Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.
This week we’ve got a great assortment of articles ranging from Sheryl Sandberg’s powerful commencement speech to the surprising impact climate change can have on earthquakes and volcanoes. Tim Ferriss’s latest podcast episode is a great one. Unlike his usual episodes where he interviews world-class performers, we get a look into his own personal habits and rituals.
Productivity tip of the week:
Count your decision making “hitpoints”
In recent years, a great deal has been made around willpower. You may have already heard of the term “decision fatigue” where every decision that you make takes away from the limited store of willpower you have available everyday. It’s one of the the reasons why Mark Zuckerberg always wears the same hoodie to work or why pilots use a pre-flight checklist. They have important decisions to make and they don’t want to be using unnecessary willpower deciding what clothes to wear or remember what needs to be checked off pre-flight.
Recently, I came across the concept of imaging your limited willpower as “hitpoints”. By hitpoints, I mean like the ones you would start with as an arcade fighting character. The first character lose all of her hitpoints loses. Imagine you’re like one of these characters. You have a fresh set of 100 hitpoints to start the day and throughout the day you’re going to be facing decisions that will diminish your hitpoints. How would you use them? Where would you focus your hitpoints on?
Imagining your willpower as hitpoints is a really helpful way to focus your limited resources on the important decisions you need to make during the day. With this schema, how would you spend time conserving your hit points? Will you decide on your clothing choice in the morning or the night before? Will you decide how to spend your morning or will you have a routine in place so you’re not deciding what to do? Will you cook a meal the night before or will you choose a place to go for lunch?
There are a lot of areas that you can save your willpower. Yes, it takes a bit of pre-work or practice building your habits, but this can be a game changer. Imagine having your full willpower to face a tough challenge at work or a making a difficult decision? That could make or break your day.
A quote that’s making me think:
Anyone can become angry- that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way- this is not easy. – Aristotle
Favourite links from the week:
These Millennials Have Become The Top Decision Makers At IBM (Fast Company)
How to Optimize Creative Output — Jarvis versus Ferriss (Tim Ferriss)
“You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience”: Sheryl Sandberg’s powerful commencement speech (Quartz)
Global warming won’t just change the weather—it could trigger massive earthquakes and volcanoes (Quartz)
Book review: Grit is a tool in the toolbox, not the silver bullet (SharpBrains)
This scientist can hack your dreams (TED)
Trying to Pin Down the Mosaic of Millennial Tastes (The New York Times)
Audio that I’m enjoying:
Dan Carlin might be one of the best storytellers I’ve ever listened to. And his Hardcore History has won over thousands of fans both history buffs or novices alike. It’s amazing how he’s able to paint the picture and pull you into his stories whether its the Mongolian conquest of the 12th century or the midst of the 1930s and 40s of World War II. Warning: If you have an addictive personality like I have, you may become obsessed for hours listening to his audio-episodes. Each episode goes for about $2 to $3 USD but they’re well worth it.
As always, thank you to those that liked, re-tweeted, or commented on my Tweets. See you on next week’s round up!