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jerryking : sustained_inquiry   13

How to Be Super Productive
(1) Set Monthly Goals
(2) Make a List of Tasks Daily
(3) Stop Saying "YES" to Everyone
(4) Have Enough Sleep
(5) Plan A Weekly Calendar
(6) Stop Multi-tasking
(7) Write a "Stop Doing" List
(8...
affirmations  Boyce_Watkins  GTD  howto  monotasking  productivity  say_"no"  sleep  sustained_inquiry 
november 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | Can We Slow Down Time in the Age of TikTok?
Aug. 31, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jenny Odell. Ms. Odell is a writer and artist.

"I can’t give my students more time. But I try to change the way they think about and value it."

Ms. Odell, a writer and artist at Stanford, wishes her students would slow down, be allowed to focus on one thing--particularly in an era where "Time is precious; time is money". Students spend their time responding to their phones and to social media which is a drawback to their capacity to concentrate......The attention economy demands not just consumption but also the production and upkeep of a marketable self. The work of self-promotion fills every spare moment. In the age of the personal brand, when you might be posting not just for friends but potential employers, there’s no such thing as free time.....Odell's students includes many who aren’t art majors, some of whom may never have made art before. She gives them the same advice every quarter: Leave yourself twice as much time as you think you need for a project, knowing that half of that may not look like “making” anything at all. There is no Soylent version of thought and reflection — creativity is unpredictable, and it simply takes time. .....When Odell is bird watching (a favorite pastime that is, strictly speaking, “unproductive,”), she's noticed that her perception of time slows down. All of her attention is collected into a single focal point, kept there by fascination and genuine, almost unaccountable interest. This is the experience of learning that she want for her students — that she wants for everyone, actually — but it’s a fragile state. It requires maintenance.........That’s why she's built time into her classes for students to sit or wander outside, observing something specific — for example, how people interact with their devices. She takes one of her classes on a hike, using the app iNaturalist to identify plants and animals. Students don’t just need to be brought into contact with new ideas, they also need the time for sustained inquiry, a kind of time outside of time where neither they nor their work is immediately held to the standards of productivity......Odell wants people to make work that is *deliberately useless* in a way that pokes at prevailing notions of usefulness. Art seeks not to resolve or produce, but remains (and, indeed, luxuriates) in the realm of questioning......the attention economy makes time feel contracted into an endless and urgent present. A simple awareness of history can help cultivate a different sense of time.......reading history about the past trials and successes of activism, or taking historical walking tours of a city can counter feelings of despair and distraction.....Taking a longer view can help to stop feelings of being an unmoored producer of work and reaction and all you to see yourself as an actors grounded in real, historical time. This, just as much as the capacity to follow one’s own curiosity at length, might be the best way to fortify yourself against the forces that splinter our attention.....If we want students to be thinkers, then we need to give them time to think....Let's all agree: to just slow down.
advice  art  attention_economy  buffering  Colleges_&_Universities  creativity  focus  idleness  mindfulness  monotasking  noticing  op-ed  personal_branding  reflections  self-promotion  slack_time  Slow_Movement  students  sustained_inquiry  thinking  timeouts 
september 2019 by jerryking
Work smarter, not harder. Here’s how
July 29, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by KIRA VERMOND, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

Suzanne Andrew, a freelance writer in Vancouver, took stock of her growing number of deadlines. One client wanted her to complete 26 profiles – articles that describe an individual or organization – in one month.

“I love writing profiles, but when I looked at the amount of work, it felt crushing,” she says.

Rather than brace herself for 18-hour days, all-nighters and inevitable burnout, Ms. Andrew took a different approach. She paused and then came up with a game plan.

“I’d worked as a project manager in the past and found that what worked best when managing other people was to create work-back schedules and milestone deadlines,” she says. “As a freelancer I was used to simply working to deadline, but realized I could make things easier and less stressful if I acted as my own project manager.”.....Ms. Andrew created a work-back schedule that outlined exactly how many interviews she had to conduct, plus a daily writing quota to meet the overall deadline. Once she met her daily target, she could stop work for the day and rest.

