Mind and Spirit
Merlin Mann | Aug 14 2008
Who Moved My Brain? Revaluing Time & Attention (slideshare.net)
As I've been going over my slides for the Time & Attention talk, I realized I hadn't shared how the material has evolved since it premiered at Macworld in January. Which is to say, "Kind of a lot." So, I've posted the updated deck.read more »
Merlin Mann | Aug 13 2008
Via The Guardian, via Chairman Gruber, comes this post from the new-to-me blog, Overcoming Bias. It discusses the research behind a common cognitive bias known as The Planning Fallacy, which is a repeatable, documented error in thinking that apparently explains why we all tend to "underestimate task-completion times."
Sounds familiar. From the Overcoming Bias post:
Cf: The Optimism Bias.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 23 2008
Like a lot of people in this Ask Metafilter thread, I thought I was the only person in the universe who made an unconscious little noise when remembering something stupid I did or said.
For context, my tic (which can also be heard when someone near me does something dumb) sounds a little like the noise Leo Bloom makes after he falls on his keys (00:34). "Ooooooom...."read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 21 2008
(via Rich Siegel)
A few weeks ago, I pointed you to a startling stat in the New York Times stating that 28% of the average worker's day gets blown on unnecessary interruptions -- helping contribute to a crisis that a company like Intel now considers a $1 billion per year problem. From yesterday's Guardian comes more numbers on the growing cost of distraction:
Of course, as the Inbox Zero guy, I think a real eye-opener sneaks in with this passing note about the cost of all those noisy email notifications you created:read more »
Merlin Mann | Jun 13 2008
Linda Stone -- who coined the phrase "continuous partial attention" -- makes a thoughtful distinction between managing time and attention, deflating the misconception that making long lists and then overscheduling your day can be a bulwark against distractions, interruptions, and the crippling feeling of being overwhelmed.
In this recent blog entry from the Huffington Post, Stone talks about a pattern she's noticed from talking with people about how they think about and plan their day.
[HuffPo link via Boing Boing]read more »
Matt Wood | Jan 14 2008
The thing I love about Ask MetaFilter is that it makes you feel like you're not alone. Just when you start thinking you're crazy for feeling a certain way, someone pops up with a question about the exact same thing. Over the weekend, a poor soul calling himself a "world class worrier" asked the hive mind how he could just let it go and find his inner Bobby McFerrin.read more »
Matt Wood | Nov 8 2007
Since my days are set to the sleeping patterns of a toddler and the biorhythms of a dog, I have to squeeze my "work," i.e. writing, interviews, blogging, etc, into naptime and the few hours after the boy goes to bed and before I collapse. I'm pretty good about getting the important, bill-paying stuff done, but unfortunately that means what suffers is Me Time, things like reading books or watching a ballgame on TV without a computer in my lap. When I just spent most of my day stressing out about what I wasn't getting done because I was at the playground or reading Richard Scarry books 49 consecutive times, I can't very well justify not doing my stuff when I'm back home and books are put away.
One day this week, the boy was at Grandma's for the day, so I lined up a ton of things to knock out. Most of my afternoon was going to be spent dealing with some carpenters installing a cabinet in our house, so I also knew I had to get busy in the morning. As any time-constrained person knows, feeling squeezed is the best way to make yourself efficient, and I finished everything I needed to by lunch. Then, lo and behold, the furniture guys called and said they couldn't make it, so I was faced with a free afternoon.read more »
Merlin Mann | Oct 11 2007
Merlin Mann | Jun 14 2007
The replacement subway signs he mentions (recreation below via Chris Glass) really are pretty terrific. (Anyone have more info or links on the artist and the guerilla campaign?)
Like, Chris, I also really like what Sagmeister has to share about the patterns in his own life that have made him more happy than not. It's easy to see how striving to live these sixteen bullets could help a person enjoy a more creative, open world.read more »
Merlin Mann | Mar 8 2007
I first heard about The War of Art from David Allen during our GTD podcast series last year. I finally picked up a copy a couple months back and read it in an evening. Like a lot of self-help books, it's longer than it needs to be (and it's not actually very long to begin with), but it does make some great points about what its author calls "resistance."
Resistance can be thought of as anything that pulls us away from doing the work we know is most important to us. It takes many forms (including procrastination, fear, distraction, and negative self-talk), but the effect is often similar: we find or permit all kinds of barriers to keep us from becoming the person we want to be, or from completing the thing we really want to make. Whether that's being a published author, a composer, a playwright, or a painter, our impulse to create constantly battles an impulse to do something else, or to do nothing -- to not upset our weirdly comfy stasis.
This book came up twice in my recent interview with Jonathan Coulton; both in part one and today's recently released part two. Jonathan strikes me as someone who has, so far, succeeded at talking down the resistance he'd faced, and now he's doing what he's great at, and, in his words, he's working hard to become the kind of "true person" that he wants to be for his daughter.read more »
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