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jerryking : willpower   11

Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management.
March 28, 2019| The New York Times | By Adam Grant.

The better option is attention management: Prioritize the people and projects that matter, and it won’t matter how long anything takes.

Attention management is the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments........E.B. White once wrote: “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” But in my research, I’ve found that productive people don’t agonize about which desire to pursue. They go after both simultaneously, gravitating toward projects that are personally interesting and socially meaningful........instead of focusing on how quickly I wanted to finish this article, I asked why I agreed to write it in the first place: I might learn something new when synthesizing the research; I’d finally have somewhere to point people when they ask about productivity; and it might help some of those people......productivity struggles are caused not by a lack of efficiency, but a lack of motivation. Productivity isn’t a virtue. It’s a means to an end. It’s only virtuous if the end is worthy. If productivity is your goal, you have to rely on willpower to push yourself to get a task done. If you pay attention to why you’re excited about the project and who will benefit from it, you’ll be naturally pulled into it by intrinsic motivation.

But how do I stay on task if I’m not worried about time?
Attention management also involves noticing where you get things done.....a series of studies led by Julia Lee (now at Michigan) show that bad weather is good for productivity because we’re less likely to be distracted by the thought of going outside....My favorite part of attention management is the when. Most of our productivity challenges are with tasks that we don’t want to do but that we need to do. ....there's something called attention residue: Your mind keeps wandering back to the interesting task, disrupting your focus on the boring task. ...if you’re trying to power through a boring task, do it after a moderately interesting one, and save your most exciting task as a reward for afterward. It’s not about time; it’s about timing.

Of makers and managers
If the goal is not just to be more productive — but also to be creative, then the stumbling block is that productivity and creativity demand opposite attention management strategies. Productivity is fueled by raising attentional filters to keep unrelated or distracting thoughts out. But creativity is fueled by lowering attentional filters to let those thoughts in.

How do you get the best of both worlds? In his book “When,” Dan Pink cites your circadian rhythm as help to schedule the right time to do your productive and creative work. If you’re a morning person, do your analytical work early when you’re at peak alertness; your routine tasks around lunchtime in your trough; and your creative work in the late afternoon or evening when you’re more likely to do nonlinear thinking. If you’re more of a night owl, you might be better off flipping creative projects to your fuzzy mornings and analytical tasks to your clearest-eyed late afternoon and evening moments. It’s not time management, because you might spend the same amount of time on the tasks even after you rearrange your schedule. It’s attention management: You’re noticing the order of tasks that works for you and adjusting accordingly
Adam_Grant  attention  attention_spans  circadian_rhythms  creativity  Dan_Pink  filtering  intrinsically_motivated  motivations  priorities  productivity  sequencing  time-management  timing  willpower 
march 2019 by jerryking
A billionaire’s guide to productivity - The Globe and Mail
FRED MOUAWAD
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 11 2015

1. Prioritize. Rank the level of importance of family, me time, and work. Think about the areas of life that need nurturing in order to feel more fulfilled. It is essential to strike a balance to lead both a happy and productive life.

2. Allocate time (JCK: lead time) to maximize an impact (JCK: leverage or return on effort). Forewarned is forearmed. Plan ahead how you will use your time – after all, knowing your schedule is half the battle.

3. Know your natural penchants. If you find that the time spent on these activities does not give you a high level of return, consider allocating your time more thoughtfully.

4. Reduce uncertainty, increase accountability. A lack of clarity is productivity’s greatest enemy.

5. Know when to be a lone wolf. It is important to know your strengths. What tasks are you better off performing on your own? What tasks can you delegate?

