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jerryking : procrastination   7

Why It’s So Hard to Put ‘Future You’ Ahead of ‘Present You’ - The New York Times
Sept. 10, 2018 | NYT | By Tim Herrera.

Are there instances when Past You has, quite inconsiderably, set up Future You for failure.

Why do we do this to ourselves? What makes us act against our own self-interest, even when we are acutely aware we’re doing so?....At work is present bias, our natural tendency to place our short-term needs and desires ahead of our long-term needs and desires. A lot of the time this comes in the form of procrastination.....we perceive our future selves the same way we perceive total strangers. In other words: When I’m brushing off responsibilities, part of my brain unconsciously believes that they’re now the problem of an actual stranger. ....starts with thinking of your future self as … you......Let’s say you habitually neglect your retirement savings. Instead of looking at future saving as making “financial decisions,” put yourself in the mind-set of thinking about the lifestyle you want when you’re retired. Picture yourself however many years hence, now retired, living the life you set up. Experts say this simple paradigm shift can change your entire approach to those decisions — even though they’re exactly the same.

Yes, this idea of future projection — “What will my life be like after I make this decision?” — is difficult to wrap your head around, especially when Future You is getting a better deal than Present You.
biases  present_bias  procrastination  retirement  self-interest  self-sabotage  short-term_thinking  visioning 
september 2018 by jerryking
For workers, challenge is all to easily ducked
July 2017 | Financial Times | Tim Harford

Cal Newport: Deep Work
Robert Twiggs : Micromastery

The modern knowledge worker — a programmer, a lawyer, a newspaper columnist — might appear inoculated from Adam Smith’s concern. We face not monotony but the temptations of endless variety, with the entire internet just a click away. All too easily, we can be pulled into the cycle of what slot-machine designers call a “ludic loop”, repeating the same actions again and again. Check email. Check Facebook. Check Instagram. Check Twitter. Check email. Repeat....what is a ludic loop but “performing a few simple operations, of which the effects, too, are perhaps always the same”?

Smith was concerned about jobs that provided no mental challenge: if problems or surprises never arose, then a worker “has no occasion to exert his understanding, or to exercise his invention, in . . . removing difficulties which never occur.”

For the modern knowledge worker, the problem is not that the work lacks challenge, but that the challenge is easily ducked. This point is powerfully made by computer scientist Cal Newport in his book Deep Work. Work that matters is often difficult. It can be absorbing in mid-flow and satisfying in retrospect, but it is intimidating and headache-inducing and full of false starts.

[Responding to ] Email is easier. And reading Newport’s book I realised that email posed a double temptation: not only is it an instant release from a hard task, but it even seems like work. Being an email ninja looks professional and seems professional — but all too often, it is displacement activity for the work that really matters.

A curious echo of Smith’s warning comes in Robert Twigger’s new book Micromastery. Mr Twigger sings the praises of mastering one small skill at a time: not how to cook, but how to make the perfect omelette; not how to build a log cabin, but how to chop a log. We go deep — as Newport demands — but these sharp spikes of skill are satisfying, not too hard to acquire and a path to true expertise.

They also provide variety. “Simply growing up in the premodern period guaranteed a polymathic background,” writes Twigger. To prosper in the premodern era required many different skills; a smart person would be able to see a problem from many angles. A craft-based, practical upbringing means creative thinking comes naturally. “It is only as we surge towards greater specialisation and mechanisation that we begin to talk about creativity and innovation.”

Three lessons:
(1) learning matters. Smith wanted schooling for all; Twigger urges us to keep schooling ourselves. Both are right.
(2) serious work requires real effort, and it can be tempting to duck that effort. Having the freedom to avoid strenuous thinking is a privilege I am glad to have — but I am happier when I don’t abuse that freedom. [Mavity says: “If you need to produce an idea, isolating yourself can be enormously beneficial.”......“How you do that in a big open-plan office with 100 other people trying to be creative at the same time?.......Solitude is in hopelessly short supply at a time when companies are captivated by the financial allure of the open-plan office and its evil twin, hot-desking. ]
(3) old-fashioned craft offered us something special. To Smith it was the challenge that came from solving unpredictable problems. To Twigger it is the variety of having to do many small things well. To Newport, it is the flow that comes from deep immersion in a skill that requires mastery. Perhaps all three mean the same thing.

