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Tell Me What You Did Today, And I'll Tell You Who You Are

Productivity And The Subconscious Mind

Productivity And The Subconscious Mind
  • Keep a journal and to-do list, note down in the night what you need to do the following day, and write a bit in the morning about your ideas, completing what you started in the morning. This will enable your subconscious mind to chew on whatever was incomplete at night.
  • The first three hours of your morning are your coveted hours for productivity, just after you have had a restful sleep.
  • Your brain is at your best in the morning, along with your energy levels.

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Tell Me What You Did Today, And I'll Tell You Who You Are

Tell Me What You Did Today, And I'll Tell You Who You Are

https://benjaminhardy.com/tell-me-what-you-did-today-and-ill-tell-you-who-you-are/

benjaminhardy.com

9

Key Ideas

This Day Is Your Entire Life

What we are doing today, how we master the present day and how good we are in living each day, is the key to master your weeks, months, years and your entire life.

We start our days accidentally and go spiraling downward, on most days. The first few decisions that are made creates or destroys the momentum and the trajectory the day is going to take.

Today Is The Future

Most people keep planning, visualizing and imagining their future life as if they are watching some other person live it. That person is you. If you intentionally live each day, perfecting and maximising your vision of the future, instead of killing time or just living a bread and butter, day-to-day existence, you steer your life towards the direction you want.

We need to act like the person we wish to become, as we are what we do all day.

What Your Brain Needs To Thrive

  • Nutrition: We are what we eat, and having a good nutritious diet, full of green vegetables, nuts and seeds goes a long way. Avoid processed foods at any cost.
  • Oxygen: or fresh air is a primary need of the brain. Any daily exercise routine is best for brain health.
  • Information: The brain needs information to process, preferably high quality and diverse. Active learning, along with continuous mental challenges that get the cylinders firing is the way to nourish the brain and form connections. True learning reframes our entire mental model and helps the brain evolve.
  • Love: What keeps us happy and healthy is good, loving relationships, and the care and touch of loved ones.

Productivity And The Subconscious Mind

  • Keep a journal and to-do list, note down in the night what you need to do the following day, and write a bit in the morning about your ideas, completing what you started in the morning. This will enable your subconscious mind to chew on whatever was incomplete at night.
  • The first three hours of your morning are your coveted hours for productivity, just after you have had a restful sleep.
  • Your brain is at your best in the morning, along with your energy levels.

Forced Functions

  • Instead of continuously and tirelessly working, create short bursts of intense activity tailored to your work, followed by rest and recovery.
  • While taking breaks is looked down upon, this is when the actual productivity of the brain starts to happen, when it is left to think independently.
  • Deep work, with no distractions is good for a project, but a loose, wandering mind is required to solve difficult problems in an innovative and creative manner.

Tips For Forced Functioning

  • When at home, leave your phone aside, as it can consume all your remaining hours in distractions.
  • Remove unhealthy food from the fridge and pantry.
  • While working from a cafe, leave your laptop charger at home. Now you have a few hours to complete your work before your laptop dies.
  • Set yourself short deadlines. Too much time hampers productivity.
  • Investing your money in your goal makes you more serious about it.

Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss

"A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have."

Do What You Fear

Fear to take action can hamper your productivity and pure courage is required to:

  • Understand your fear
  • Face your fear by taking action.

Confront your fear and do what terrifies you, stepping out of the comfort zone, eventually leading a different life altogether.

Networking And Total Impact

Your being positive and active should have an impact on your network, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Your network becomes your net worth when you consciously leverage it.

Be bold And passionate and live each day as your finest. You cannot afford to live passively, pay your bills and die.

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Become very good at living each day

Momentum is created or destroyed every day with the first few decisions you make.

If you learn to master your day, you’ll learn how to master your weeks, months, years, and life.

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Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off
Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off

... and boils down to what we give up to attain something. Our mindsets are inclined towards pleasure and resistive towards pain. We normally like to think in terms of gai...

Good and Bad Decisions

Decisions are a cost-benefit analysis of risking something small for the opportunity to gain something big.

  • Good decisions can be: Exercising, meditating for 10 minutes daily, finding the courage and striking up a conversation with someone, applying for jobs that you may or may not get.
  • Bad decisions can be: lying or pretending to someone, driving unsafely, sending angry text messages, or staying up late drinking before an important meeting or exam in the morning.
Trade-offs and Life Values

Trade-offs are not something as simple as flipping a coin. Our values guide us towards what we want in life, and it is not the same for all. Example: Buying a house has a trade-off of mortgage for the next ten or more years. This is subjective and depends on what we value in life.

Indecisive people suffer because they don’t know their inner values and what they care about.

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The Basics of Productivity
The Basics of Productivity

Three overarching principles apply to all productivity tips.

  • Start with small increments. You can't expect to instantly change years of working habits overnight....
For the Multitasker

When you're trying to do many things at once, you're often getting very little done.

  • We have limited cognitive bandwidth. Your brain may trick you into thinking it has more capacity, but your ability to work efficiently depends on how well you can focus on one task at a time.
  • When you move back and forth between tasks, your brain's neural networks must backtrack to see where they left off and then reconfigure. The extra activity increase errors.
  • Real innovative thinking emerges when we allow our brains to continue in a logical path of associated thoughts and ideas. Multitasking leads to less creativity.
How to Monotask

As best as you can, set up a work environment that encourages doing one task at a time. Even doing one task for five minutes can be beneficial:

  • Actively resist the urge to check social media while you are busy with a task. You may have to install anti-distraction apps that will block access for specific periods.
  • Work on just one screen: Put away your cellphone and turn off other screens.
  • If you start losing focus, get up and walk around to help you refocus.
  • Set a timer for five or ten minutes and commit to focusing for that amount of time. Allow a short break, and get back to your task for another five or ten minutes.

