Quit all your vices - Deepstash

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The 10 Foundational Practices for a Good Life | Scott H Young

Quit all your vices

For many, the major obstacles to the good life is the abundance of temptations keeping us in the same place:

  1. Put up barriers that constrain the activity within predetermined limits.
  2. Make a rule. "Only one episode of television per day."
  3. Use the power of consistent conditioning. "I only use social media on weekends." Now you won't think of checking it on a weekday.
  4. Set barriers that prevent you from engaging. Use an app to control social media websites.
  5. Set barriers you can't easily overcome. Give your friend the password to unblock your social media, so you can't disable it.

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Good Rituals for Focused Work
Good Rituals for Focused Work
  • A good ritual should be accessible most of the time you plan to work. If you focus best in a library, but it is closed on weekends when you need it, it is not a good ritual.
  • It should assist with getting into work, not adding steps that turn it into a procrastination tool. _If you first need to meditate for ninety minutes, then drive for two hours to a log cabin before you start working, it is not effective.

Good rituals can be done quickly, on-demand, and help you get into focus. Pairing a consistent routine with focused work can help to direct your mind into a state of productivity. But rituals can also prevent you from moving into focused work and instead become a tool for procrastination.

Using Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Wearing headphones can block out some of the ambient sounds and create a subtle barrier to being interrupted.

Regular headphones with some sounds playing will also do the trick. But researchers found listening to music with lyrics caused a decline in performance while white noise wasn't found to have the same impact.

The Distractions We Can Control

For any focused work session, we should prevent the distractions we can control.

  • Allow only a select few emergency channels to go through and interrupt you. Turn off all other notifications on your phone and computer.
  • Ensure your email inbox is closed.
  • Pack your phone away to minimise the impulse to check your phone.
  • Schedule short focused check-in times for essential emails.
Spare capacity and growth
Spare capacity and growth
  • Avoid thinking of spare capacity as the lack of things on your calendar. Since we’re never really doing nothing it’s rare to see people talk about cultivating it directly.
  • The amount of progress you’re able to make depends on your spare capacity. Without time and energy to invest in your personal development, your life will stay as it is.
  • Spare capacity is a neglected topic; people don't usually talk about cultivating it directly. You see articles about how to do something in only six minutes a day, rather than expanding your capacity so you have more than six minutes to do it.
Factors that determine spare capacity
  • How much effort/time is needed to sustain your current lifestyle.
  • How ambitious you are.
  • Material circumstances. Wealth, unsurprisingly, gives capacity.
  • Work flexibility.
  • Family and relationship obligations.
  • How many things are non-negotiable for you.
The best routine for studying
The best routine for studying

It is often unhelpful to hear that the perfect routine is the one you can stick to to help you reach your goals. As everyone is different in personality, constraints, and preferences, the ideal method will differ.

Instead of outlining an exact routine, look at the essential parts of a routine, and season them as you desire.

The ingredient of the perfect studying routine
  1. Instructions can be in the form of lessons, books, or tutoring. They are useful to avoid wasting time with trial-and-error.
  2. Retrieval involves deliberately remembering the knowledge, not just passively reviewing it.
  3. Spacing is repeated reviews, spread out over time. It forms part of a regular routine where you cover old knowledge along with new.
  4. Understanding. The goal of learning is for ideas to make sense. Explain the concept to yourself. When you get stuck, find a textbook or teacher to help you.
  5. Feedback. You don't have to get feedback from other people. When you can get accurate feedback that doesn't need another person, go there first.
Fixing your current studying routine

To perfect your studying routine, look at your current routine, and see what's missing. For example:

  • An amateur painter will grow faster if they add instruction to their existing knowledge.
  • Learning history by reading a lot: Why not write an essay or converse with other history buffs?
  • You work correctly through a course, but don't space your learning: A ten-minute pop-quiz on previous topics can help you remember and save hours later.