Archives: Page 7 of 48

Learning to Draw, Day 1

June 1, 2017

This month I’m learning to draw. This is a skill I’ve never had. I once thought that there are analytical people and artistic people, but I’m no longer willing to accept that. Just like swimming or writing is a particular skill that can be taught and learned, drawing and calculus are both skills that can be taught and learned. I already know calculus (all the way through real analysis), so it is time to learn to draw.

Forget Daily “Work/Life Balance”

June 1, 2017

Forget about daily work/life balance. Juggling too many things at once leads to stress and poor performance. Trying to balance everything by offsetting stuff with other stuff just leads to too much stuff. Set your priorities for each day (or each week or part of each day) and focus intensely on those few things.

A Prediction for the 2020 Election

May 29, 2017

I think that the 2020 presidential election will finally be when we’ll see colors other than red, white, and blue showing up as main branding colors in a mainstream candidate. 

How to Avoid Pastoralism

May 28, 2017

I’m rereading Breaking Smart Season 1 right now and I got to thinking about Rao’s concept of pastoralism vs prometheanism and how to avoid it. 

Focused vs Unfocused Reading

May 28, 2017

  1. The gap between focused and unfocused reading is huge, especially when compounded over time. 
  2. Reducing distractions can lead to huge improvements in the number of pages read and understood. Maybe even more than traditional speed reading methods. 
  3. On my flight to Chicago this weekend, I read half of James Hogan’s Inherit the Stars. On the flight back to NYC, I reread 60% of Breaking Smart Season 1. Each leg was a little over 2 hours. I got through much more of each of these books than I have in equivalent amounts of time at home. It was like I had tunnel vision on the flight because I couldn’t get up and had no distractions available. 
  4. I need to do a better job at implementing airplane-like focus at home so that I can cover more ground in less time. I’m going though the 10 Days to Faster Reading book right now, but its methods aren’t that appealing to me. Working on my focus might be a better route. 

Cronuts (Finally)

May 26, 2017

After watching the Cronut craze and wanting to try one for the last few years, I finally decided to go get some. I work from home and set my own hours, so why not? I preordered them two weeks ago, worked late night on a project, and took the morning to go pick some up and take them to my wife’s office. 

Two questions to ask when you are stuck on a project

May 24, 2017

  1. What is this project about?
This is sometimes a tough question, but figuring it out makes all the difference. If you figured it out at the beginning of the project, simply reminding yourself what the goal of the project is and what the core parts of the project are can be enough to get you back on track. If you haven’t answered that question before and are doing it for the first time, start broad, then keep refining it and narrowing it down. Don’t throw in the towel just because it is tough. When you come out on the other side, your project will be much clearer. Don’t do anything in your project that doesn’t lead directly to the main theme of the project.   2. **What’s missing?

** Once you’ve figured out what the project is all about, ask yourself what is missing. What does your still need in order to reach its stated purpose? Write those things down and start working down the list.

January-June 2017 Self-Improvement Projects

May 23, 2017

Every month I do a PDP – a personal development project. These PDPs are either theme or project-based and I must do something specific every single day to further that project or theme.

Ted Kooser on Writer’s Block

May 22, 2017

Writing Routines, a great new sites that gives behind-the-scenes look at the daily habits of writers and authors, has an interview with Ted Kooser, a former US Poet Laureate. I love his answer to a question on writer’s block:

Documenting the Process of Data Visualizations

May 18, 2017

The project has awesome process documentation for how Nadieh and Shirley go about making their incredible visualizations each month. This is a treasure trove of valuable insights for how they approach projects, how the projects evolve, and how they overcome issues they run in to.

Learning and Perception 

May 16, 2017

Deconstructing and seeing things in different ways is often the first step toward understanding something new.