6. Establish a nurturing culture. Productivity is easier to achieve in the right environment.

7. Measurement gets results-- measure performance to make continuous improvements. But make sure that you measuring the right things.
time-management  productivity  GTD  JCK  lead_time  priorities  strengths  self-discipline  business_planning  reflections  work_life_balance  uncertainty  clarity  affirmations  self-awareness  ksfs  preparation  penchants  predilections  measurements  proclivities  willpower  high-impact  time-allocation  return_on_effort 
february 2015 by jerryking
Tiger Mom Amy Chua's theory of success: Three factors why Indians, Jews, Chinese do better than others - The Globe and Mail
CRAIG OFFMAN

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Feb. 05 2014

[JCK: Luke Johnson opining in the Financial Times on South Asian immigrants to the UK from Uganda-: What we need is brainpower and willpower - they are the greatest natural resources.]
achievement_gaps  Amy_Chua  Asian-Americans  books  brainpower  ethnic_communities  ksfs  movingonup  parenting  willpower 
february 2014 by jerryking
What Drives Success? - NYTimes.com
JAN. 25, 2014 | NYT | By AMY CHUA and JED RUBENFELD.

the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.

Any individual, from any background, can have what we call this Triple Package of traits. But research shows that some groups are instilling them more frequently than others, and that they are enjoying greater success.

It’s odd to think of people feeling simultaneously superior and insecure. Yet it’s precisely this unstable combination that generates drive: a chip on the shoulder, a goading need to prove oneself. Add impulse control — the ability to resist temptation — and the result is people who systematically sacrifice present gratification in pursuit of future attainment.

Ironically, each element of the Triple Package violates a core tenet of contemporary American thinking....The same factors that cause poverty — discrimination, prejudice, shrinking opportunity — can sap from a group the cultural forces that propel success. Once that happens, poverty becomes more entrenched. In these circumstances, it takes much more grit, more drive and perhaps a more exceptional individual to break out.
brainpower  willpower  poverty  movingonup  Amy_Chua  Mormons  ethnic_communities  immigrants  ksfs  self-discipline  perseverance  achievement_gaps  paranoia  Sonia_Sotomayor  overachievers  sacrifice  delayed_gratification  impulse_control  insecurity  exceptionality  superiority_complex  dual-consciousness  cultural_values  hardships 
january 2014 by jerryking
Victorian values for the 21st century - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente

The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Oct. 05 2013

the real keys to success are far more old-fashioned – Victorian, even. They are self-regulation, conscientiousness and diligence. More than ever, perhaps, 21st-century success will require 19th-century values.....The trouble is that cultivating 19th-century habits in the 21st century isn’t easy. In Victorian times, self-regulation was reinforced by many kinds of external pressure, including social norms, religion, family and Queen. The consequences of lapsing from the straight and narrow – social disgrace, even ruin – could be severe. Today, you’re far more reliant on yourself to stay the course, and nobody else much cares if you don’t.....Daniel Akst argues in Temptation: Finding Self-Control in an Age of Excess, modern life requires an unnatural degree of self-control. ... in an age of super-affluence, it’s a constant struggle to keep our appetites in check. “It’s not that we have less willpower than we used to,” he writes, “but rather that modern life immerses us daily in a set of temptations far more evolved than we are.”

Self-discipline and high IQ often go together. But they are not the same. As Mr. Akst reports, self-discipline is a far better predictor of university grades than either IQ or SAT scores. ...many of America’s children have trouble making choices that require them to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term gain.”
21st._century  achievement_gaps  gender_gap  IQ  values  books  self-control  self-discipline  Tyler_Cowen  Victorian  willpower  temptations  delayed_gratification  self-regulation  proclivities 
october 2013 by jerryking
Faced With Overload, a Need to Find Focus
May 17, 2013,|NYT |By TONY SCHWARTZ

Here’s a radical proposal: Don’t check your e-mail at all tomorrow morning. Turn it off entirely. Instead, devote a designated period of uninterrupted time to a task that really matters.

For more than a decade, the most significant ritual in my work life has been to take on the most important task of the day as my first activity, for 90 minutes, without interruption, followed by a renewal break. I do so because mornings are when I have the highest energy and the fewest distractions.

