make that happen.
In conducting personal (read: not at all scientifically rigorous or thorough) research for this article, I asked anyone willing to talk to me if they journal and, if so, what exactly they journal about. Of the thirty-two people I asked, just four journaled regularly.
If you often find yourself having trouble falling sleep, you’re not alone. The American Sleep Association (ASA) says that 50 million to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. Among that group, insomnia is the most common.
Yet again, your brain is working against you, and it’s because of a phenomenon called the urgency effect.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently advised the White House to "Take a deep breath" before making decisions relating to the escalation of tensions with Iran. Chess Grandmasters and Navy SEALs follow Nancy Pelosi's advice to make better decisions under pressure.
You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
My name is Kevin, and I have a phone problem. And if you’re anything like me — and the statistics suggest you probably are, at least where smartphones are concerned — you have one, too.
A few years ago during a break in a leadership class I was teaching, a manager named Michael walked up looking unsettled. His boss had told him he needed to be more productive, so he had spent a few hours analyzing how he spent his time. He had already cut his nonessential meetings.
Instead of chasing after the latest life hacks, focus on a few key changes that will have an outsized impact on your productivity. There’s no shortage of productivity advice out there on the Internet and self-help books.
Motivation is a tricky multifaceted thing. How do we motivate people to become the best they can be? How do we motivate ourselves? Sometimes when we are running towards a goal we suddenly lose steam and peter out before we cross the finish line.
Brick-and-mortar bookstores are closing their doors. Libraries lend out e-books. Receipts are emailed or texted. Bank statements are sent electronically. We file our taxes online, and our digital calendars will remind us of the looming deadline. The world is going paperless…or is it?
Over the last three years, I’ve painted five rooms in my house. The first room I painted was my bedroom, and I was convinced that I’d have the task finished in a weekend. A month later, I applied the finishing touches.
Craig Jarrow shares his best productivity tips about email, motivation, procrastination, and much more.
I’ve been working hard on a proposal for a new book. This involves a lot of sitting and thinking. Since I started working on this project, a strange phenomenon has emerged. While sitting at my desk, I fantasize about scrubbing things.
The reason I study productivity is because I’m an unproductive person. I truly am. If it wasn’t for my productivity system, I wouldn’t get anything done. I wouldn’t even write this article. But if you browse social media, all you see is super productive, healthy, and wealthy people.
Last fall, I ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for a pair of glasses that block screens. Ironically, I found myself glued to screens more than ever.
This post originally appeared at LinkedIn. Follow the author here. As co-founder of Hotwire.com and CEO of Zillow for the last seven years, 39-year-old Spencer Rascoff fits most people’s definition of success. As a father of three young children, Spencer is a busy guy at home and at work.
You don't need more motivation. You don't need to be inspired to action. You don't need to read any more lists and posts about how you're not doing enough.
If someone asks you how you spend your time when you’re not at work, do you know where most of your day goes? It still surprises me that most busy people have their workday mapped out meticulously, yet they don’t realize how their time outside of work slips away.
Peter Drucker once said “People often overestimate what they can accomplish in one year. But they greatly underestimate what they could accomplish in five years.”
I am lying on a mat, looking up at the bright blue of the skylight above me. I exhale purposefully, then let my lungs reinflate of their own accord. I am trying hard to concentrate on this slightly counterintuitive way of breathing, but the voices in my head are distracting me.
Confession: In the last month or so, I've eaten plain oatmeal for dinner at least eight times. I'm well aware that a bowl of Quaker oats is hardly the most nutritious or substantive fare. Honestly, it doesn't even taste that good.
Procrastination isn’t shameful or a character flaw. Instead it’s rooted in a very human need: the need to feel competent and worthy, says educator Nic Voge.
When you say that you “don’t have enough time,” what you’re really saying is that you don’t have time for the activities that you want or need to do. You can’t actually create more time. We’ve all got a fixed 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week.