The more we work on focusing on one task at a time, the easier it becomes to focus.

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The Definition Of Success
The Definition Of Success

If a person achieves what he set out to do, and is able to reach the goal they set for themselves, they are considered to be successful.

There are three positive traits tha...

Perseverance In Doing The Right Thing

If we keep out a million distractions surrounding us and think about our goal day and night, we will succeed in our goal, no matter what. The key here is continued focus, and also making the right thing as our goal.

If the aim is only money, it may not help us much, but if we keep our aim towards learning or striving to become better at something, we achieve success in monetary terms as a bonus.

Emotional Intelligence and Success

Emotional Intelligence, the ability to understand yourself and the people that you live and work with, is an excellent trait to balance and correct yourself.

Everything and everyone is connected to one another forming a huge ecosystem. Our endeavours, whether to get a job, to lose weight or to find a life partner is always related to others.

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Describing mental fatigue
Describing mental fatigue

It is the feeling that your brain just won't function properly. People will describe it as brain fog. You can't concentrate, and simple tasks take too long. You find th...

Causes of mental fatigue

Contributing factors to mental fatigue are poor nutrition, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, or cognitive overload. Cognitive overload can take the following forms:

  • When you focus on a single task for an extended period of time.
  • When you spread your attention across too many things.
  • Worrying about tasks. It is as mentally taxing as doing the task.
Give your brain high-quality fuel

Your brain is fuelled with the same food as your muscles. What you eat has an enormous impact on your cognitive functioning.

  • Cut down on refined sugars as it decreases alertness. Aim for sustained energy levels throughout the day.
  • Plan your meals in advance. If you wait until you're hungry, you're already low on energy and willpower and will reach for a quick energy boost in the form of sugar.
  • Don't skip breakfast. Without it, you may likely crash in the middle of the morning. Eat more eggs, yogurt, and oatmeal to sustain your energy levels until lunch.
  • Snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon to give your body consistent fuel.
  • Stay hydrated with water. Mild hydration can negatively impact cognitive performance.
  • Listen to your body to figure out what makes you feel best. The same nutrition advice won't work for everyone.

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The first impression
The first impression

First impressions are like invisible tattoos we imagine for each and every person we meet. While it is possible to change a first impression, it is very difficult to succeed doing this.

Tips to make a good first impression

In order to make a good first impression, you should consider checking out the below tips:

  • suitable eye contact: it is a sign of self-confidence. However, do not exaggerate with the duration
  • handshake: a good handshake is at the same time firm, warm and dry
  • the proper voice: your voice should make proof of self-confidence as well
  • dress similarly to the other person: this way, you will give the impression of familiarity and equal terms
  • appreciate cleanliness: your face and your home should always be sparkling clean
  • find the appropriate posture: relaxed and open postures are preferred to make a good impression.
Psychology vs ethics
Psychology vs ethics

The main difference between psychology and ethics refers to the end results the two lead to.

While what people would do in certain situations, from a psychological point o...

Ask your questions in a different way

Whenever you are in need of some advice, pay attention to how you ask the question: using 'should' instead of 'would' will automatically lead to more honesty and involvement from the other person.

It is entirely up to you whether you want to appeal to psychology or ethics, so choose your words wisely.

The urgency bias
The urgency bias

We usually give priority to unimportant tasks when there is a sense of urgency around them.

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Why it’s hard to ignore urgent tasks

A few explanations as to why it’s so hard to reject urgent tasks:

  • The completion bias. Our brains crave the reward we get from checking off small to-dos from our list.
  • Tunnel vision: When we get overwhelmed by the things we have to do, we choose to act on those most available to us; these are usually emails, calls, meetings, and other low-friction tasks.
Urgency puts us into reactive mode

The problem is that we’re continually bombarded with urgent work: emails, meetings, calls, and instead of being in control of our time and attention, we respond and act on someone else’s priorities.

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Know and conquer your enemy
Know and conquer your enemy

Our brain relies on cognitive biases over clear evidence. Cognitive bias is the tendency to make poor judgments in a consistent pattern. Our unconscious biases are often so strong that they...

Common cognitive biases
  • The Dunning-Kruger Effect: You believe that you're smarter or more skilled than you are, which prevents you from admitting your limitations and weaknesses.
  • Confirmation Bias: When you welcome information that you agree with while disregarding evidence that doesn't suit you — even if it's accurate.
  • Self-Serving Bias: When you blame external forces when things are bad, but credit yourself when it's good.
  • Optimism Bias: You believe you are more successful than others and won't experience any misfortune.
  • Availability Heuristic: You believe that whatever comes to your mind quickly is the right decision.
  • Attentional Bias: You only focus on some points while ignoring other aspects.
  • False Consensus Effect: When you overestimate how much others will agree with you.
  • Misinformation Effect: Your memory has been interfered with, changing how you recall past events.
Master self-care and self-awareness

Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.

This acronym can be used by anyone to help you master self-care and self-awareness. It encourages you to pause and ask how you're feeling. Feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired makes you more vulnerable to self-destructive behaviors.

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