Busyness Is Not An Indicator Of Productivity - Deepstash

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Deep Work

Busyness Is Not An Indicator Of Productivity

Knowledge workers usually lack explicit indicators of what it means to be productive and valuable at work, so they turn back toward an industrial indicator of productivity: doing multiple tasks in a visible manner.

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Cal Newport on better managing time
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The #1 New York Times bestseller that has all America talking: as seen/heard on Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, The Bill Simmons Podcast, Rich Roll, and more. Shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award “The most important business—and parenting—book of the year.” —Forbes “Urgent and important. . . an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance.” —Daniel H. Pink “So much crucial and revelatory information about performance, success, and education.” —Susan Cain, bestselling author of Quiet “As David Epstein shows us, cultivating range prepares us for the wickedly unanticipated… a well-supported and smoothly written case on behalf of breadth and late starts.” —Wall Street Journal Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you’ll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world’s top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule. David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see. Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.
‘Kind’ vs ‘wicked’ learning environments
‘Kind’ vs ‘wicked’ learning environments

Learning environments can be split into two:

  • The kind ones, where patterns repeat and specialists get better with experiences, such as in chess.
  • Th...
Cognitive entrenchment and abstract thinking

Modern work demands knowledge transfer and abstract thinking, things which are not being actively taught in our highly-specialized academic curriculums.

It’s harder to be creative in a field the longer you have been studying it. It is best to insist on ’having one foot outside your world', to try to have broad interests and not focus on solely one thing in your learning path.

Breadth of training predicts breadth of transfer

Children who try their hand at playing multiple instruments have a higher chance of becoming elites in one (even if they specialize later in life) than those who have been presented with a particular instrument from a very early age.

The figlie of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice are good example of that.

Feelings are summary judgments

Most of the time we don’t second guess them, and even if we do, they often end up overwhelming us. 

Negative feelings are very powerful and harder to question: we identify with them effo...

Misunderstanding resilience

Resilience is most times associated with being tough. But that’s not gonna get you very far with feelings. Don't try to be invulnerable. Aim for flexibility instead.

You cannot avoid or resist all pain in life. But you can learn to live with your discomfort better.

"Solving" emotions

We have trouble dealing with feelings because the usual problem-solving rules don't really apply to them.

When faced with a problem, we can always avoid it or deny it. But attempting to resist negative feelings won’t work. Any attempt at suppression only amplifies them. We must go from avoidance to acceptance.