The whole world is exhausted. And it's killing us. But particularly me. As I write this, I'm at TED 2019 in Vancouver, which is a weeklong marathon of talks and workshops and coffee meetings and experiences and demos and late-night trivia contests and networking, networking, networking.
From Michael Hyatt to Thomas Honeyman, thousands upon thousands of you have relied on tags as your primary organizational system. But, the power of Evernote is in its flexibility. Tiago Forte offers up a different approach.
I have something important to tell you. Something really important. I’m talking about life-changing, paradigm-shifting, plane-of-reality-transcending, poop-your-pants-and-call-your-mother important. But I don’t feel like writing it down right now.
Energy, not time, is the basis for productivity. Having all the hours in the day won’t help you if you’re exhausted for most of it. Your habits define your energy levels. If you have good habits, you’ll feel energized and be more resilient to burn out, both physically and mentally.
It’s about creating a space to transition from your work self to your home self, according to peak performance researcher and consultant Adam Fraser.
Whether you're working a traditional 9-to-5 gig or running your own business, we all struggle with productivity. For many this is a daily struggle. The good news? That struggle will be a thing of the past if you implement these 15 scientifically-proven methods for increasing your productivity.
Have you ever felt like life would be better if you had taken a different path? If only you had pursued that job, ended that relationship sooner or moved to a new city, everything would be just perfect. Nonsense, of course. But it’s human nature to linger on those feelings of regret.
Many people strike it rich by just making one smart career move, investing in the right stocks or even inheriting a family fortune. But for others, it simply comes down to changing their daily habits and routines, adopting a new mindset or implementing small lifestyle changes.
It's possible that success is at least partly about whom you know. But success is definitely about what you know, and what you actually do with the knowledge you gain. So what can you do if you need remember something important?
One of the common questions I get asked about my ultralearning projects, such as the MIT Challenge, is how to keep up hard mental effort for long periods of time. During that project, for instance, my starting point was to study for 11-12 hours per day, five days a week.
For most of us, getting enough sleep isn't a life-or-death kind of thing. Sure, we might make poor decisions, but our being sleepy at the marketing meeting tomorrow is not going to get someone killed. During WWII, though, the U.S.
Like many, I’ve attempted to follow David Allen’s famous Getting Things Done productivity method too many times to count. But inevitably my to-do lists begin to scare me. The number of overdue tasks in my Todoist projects slowly ticks up to panic-inducing levels.
Brian Little, one of the world’s leading experts on personality psychology, is renowned as a public speaker. If you watch his recent TED talk on personality, as millions of others have, you will see an engaging and witty orator holding his audience’s attention with aplomb.
Devotees of the Bullet Journal, a cultish notebook-organization system tagged in more than eight million posts on Instagram, will tell you that there are two kinds of notebook people: those who keep multiple notebooks and those who keep just one.
An inside look at the specifics of how we decide what to do and then decide how to do it. “How do you guys actually work? How do you choose what to do? How big are your teams? How do you structure the work itself” are questions I get all the time.
Our alarm goes off and we hit the snooze button. That happens a few more times. Then with no time to waste, we leap out of bed, dash into the shower, fly out of the house wearing a wrinkled shirt and grab a quick coffee on our way to work.
What makes a great manager isn’t the problems they solve, but the questions they ask. Start with these 16 questions here. An employee comes to you and says, “I have a problem.” If you’re trying to be a great manager, what do you do? Your initial instinct might be to roll up your sleeves.
You can achieve almost anything in life…As long as you focus on achieving one thing at a time. It’s a time-tested strategy that’s been shared by many successful people. Gary Keller and Jay Papasan even wrote a whole book about this simple idea.
There are few things that impact your daily productivity, career trajectory, and overall well-being as much as your routines. As Will Durant writes in The Story of Philosophy (a quote often misattributed to Aristotle): “We are what we repeatedly do.”
Imagine a dozen dominoes lined up in a row. Push the first domino and what happens? They all fall down. Now take that same dozen and double it. No, triple it. No, wait — add 15,000 dominoes, branching off into a bunch of crazy shapes and designs. Now, push the first domino and what happens?