A Mental Model For Productivity - Deepstash

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The Productivity Equation - Ali Abdaal

A Mental Model For Productivity

The plane, pilot, engineer analogy - these are the roles we play in a day:

  • On pilot mode (10-15% of our time): This represents the time of the day the when we have clarity and we decide where we want to go. The pilot sets the course/ the direction of the plane.
  • On plane mode (80%of our time): This is us most of the time, executing instruction from the pilot mode. The plane follows the course and directions from the pilot, without deviation.
  • On engineer mode (5-10% of our time): This is the time we take to consider the use of principles, tools and methods to keep everything efficient. The engineer makes sure the engine is efficient (using the right amount of energy) and keeps the entire system organized;

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Jorge Luis Borges

“So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”..."

Jorge Luis Borges
Taking care of your mind garden
  • Seed your mind garden with quality content. The format may impact how close you are to the source. The depth of the content you consume is not a measure of quality.
  • When consuming content, grow branches on your knowledge tree by taking notes. It will help you remember better.
  • To tend to your garden, you need to plant new ideas. Do this by replanting stems and cuttings from existing ideas you’ve added to your garden - by consistently taking notes, and combining them together, a bit like grafting.
The generation effect

It argues that you remember information better when you create your own version of it.

You can take short notes, long notes, it doesn’t matter as much as writing your thoughts in your own words.

The Zettelkasten System Of Productivity

The Zettelkasten way or the ‘slip box’ method was pioneered by Niklas Luhmann, is an always-on, filing system that one can use to categorize and ‘slip’ any new insight or idea in a separate file or...

Zettelkasten: An Indexing System For Ideas
  • The way to collect ideas using the Zettelkasten Method is to use a branching card system, where numbers and letters are used to ‘address’ or pinpoint the sequence as well as the branching hierarchy of an idea.
  • A card address can be 1/1, or ½, or 1/2a based on the idea and connecting ideas it has.
  • Another method is to add references at the bottom of the cards, jotting down the addresses of ‘related’ ideas, making cross-referencing easier.
  • This method is similar to hypertext and URLs of the digital age, though in a completely analogue form.
Zettelkasten Method In The Digital Age

Many note-taking apps can mimic the functionality of the Zettelkasten system but have certain limitations like few backup options, and loss of insight links in case of a shutdown of the app. Others offer pristine functionality of the idea filing and linking system but have the same proprietary and database concerns.
The best way is to go manual and build a word file using hypertext links, notes and references.

One can try a mix and match approach, making sure that one is able to:

  1. quickly start a new idea or note.
  2. quickly link two or more notes.
  3. able to retrieve a note easily.
  4. is synced and is usable in multiple devices.
Raising your voice
Raising your voice

Most of the meaning of your spoken words comes from the tone of your voice, not from the words.

Suppose you are the type of person who automatically raises your voice to be...

Yelling is of a sign of aggression

Increasing your voice creates stress and tension that often escalates into an argument or physical confrontation.

Yelling is a method used to control a situation by dominating the other person. When we get loud, the other person is forced into submission. In turn, it tells them to comply, or there will be punishing consequences.

Regulating our voice

Listening rarely happens during a submissive state. Instead, the listener is waiting for a pause to interject a rebuttal to defend against a verbal attack.

Once we know how shouting is perceived, we must be careful to regulate our voice to a volume and tone that does not come over as aggressive or dominant.