Your Success Does Not Depend on Productivity Rules

Your productivity settings should evolve to keep up with you, not the other way around Image: Helena Lopes/Unsplash Productivity advice seems to be everywhere these days, but the more you read, the more you’ll see its contradictions.  For example, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen used to advise against keeping a schedule, but now he keeps a […]

An Alternative to College this Fall

Image: Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash If you’re enrolled in college for September, there’s a strong case to defer your semester in September. There are better ways to learn during the four months. For example, you could start an online business, or build projects to learn new skills.  Both of these ideas have small risks (e.g., four months), […]

You should only compete with one person: yourself

Source: The Mushroom Kingdom It’s easy to compare yourself against other people especially as they flood our screens with images. But when you compete against other people, you judge yourself based on their values and metrics. The problem with this is even if you win, you only do something that’s important to them, not you. […]

Why you should work on one thing at a time

I grasped one of the my important productivity insights when I worked at Xtreme Labs: the importance of doing one thing at a time. Our VP of Engineering, Farhan Thawar, was a proponent of “monotasking,” and he warned against multitasking and distraction. Professor Gloria Mark from the University of California, Irvine, told Fast Company that […]

Choose or others will choose for you

The old saying goes, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” Or, more appropriately, as Madame Gao tells Wilson Fisk in Daredevil: “Man cannot be both savior and oppressor, light and shadow, one has to be sacrificed for the other. Choose, and choose wisely, or others will choose for you.” No matter what you […]

How music taps into your creative gold mine

Two strange creativity chargers: Songs on repeat and movies with the sound off A few years ago, I procrastinated on my homework by reading books on productivity. Yeah, it was weird. (Another topic for another day.) One of the productivity systems I noticed was David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I don’t really use the full […]

The Case for Working Relaxed

I’ve long considered Pharrell Williams and Kanye West two sides of the same coin. Pharrell, the zenned out, laid back, happy-go-lucky, type of artist (reminiscent of Rick Rubin in how relaxed he is). Kanye is the polar opposite — manic, outspoken, angry, upset type of artist. Some might say that there would be no Kanye […]

Rust builds quickly

Sharpen your tools every day My folks used to make me practice piano everyday. Three songs, six times each (and eventually ten) during regular season. Then, when I was rounding exam season, I’d practice each song five times perfectly. If I played even one wrong note incorrectly, or I messed up the tempo of it, […]