Here are a few pointers.....

1. WORK WITH YOUR ATTENTION LEVELS
Not every moment of the day is created equal when it comes to feeling sharp and productive. Our brains can only handle so much focused work time. Everyone has three levels of attention: proactive, active and inactive.

Feeling proactive? You’re in the zone: Take advantage of those times each day. Active times are best spent on less focused tasks like addressing emails or making a phone call.

And those inactive times? “Your brain is cooked,” You should probably be taking a mental break, going for a walk or getting a cup of coffee. Even just doing low-priority, repetitive work like filing is a good idea.”
Work with your brain’s energy levels. Don’t fight them and push yourself through those inactive times.

2. PLAN THE NIGHT BEFORE
Don’t allow your inbox become your to-do list. Instead, take 10 minutes at the end of the workday and create tomorrow’s action plan. What’s most important? What must get done? The next morning, look at that list and work on the most vital tasks before even thinking about firing up e-mail.

3. THINK LIKE A SMOKER
Pay attention to the way smokers take their breaks: They leave the building, go outside and even socialize.
“I’m a big believer in quality breaks,” she says. “How you take your break is as important as [taking] a break.”Get up. Move. Take in some fresh air and talk to people. You’ll come back more refreshed and proactive.

4. TRY THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE
....a productivity method, developed by a business consultant named Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. (Pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian, a nod to old-school, plastic timers shaped like tomatoes.) The method dictates that you set a timer for a short amount of time – say, 25 or 30 minutes – and then focus on one task without interruption. Once the timer goes off, take a short break. Then, if needed, you do it again. Commit to going deep for 25 - 90 minutes (jk: sustained inquiry),” “It’s amazing when we consciously choose to do one thing, and one thing only, how much we get done.”
action_plans  attention  attention_spans  best_practices  focus  lists  monotasking  Pomodoro  preparation  priorities  productivity  project_management  slack_time  sustained_inquiry  thinking_backwards  thinking_deliberatively  timeouts  timing  to-do  work-back_schedules  work_smarter 
july 2019 by jerryking
How the modern office is killing our creativity
March 14, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Pilita Clark.

Roger Mavity and Stephen Bayley, the design guru, have published "How to Steal Fire", ....a book on one of the most eagerly sought qualities in the business world: creativity. Companies buffeted by a storm of digital disruption and competitive pressures have embraced the need for creative thinking with gusto in recent years, which marks a turnaround......CEOs have talked ....about the importance of innovation (i.e. the implementation of new ideas), but far less attention has been devoted to figuring out how to foster creativity itself.....“The first thing that helps creativity is solitude,” “Creativity is essentially an individual rather than a collective activity.” Sir Isaac Newton was a case in point....The great thoughts that helped him go on to formulate the theory of gravity came after the Great Plague closed his university (Cambridge) and he spent nearly two years shut away in his home in Lincolnshire......When he was running Microsoft, Bill Gates used to head off by himself to a secluded hideaway twice a year for what he called Think Week.....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. ....The idea that great creative thoughts come from teamwork, brainstorming and the ever-present away day is one of the “great myths” of creativity......the Ringelmann effect, named after a French engineer, Max Ringelmann, who first observed that individual productivity falls as group size increases. Away days can be useful for helping people get to know each other better, but not for generating ideas, said Mr Mavity. As his book puts it: “Brainstorming produces, at best, a light, irritating drizzle of complacent mediocrity.”....smart companies understand the need for focused concentration [JCK: sustained inquiry]...what should executives be doing to foster creativity?....“They have to walk the talk,” ....leaders need to set clear goals and then give people doing creative work the time, resources and autonomy to achieve them....Managers must be genuinely open to new thoughts and make sure good ideas are fostered. “None of it is rocket science or brain surgery,” “But you have to pay attention on a regular basis to whether people have these things.”
advertising  billgates  books  brainstorming  creativity  disruption  ergonomics  innovation  Isaac_Newton  myths  pay_attention  solitude  sustained_inquiry  teams  workplaces  ideas  open-plan 
march 2019 by jerryking
Why you should create space in your life just to think
October 27, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | by HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Here's how:

Commit to a topic: There are many things that could flood your mind in any given moment. Pick an important topic and commit to thinking about it.

