Optimize Focus

0 of 113 Complete View All Categories
Locked 101 Classes

Meditation 101

How to Meditate without Moving to the Himalayas

Meditation. It’s unequivocally awesome. But it can also get a little more esoteric than necessary. Enter: How to meditate without moving to the Himalayas! Here are my Top 10 Big Ideas on the nuts and bolts of how to create a great, sustainable practice.

Locked 101 Classes

Conquering Digital Addiction 101

​​To Sculpt or to Be Hacked? That Is the Question

​​Technology is, obviously, awesome. We’ve been using “tech” tools for 2.5 million years since our protohuman ancestors first picked up a stone and used it as a tool. 1.8 million years ago, “we” figured out how to make an acheulean hand axe which was a pretty epic innovation at the time.
​​
​​So, with the advent of smartphones in what’s known as the “Input Age,” I’m not suggesting we should all become tech-smashing Luddites. But… (And this is a big but!), I also don’t think we should underestimate just how much we play the role of addicted users caught up in the mix of a $7 TRILLION attention economics (/mind-hacking!) industry.
​​
​​The solution: Become Optimizites—use technology wisely to become the BEST you rather than mindlessly let your 1 million-year-old prefrontal cortex get hacked all day every day.
​​
​​In the class, we walk through the costs of addiction, then talk about how to conquer it so we can sculpt our ideal lives.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Focus

The Hidden Driver of Excellence

Daniel Goleman is a former New York Times science writer and author of the uber-bestselling book Emotional Intelligence. In Focus, we look at the underlying neuroscience of attention. We need to start by realizing that the strength (or weakness) of our attention is at the core of E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. we do. Everything! Which is why Goleman calls it “the hidden driver of excellence.” Big Ideas we explore include rumination vs. reflection, the three foci of willpower, smart practice and hitting the mental gym.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Hyperfocus

How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction

Hyperfocus. Just looking at the cover of this book makes me smile. I got it after Cal Newport connected me with Chris Bailey. Chris is the author of The Productivity Project and a full-time productivity researcher/writer/practitioner. Although the book is called “Hyperfocus,” it’s ultimately about learning how to control our attention—turning it on AND off at will as we master the process of intentionally entering what Chris calls “Hyperfocus” (think: getting things done/being present mode) AND what he calls “Scatterfocus” (deliberately allowing our minds to wander to enter creative mode). As per the inside flap, it’s “a practical guide to managing your attention—the most powerful resource you have to become more creative, get stuff done, and live a meaningful life.” Big Ideas we explore include defining Hyperfocus, establishing how to get into it (including the #1 rule!), the power of specific implementation intentions (vs. "vague" intentions) and how to expand our productivity potential.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Black Hole Focus

How Intelligent People Can Create a Powerful Purpose for Their Lives

Black holes. Just contemplating the sheer, fierce power of them is awe-inspiring, eh? Isaiah Hankel tells us that although physicists used to think that everything got destroyed in a black hole, now they believe that it’s less about destruction and more about *transformation.* And shines some light on the power of focusing on our purpose with black hole intensity. Big Ideas we explore include sheep vs. strategists, figuring out your ikigai (= why you get up in the morning), the fascinating endurance of rats with hope, the first two steps in greatness and moving from vision to decision.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Fully Engaged

Using the Practicing Mind in Daily Life

Thomas Sterner wrote the great book The Practicing Mind (see Notes). This is a follow-up practical guide to applying the concepts in that book to our daily lives. It’s a great little book packed with wisdom and zero fluff. Having the ability to do be fully (!) engaged in this moment is the ultimate super power. Big Ideas we explore include: how to be fully engaged, the #1 goal of meditation, how to get in total control of your life, goal poison, premeditated procedures, and the powerful question: “And then what?”