I’m doing it right now, but in all honesty, it’s gotten tougher in the last several years. My attention feels under siege, like yours probably does.
focus  work_habits  information_overload  self-discipline  discipline  personal_energy  willpower  what_really_matters  self-regulation 
june 2013 by jerryking
Debt, key lime pie and willpower - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET WENTE | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Oct. 08, 2011

..A fascinating new book called Willpower, by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney, summarizes the latest findings about self-control, and the extent to which it can be learned and taught. This is an important subject because, in a complex modern society, willpower – or the lack of it – matters more than ever. The ability to self-regulate is a large part of what separates the haves from the have-nots. And some of society’s biggest problems are rooted in people’s widespread failure of willpower in an age of spectacular abundance....
...Fortunately, self-control can be improved. One way is to instill orderly habits into the routines of daily life. It turns out that, if you make your bed, floss your teeth and shine your shoes, you’re more likely to develop the discipline you need for larger goals. And the more you internalize it, the easier it gets.
books  habits  Margaret_Wente  routines  self-control  self-discipline  self-mastery  self-regulation  willpower  work_habits 
october 2011 by jerryking
Needed: the political will to subtract
Oct. 08, 2011 | The Globe and Mail | JEFFREY SIMPSON
"...review exercises – outside experts to advise on internal cuts – will all fail without the fundamental political will to do the most difficult thing in government: eliminate or curtail existing programs.

Private-sector enterprises constantly monitor themselves for efficiencies, redundancies and programs that have outlived their usefulness. In the public sector, however, this kind of search is episodic, if it happens at all.

Governments, except in isolated cases, are in the business of adding, not subtracting, programs. They puncture the tax system with credits and other forms of tax expenditures; they add new spending programs, or enrich existing ones. These new policies are sometimes vital, but the instinct to pay for them by making hard choices elsewhere is seldom apparent.

Around these tax expenditures or programs are grafted people and organizations that benefit from them. The exercise of government discretion then becomes an entitlement in the eyes of the beneficiaries, and entitlements, in turn, become so entrenched they’re difficult to end or curtail."
Jeffrey_Simpson  austerity  cutbacks  decision_making  politicians  willpower  public_sector  political_will  entitlements 
october 2011 by jerryking
Put out the welcome sign for immigrants
Nov 3, 2010 / Financial Times pg. 14 / Luke Johnson. Importing
human capital generates wealth. They bring ideas - and often financial capital - and force us to raise our game to compete. Throughout history, those who would expel or persecute industrious communities - like Nazi Germany and the Jews, Idi Amin's Uganda and Asians - have been the big
losers. What we need is brainpower and willpower - they are the greatest
natural resources. Migrants are a self-selecting minority and tend to
be young and enterprising. We should continue to make our country
attractive to arrivals from all over the world who want to start a
business.
Luke_Johnson  human_capital  wealth_creation  migrants  immigrants  immigration  ethnic_communities  willpower  expulsions  persecution  Uganda  Idi_Amin  brainpower  South_Asians  natural_resources  self-selecting  displacement  dislocations  adversity 
november 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - The Humble Hound - NYTimes.com
April 8, 2010 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. Research suggests that
extremely self-confident leaders--the boardroom lion model of
leadership--can also be risky. Charismatic C.E.O.’s often produce
volatile company performances--swinging for the home run and sometimes
end up striking out. They make more daring acquisitions, shift into new
fields and abruptly change strategies. Jim Collins, author of “Good to
Great” and “How the Mighty Fall,” celebrates a different sort of leader.
Reliably successful leaders who combine “extreme personal humility with
intense professional will”--a humble hound model of leadership.
Characteristics: focuses on metacognition — thinking about thinking —
and building external scaffolding devices to compensate for weaknesses;
spends more time seeing than analyzing; construct thinking teams; avoids
the seduction (the belief) that one magic move will change everything;
the faith in perpetual restructuring; the tendency to replace questions
with statements at meetings.
David_Brooks  Peter_Drucker  leadership  single_action_bias  CEOs  self-confidence  leaders  charisma  thinking  humility  Jim_Collins  cognitive_skills  self-awareness  metacognition  proclivities  weaknesses  wishful_thinking  willpower 
april 2010 by jerryking

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