Block some time: Set aside an hour or two to think about that topic or, Mr. Eblin adds, read about the issue if more research is needed (jk: sustained inquiry). “My sense is that blocking out more than two hours of think time at any one sitting is probably a waste of time for most people. It’s hard to maintain your focus on any given topic for more than an hour or two. If you need more than two hours of think time on the topic, schedule more time on other days,” he writes.

Find another space for thinking: Get out of your normal work space to refresh yourself and provide different visual cues.

Attend a conference: If the issue is a toughie, consider a conference on the topic that allows you to immerse yourself in possibilities.

Take notes: By writing down the thoughts that come to your mind, you don’t have to worry about remembering them. That’s actually a part of creating space: more time to think, less to worry about remembering. And once you have a note-taking process – Mr. Eblin is a fan of Evernote, which is searchable and shared on various electronic devices – you now have a place to record that sudden thought at another time.
Harvey_Schachter  reflections  creative_renewal  Evernote  thinking  note_taking  visual_cues  buffering  slack_time  sustained_inquiry 
october 2017 by jerryking
Dr Boyce Watkins: The rise of black immaturity
October 26, 2017 | Black Wealth Channel | by Dr Boyce Watkins.

we must think carefully about what we're saying about the social, political and intellectual maturity of black people when we swear that the only way to get a black person to value learning is by making it light-hearted and fun. As my father used to tell me, "Everything ain't about fun and games. A man has to know when to get serious."

It would be a horrible thing to admit that our people are only capable of paying attention to life-saving knowledge when you mix it with a rap video or a bunch of dance moves. Are we saying that we are so immature that we can't concentrate on anything other than how to do the Electric Slide?....Here's a fact about communities that build real power. In order to obtain true strength in a competitive and racist world, some of us must have the discipline to sit down and PAY ATTENTION. This means paying attention without the bells and whistles, without the music, without the buffoonery. It means seeking to understand the world because that's what grown-ups are supposed to do to protect the people they love......In order for us to move forward, we must grow the hell up. Black people, unfortunately, have been fed and mass marketed false media culture that makes us the #1 consumers of all things unhealthy, including brain dead television, fast food, wasteful consumer spending (to look fly of course), social media and the worship of toxic, dysfunctional, violent, misogynistic, drug-addicted, financially irresponsible celebrities. If you ever want to know why the world doesn't take us seriously, it might be because we don't take ourselves seriously either.
African-Americans  Boyce_Watkins  conspicuous_consumption  distractions  economic_clout  entertainment  immaturity  pay_attention  self-discipline  sustained_inquiry 
october 2017 by jerryking
Why Deep Work Matters in a Distracted World
Posted by Taylor Pipes on 23 Feb 2017

Work accomplished = (time spent) x (intensity)

How to create meaningful work
Deep work does not have to be tedious. In fact, it can be enjoyable, creative, meditative, and thought-provoking. Here are some tactics to integrate the principles of deep work into your schedule:

Work deeply. It takes great patience and practice to get to the point where you can integrate long stretches of deep work into your schedule. Newport created an equation to explain the intensity required of deep work and compared it to students who pulled all-nighters in college.
Work accomplished = (time spent) x (intensity)

Work at a high level with dynamic and intense intervals that increase over time to produce a desirable outcome. Get in the zone for at least 90 minutes and build up to periods that last anywhere from two to four hours, or more.

Protect your time. Maintain a set of rituals and routines to ease deep work into your day more easily. Try implementing scheduling tactics into your workflow like:
Tallies – Keep a tally of the hours you spend working, or when you reach important milestones like pages read or words written.

Deep scheduling – Try scheduling deep work hours well in advance on a calendar, like two or four weeks ahead of time.

Scheduling and tracking time has a huge benefit of giving time back. Many academics, authors, and scientists have been able to produce ample amount of work while working normal hours and having time for personal pursuits or family on evenings and weekends.