Smith realised that the coming industrial age threatened these special joys of work. The post-industrial age threatens them too, in a rather different way. ....“The understandings of the greater part of men are necessarily formed by their ordinary employments,” wrote Smith. So whether at work or at play, let us take care that we employ ourselves wisely.
Adam_Smith  books  busywork  Cal_Newport  distractions  expertise  GTD  hard_work  industrial_age  knowledge_workers  lessons_learned  productivity  polymaths  premodern  procrastination  skills  solitude  thinking_deliberatively  Tim_Harford  what_really_matters 
august 2017 by jerryking
10 Ways to Stumble in Commercial Real Estate -
November 12, 2006 | New York Times |By VIVIAN MARINO

(1) NO FINANCIAL PLAN
“The first step for investing in anything — whether it’s real estate or diamonds — is to have a plan, and your plan is based on your goals,”..... are you looking for a property that can be leased out, generating a monthly cash flow? Or, do you want to make a quick profit with a property that can appreciate in value after improvements?

You will also need to focus on a specific property type, based on personal interest and expertise. Mr. Cummings suggests taking on partners with “personal knowledge or specific talent dealing with this category of property.” He also recommends having an exit strategy,
(2) THINKING LOCATION ONLY
“It’s not location, location, location — it’s location, use and approval,” ......While finding a good location in a well-traveled corridor is important, he explained, you must also ensure that the proposed use for a property fits within zoning and deed restrictions as well as other local laws. That’s a crucial part of due diligence.

(3) NOT RESEARCHING A CITY
Even with zoning laws on your side, you may still be unable to move ahead with plans. “Some communities are getting impossible to develop,”.....Although a site may be properly zoned for such buildings, local planning boards might object that a design and scope of a project are incompatible with the area.

(4) SEEING ALL AREAS AS SIMILAR
“Real estate is a local singular market,” ......“What goes on in San Francisco may appear to be the same as what is going on in Chicago or Miami, but in reality it is not.” You need to explore an area’s demographics — learning, for instance, the average age of the residents and potential customers, as well as household income. And while you’re at it, check on the prevailing rents, along with vacancy rates and property taxes. Some of this information can be found by contacting the local government or Chamber of Commerce, and by talking with neighboring business owners.

(5) NO THOUGHT TO TENANT MIX
you can’t expect to draw much business unless you have the right mix of tenants, both within your property and in the neighborhood. An “anchor,” or a business with a history of successful performance, can help.

(6) MISCALCULATING COSTS
uncover hidden problems in a building — structural, mechanical or environmental. The seller can then decide to fix the problems or renegotiate the sales price........set aside a cushion for future repairs or improvements. (Even tenants with so-called triple-net leases, in which they agree to pay all the continuing operating expenses like property taxes, may need to have a property reconfigured to meet their needs.)

“Many people do not take the time necessary to quantify deferred maintenance — from an antiquated heating system to a leaking roof to holes in the parking lot,”

(7) MISCALCULATING RETURNS
To get an idea of your initial rate of return, or capitalization rate, review expenses and income for the most recent year.

Some brokers and investors base their calculations on occupancy rates at or close to 100 percent. But take into account the likelihood of vacancies,

(8) TAKING ON ONEROUS DEBT
commercial-property land, can come with very onerous terms!!

(9) DOING IT ALL YOURSELF
experienced investors typically have a group of experts in place, including brokers, engineers, lawyers, accountants and property managers, to help with conducting due diligence.

(10) PROCRASTINATION
What good is doing the research if you never put it to use?
anchor_tenants  commercial_real_estate  debt  demographics  exits  financial_planning  hidden  investors  IRR  land_uses  miscalculations  missteps  pitfalls  procrastination  real_estate  rules_of_the_game  zoning 
september 2012 by jerryking
For Entrepreneurs, It’s All About Time
April 1, 2008 | NYTimes.com| By PAUL B. BROWN. Be more
productive within the existing 24 hrs. ¶Plan tomorrow today. Prioritize
and tackle the items on your list in order of their importance. ¶Do not
try to keep it in your head. Your mind is best used for the big picture
rather than all the details. ¶Sleep. ¶Take a speed reading class.¶Break
for lunch. Q: Where are the bulk of your revenues coming from? Are you
sure? When asked to explain their inability to manage their time, a
common reason people cite is “information overload.” Too much data to
keep up with. Dave Allen says," Too much information is not the problem.
If it were, we’d walk into a library and faint. Information overload
indicates we’re not managing our commitments effectively.” Implications
for JCK's clients & mission statement? “There are many ways to
avoid success in life, but the most sure-fire just might be
procrastination,”
small_business  entrepreneur  time-management  lunchtime  productivity  Pareto_Principle  information_overload  procrastination  JCK  GTD  inspiration  affirmations  sleep  priorities  commitments  David_Allen  the_big_picture 
february 2010 by jerryking

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