Productivity Roundup Vol. 1

Too lazy to read up on all the latest thoughts and ideas regarding productivity? In support of your desire to do less we have aggregated some of what is out there into this high-level productivity summary we call the Productivity Roundup. Yee-haw!

James Clear

Mr. James Clear, in his blog post titled How to Train Your Brain to Think in New Ways, outlineswhat mental models are, and how they can be used to interpret the world around us. This is particularly true when it comes to creative problem solving. In fact, the more models that you are familiar with, the more problem-solving tools you have at your fingertips.

Breaking it down further, James describes how it is important to learn new models and think about how the connect with each other. He refers to this as Liquid Knowledge, and describes how he is on a mission to uncover the most important models and present them in such a way that a lazy person like you or me is able to understand and apply them to our own existence. I suspect James Clear will make regular appearances in the Productivity Roundup.

Mental Models: How to Train Your Brain to Think in New Ways

Recommend: Full Read

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

If it's one thing those of us know living the lazy life, it's that you fail or succeed based on your habits. You can either waste time continuously trying to develop them, or lock them in place and enjoy the fruits of good habits sooner rather than later. This content by author Eric Barker is worth at least a skim read. Below is the link and the high-level secrets that will help you to build good, solid habits.

  1. Small Steps Beat Big Dreams
  2. Call For Backup
  3. Ask "Why Is This Important?"
  4. Make It Easy
  5. Act Before You Think
  6. Reward Yourself
  7. Build A Routine

7 Secrets That Will Help You Build Good Habits

Recommend: Skim Read


Living the Lazyman Life means making the most of the time you have. If a task can be done with less energy, time, resources, or overall investment of any kind that is the approach we choose to take. How does procrastination fit into that equation?

It doesn't...plain and simple. That doesn't necessarily mean that everything you want to do will get done, but it does mean that what you decide is important to do should get done with little to no procrastination. Check out this article on MAKEUSEOF for tips on how to identify what type of time waster you are, and how to overcome that.

The three types of time wasters are as follows:

  1. Thrill Seeker
  2. Avoider
  3. Indecisive

Beat Procrastination With the 3 Types of Time Wasters Technique

Recommend: Skim Read

Cal Newport

While I have admittedly not been much of a casual reader, I do find frequent occasion to read for work or self teaching. As such, I am always on the lookout for ideas on how to make this process more efficient, while still being able to extract the knowledge I want from the material. In a recent post, Cal Newport revealed his tips for efficient reading of study- or work-related material.

Key points:

  1. Read with a pencil (or a pen if you must)
  2. Using a pencil, mark passages in the margin that are related to what you are trying to learn/extract. A small line or checkmark would be sufficient.
  3. Write down any observations or insights that cross your mind while reading the passage
  4. Finally, and possibly the most important tip, mark the top corner of the page where passages are located that you'd like to review later in more detail. This allows you to plow through the content start to finish at a high rate of speed, and then go back to hit the important parts in more detail.

How I Read When Researching a Book

Recommend: Skip Read

Sebastian Marshall

About a month ago Sebastian Marshall posted an article about the conflict between Will and Excellence. Will being the exertion or force used by an individual to accomplish something, while Excellence is the outcome or the product that is consistently desired from the involved activities.

The challenge lies in applying Will to overcome obstacles in situations where it is not the right tool. Doing so repeatedly creates a pattern of chaos arising, applying Will to normalize, and then chaos coming back, and more Will being applied.  The key observation is basically that to achieve excellence, this cycle must be broken by turning the chaos into mundane and predictable.

Recommend: Full Read

That will be it for this edition of the Productivity Roundup. Tune in again next time for more insightful and exciting tips to help improve your mastery of benig lazy the right way.

You're welcome!

Posted in Productivity Roundup.