Train your brain to do nothing. Try for a moment, to sit still and do nothing. How long do you find it takes until the social stimuli and buzzing signals of your mobile device prove too much? If you can embrace sitting quietly meditating or thinking, or even staring into space, then you can train your brain to spend more time in deeper work.
Quit swimming upstream. Decide for yourself what restrictions you can place on email and social media by removing it from your work week altogether, or by logging out and staying off for an entire day. Evaluate your personal and professional life and experiment where social fits and where it doesn’t. Your result may be a month-long digital detox, or completely cutting the cord on social.
Cut the shallow work. Endless meeting requests and instant email responses are turning knowledge workers into ‘human routers’ that create the shallow work that defines many of workplaces. We’ve been groomed to reply and respond because it feels like we’re accomplishing something, when in reality, we’re not.
attention  attention_spans  Cal_Newport  distractions  focus  GTD  hard_work  knowledge_workers  personal_accomplishments  productivity  sustained_inquiry  thinking_deliberatively 
july 2017 by jerryking
Thomas Friedman’s Guide to Hanging On in the ‘Age of Accelerations’ - Bloomberg
by Paul Barrett
November 11, 2016,

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28)....the wisdom of pausing.... take time “to just sit and think”— a good reminder for the overcommitted.....Friedman's “core argument,” is his description of our disruptive times. By “accelerations,” he means the increases in computing power, which are enabling breakthroughs from 3D printing to self-driving cars. Meanwhile, globalization is creating vast wealth for those who capitalize on innovation and impoverishment for populations who don’t. All of this sped-up economic activity contributes to rising carbon levels, feeding the climate change that threatens civilization.....Friedman relishes catchphrases like “the Big Shift,” borrowed in this case from the HBR. He deploys B-school jargon to explain it, but the definition boils down to companies making the move from relying exclusively on in-house brainpower, patents, and data to exploiting “flows” of knowledge from anywhere in the world.... Friedman makes the case for changed policies to respond to the accelerations he chronicles.
accelerated_lifecycles  sustained_inquiry  Tom_Friedman  books  slack_time  reflections  3-D  globalization  impoverishment  climate_change  in-house  talent_flows  information_flows  GE  prizes  bounties  innovation  contests  contemplation  patents  data  brainpower  jargon  thinking  timeouts  power_of_the_pause 
january 2017 by jerryking
Hey, you: Stop multitasking and focus - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jul. 27 2014

New Jersey-based consultant Daniel Forrester believes we all have to find similar moments of contemplation to be more effective in our careers. “It’s about tapping into what makes us unique as human beings: reflection and conscience. The big innovations all are a product of reflection, getting a break from the tumult of immediacy that surrounds us,” he said in an interview.

The author of Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization was moved to study the issue when reading an article about the now-legendary “think weeks” that Bill Gates took as the head of Microsoft. Armed with cans of diet Orange Crush and a stack of documents with ideas and proposals, he would isolate himself in his cottage and spend time pondering future possibilities for his tech empire.

It’s a fascinating idea, but Mr. Forrester wondered why the CEO couldn’t manage to find reflection space in the office. “He’s Bill Gates. Why can’t he shut the door and get time to think?” he asked in an interview.

Mr. Forrester believes we have to change that tendency – and not only for CEOs, but for everyone. Reflection, he explained, is the space between data and meaning.

It starts with think weeks, proper vacations and sabbaticals to refresh and reflect. Our brains continue to work on issues even at rest, and the subconscious can come up with some electrifying findings. So it’s vital that a vacation be a true vacation, rather than pushing an employee, through social pressure or direct orders, to check e-mail a dozen times a day.
books  contemplation  creative_renewal  focus  Harvey_Schachter  immediacy  innovation  meditation  monotasking  multitasking  reading  reflections  sabbaticals  slack_time  strategic_thinking  sustained_inquiry  thinking  timeouts 
july 2014 by jerryking
The Art of Focus
June 2, 2014 | - NYTimes.com | David Brooks.

