93: Dare to try

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Why is studying productivity a worthwhile pursuit? Many people assume it's all useless — and much of it is! Like with dieting, it's a field filled with charlatans promising amazing results with barely any effort at all. Yet, underneath all the nonsense is wisdom to be discovered.

Michael and Radek share their journey with productivity and explain why they got interested in it in the first place.

89: Shutdown ritual

Idleness is good for the brain. After a day of hard, deep work, you ought to disconnect from work completely, shut it down, and recharge for the next day. Commit to this, work can wait.

Radek shares a little habit he's developed to help maintain this work/life balance.

87: Sleep Smarter

Everyone knows that sleep is important (or so we hope), but it isn't just the quantity of sleep that matters, it's the quality of sleep as well.

There's a ton of little factors that influence both how long and how well you sleep. On this episode, we'll be unpacking the most important ones we've learned from the book Sleep Smarter.

85: Magic Spreadsheet

Rapid improvement (at anything!) requires a tight feedback loop. And for a feedback loop, you need… well, feedback — data. Radek had been tracking lots of such data (weight, habits, hours spent on different projects) in a big spreadsheet for almost 7 years. Michael just started recently.

This week, we're discussing how we're doing it, and why.

82: Planning 2017

A year of your life is precious. Instead of just going with the flow (and often, ending up nowhere), it's worth taking a deliberate approach to planning your year. Every year.

Not "New Year's Resolutions", no. Those never work. An actual plan, with goals you can hold yourself accountable to. A plan you review every week.

 

80: Peak

We're back from our winter break, and this week we're discussing the book Peak.

We want to understand, on a deeper level, how people become good at what they do, and what's the best approach to learning. Peak offers important clues towards the answer. In fact, this book inspired both of us enough that we're incorporating its ideas into our plans for 2017.

Takeaways:

  • Forget about talent. Skills develop through practice.
  • … a lot of practice (thousands of hours for expertise in most fields)
  • Focus on one small sub-skill at a time, not all of it
  • Create a tight feedback loop and iterate on those sub-skills
  • Stay just beyond your current limit of ability
  • Build mental models!

Links:

77: Ego is the enemy

At every stage of our lives, when we aspire, succeed, or fail, our ego is the enemy. It's too easy to fall into the trap of ego and start believing your own delusions and hubris, that you're smarter and better than you really are, that it's others that are at fault, that you've already learned all you have to learn. "Sure, other people do that, but not me", you might think to yourself — and yet that's exactly the thinking that leads towards this fate.

We discuss how we felt reading Ryan Holiday's Ego is the Enemy, and some thoughts on avoiding the trap of ego.

76: Management by walking around

Discussing more unorthodox ideas about running a business from Under New ManagementTrying to figure out why so many companies believe that open-space offices are a good thing. Discussing salary transparency — we're not doing it, but maybe we should?

75: Under New Management

The way today's companies are ran closely mimics the management methods of the industrial revolution era firms. But the realities of a modern organization — that relies mostly on knowledge and creative work — is very different. Just like the world has moved on from the industrial era, so should our management practices.

This week, we discuss Under New Management by David Burkus.