The way to discover a terrifying longing is to liberate yourself from the self-censoring labels you began to tell yourself over the course of your mis-education. These formulas are stultifying, Phillips argues: “You can only recover your appetite, and appetites, if you can allow yourself to be unknown to yourself. Because the point of knowing oneself is to contain one’s anxieties about appetite.”[JCK: anti the valorization of self-awareness??]

Thus: Focus on the external objects of fascination, not on who you think you are. Find people with overlapping obsessions. Don’t structure your encounters with them the way people do today, through brainstorming sessions (those don’t work) or through conferences with projection screens.

Instead look at the way children learn in groups. They make discoveries alone, but bring their treasures to the group. Then the group crowds around and hashes it out. In conversation, conflict, confusion and uncertainty can be metabolized and digested through somebody else. If the group sets a specific problem for itself, and then sets a tight deadline to come up with answers, the free digression of conversation will provide occasions in which people are surprised by their own minds.
children  constraints  curiosity  David_Brooks  fascination  focus  howto  metabolism  mis-education  passions  self-awareness  self-censorship  self-discovery  sustained_inquiry  uncertainty  unknowns 
june 2014 by jerryking
More Reflection, Less Action
February 14, 2014 |NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ.

Observation from President Obama, caught on an open mike during a stroll with Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain in 2008:

“The most important thing you need to do [in this job] is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you’re doing is thinking.”

Judgment is grounded in discernment, subtlety and nuance.... Good judgment grows out of reflection, and reflection requires the sort of quiet time that gets crowded out by the next demand.

Regular reflection also provides the space in which to decide what not to do. At the companies I visit, no topic comes up more frequently than prioritizing....Time to reflect is what makes it possible to prioritize.... a tools that ensures reflection and prioritization is an old-fashioned handwritten to-do list, with a twist. Download everything that’s on your mind – not just calls to make and emails to send, but also ideas you want to explore, conflicts you haven’t resolved, and longer-term projects you intend to pursue...If you can’t decide whether something is worth your time, I try to stop and answer two reflective questions – a task that ends up saving rather than costing time.

1. Could someone else do this just as well or better than I can? If so, I try to turn it over.

2. Is the time and energy I invest going to produce anything I’ll still consider worth having done a month from now?

We need less conventional wisdom and more genuine wisdom; less sheer output and more insights that add enduring value.
time-management  reflections  wisdom  work_life_balance  insights  priorities  lists  GTD  judgment  strategic_thinking  Obama  David_Cameron  thinking  timeouts  meditation  contemplation  discernment  subtlety  personal_energy  slack_time  monotasking  sustained_inquiry  Tony_Schwartz  nuanced 
february 2014 by jerryking
Unboxed - Yes, People Still Read, but Now It’s Social - NYTimes.com
June 18, 2010 | New York Times | By STEVEN JOHNSON, Nicholas
Carr's new book, “The Shallows,” argues that the compulsive skimming,
linking and multitasking of our screen reading is undermining the deep,
immersive focus that has defined book culture for centuries.
Distractions come with a heavy cost--studies show how multitasking harms
our concentration. But we must also measure what we gain from
multitasking....The problem with Mr. Carr’s model is its unquestioned
reverence for the slow contemplation of deep reading. For society to
advance as it has since Gutenberg, he argues, we need the quiet,
solitary space of the book. Yet many great ideas that have advanced
culture over the past centuries have emerged from a more connective
space, in the collision of different worldviews and sensibilities,
different metaphors and fields of expertise. (Gutenberg himself borrowed
his printing press from the screw presses of Rhineland vintners, as Mr.
Carr notes.)
cognitive_skills  collective_intelligence  collective_wisdom  Communicating_&_Connecting  connected_learning  contemplation  cross-disciplinary  deep_learning  discernment  distractions  focus  Johan_Gutenberg  Kindle  metaphors  multitasking  monotasking  Nicholas_Carr  reading  solitude  Steven_Johnson  sustained_inquiry  thinking  thinking_deliberatively  worldviews 
june 2010 by jerryking

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