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Make Time

How to Focus on What Matters Every Day

Want to Make Time? Well, Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky (JZ) have the system to help you, as per the sub-title of their great book: “Focus on What Matters Every Day.’ Jake and JZ met at Google. Jake had worked on Gmail and JZ on YouTube before they connected at Google Ventures. While there, they worked with a ton of startups in which Google invested (including Uber, Slack and 23andMe) on a project-development system they created called “Sprint.” This book is all about resetting our culture’s default settings by stepping off of what they call “the Busy Bandwagon” while jumping out of “Infinity Pools” of distraction to optimize our energy, focus, and time. It’s a GREAT book that echoes a ton of what we talk about all the time. Big Ideas we explore include how to make time in four steps: Highlight (what's today's focal point?) + Laser (vs. disco balls) + Energize (be a good Homo sapien) + Reflect (it's all one big experiment!).

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Rapt

Attention and the Focused Life

Attention. If you want to optimize your life, this is the place to start. Winifred Gallagher gives us a beautiful target: rapt attention that leads us to live the focused life. Gallagher is a behavioral science writer who, five years before writing this book, received a cancer diagnosis that dramatically shifted the way she saw the world. That experience inspired her to understand the neuroscientific underpinnings of how attention works—which led to this book. Big Ideas we explore include: Attention 101, how to get it, the paradox of choice, grit + focus, focusing on virtue, how to be happier and waking up!

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Deep Work

Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Deep Work. It’s the key to how you get So Good They Can’t Ignore You—which, of course, is the title of another one of Cal’s great books. Big Ideas include Deep Work vs. Shallow Work, how to give your neurons a workout, cleaning up attention residue, the four rules of deep work, finding the routine that works for you and learning how to shut down completely.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Practicing Mind

Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life‎

The Practicing Mind. It’s the key to true inner peace and contentment. In a world that conditions us to obsess about goals and outcomes, it’s easy to miss the importance of the process. The PRACTICE. Thomas Sterner brilliantly (!) helps us bring discipline and focus into our lives to experience the presence and joy that comes as a result. (Bonus: We also create a frictionless path to our goals as well!)

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Digital Minimalism

Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Cal Newport is one of my favorite thinkers. He got his Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT and is now a Professor at Georgetown. He’s also a bestselling author of a number of books. Given the fact that the fastest way to Optimize your life is to STOP doing things that are sub-optimal AND the fact that (for nearly all of us) our use of technology is the #1 thing that “Needs work!,” it’s SUPER important for us to figure out how to best use all the technology available to us WITHOUT becoming lost in a tsunami of inputs. Enter: Our new philosophy of technology use: Digital Minimalism. Enter: My SUPER strong recommendation of the book and my ALL IN commitment to helping create a movement around the ideas in the book. As you know, I rarely say a book is a must read but this book is as close as it gets. Big Ideas we explore include the fact that your soul is engaged in a lopsided arms race, a definition + overview of digital minimalism, the importance of spending time alone (and the consequences of *not* spending adequate time alone), reclaiming leisure (get active!) and joining the Attention Resistance. Here's to Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World!

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Brain Warrior's Way

Ignite Your Energy and Focus, Attack Illness and Aging, Transform Pain into Purpose

Daniel Amen is a ten-time New York Times bestselling author and the Washington Post has described him as the most popular psychiatrist in America. Tana is also a New York Times best-selling author (The Omni Diet) and a leading fitness expert who holds black belts in both Tae Kwon Do and Kempo Karate. Together, they’ve written a passionate, inspiring book on how we can, as the sub-title suggests, ignite our energy and focus, attack illness and aging, and transform pain into purpose. Big Ideas we explore include why to become a brain warrior, a check in to see if positive thinking is killing you, the #1 strategy to live long, top 10 nutrition tips, why cheat days are not smart, and the power of community to Optimize.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Your Brain at Work

Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long

Ever wonder how your brain works while you’re at work? And, even more importantly, how you can OPTIMIZE how your brain works while you work? If so, this is the book for you. Big Ideas we explore include the importance of prioritizing prioritizing (aka quit blowing your brain up), how to decrease your IQ by 15 points (hah—seriously—here’s how to be 3 times less effective than someone stoned! :0), why your basal ganglia is awesome, and how to rock the seesaw that is your limbic system + prefrontal cortex.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Manage Your Day-to-Day

Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series)

If you’re looking to optimize your day-to-day-productivity, this collection of wisdom from some of the world’s leading creative gurus via 99U is a fantastic place to start. Big Ideas we explore include the importance daily routines, the most important thing you can do to boost your productivity, how screen apnea leads to things you don’t want and why rats love to check email.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life

The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems

Dr. Daniel Amen MD is one of the world’s leading psychiatrists. He’s a clinical neuroscientist (love that phrase!) who has performed 115,000+ SPECT scans on his patients’ brains. (That’s a lot.) This book captures what he’s learned about optimizing our brains, why it’s important and how to do it. Big Ideas we explore include #ANTspray, wisdom from Fat Freddie the penguin, how hungry your brain is (did you know it’s 2% body weight but uses 20-30% of calories consumed?), and a bunch of other goodness.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Brain Maker

The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain—for Life

Ready to get your brain right? Start with your gut! In this compelling book, Dr. David Perlmutter walks us through the leading-edge science on how to dial in our microbiome to optimize our brain + overall well-being. In the Note, we explore Big Ideas ranging from the power of probiotics and your second brain to the importnace of focusing on root causes rather than just symptoms along with the 6 keys to feeding your microbes.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Power of Concentration

Concentration. As we know, the sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus. This is an old school manual on how to cultivate our strength of mind to set our lives on fire. In the Note, we'll look at some Big Ideas to cultivate our concentration, sticktoitiveness and make every moment a part of our practice.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Way of the SEAL

Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed

A former U.S. Navy SEAL Commander, Mark Divine integrates the ancient warrior traditions with grounded, practical virtue and 21st century get-it-done effectiveness in a way that I find incredibly inspiring. Big Ideas we cover include the power of front-sight focus, how to DIRECT your mind, going Yoda on your commitments and creating micro goals when things are tough.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Unsubscribe

How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done

This is a quick-reading, smart, practical guide on how to, as the sub-title suggests, “Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done. My kind of book. I *highly* recommend it. Big Ideas we explore include rats + rewards (real vs. random), progress hacks to conquer the progress paradox, saying “YES!!!” en route to saying “No” plus the physics of emails and 21st century superpowers.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The ONE Thing

The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

The ONE Thing. What's yours? Gary Keller (his Keller-Williams real estate is THE largest real estate company in the world--I bet that was a ONE Thing goal at some point!) shares his wisdom in this BRILLIANT book. We'll have fun exploring a few of my favorite Big Ideas: dominoes + extreme Pareto and other goodness.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Mindfulness

25th Anniversary Edition

Ellen Langer is one of the world's leading researchers studying the science of well-being. This book was was published over 25 years ago—before the concept of “mindfulness” went mainstream. Ellen takes a Western scientific orientation to mindfulness (vis-a-vis an Eastern mystical) as she challenges us to overcome our mindless patterns, let go of false limits, focus on the process and notice all the wonders present in our lives.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

How Successful People Think

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

John Maxwell is one of the world’s authorities on leadership. He’s sold over 25 million (!) books. This is a quick-reading 127 pages packed with wisdom and Big Ideas on Maxwell’s eleven essential types of thinking—ranging from Big-Picture thinking to Realistic Thinking and everything in between. Big Ideas we explore include the power of targets for focused thinking, becoming a possibility thinker and anxietivity—how creativity and anxiety go together.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Lead Yourself First

Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude

Solitude. It’s the secret sauce to leadership. But... In their great book Raymond Kethledge and Michael Erwin tells us: “Solitude is a state of mind, a space where you can focus on your own thoughts without distraction, with a power to bring mind and soul together in clear-eyed conviction. Like a great wave that saturates everything in its path, however, handheld devices and other media now leave us awash with the thoughts of others. We are losing solitude without even realizing it.” Big Ideas we explore include the big 4 of solitude (clarity + creativity + emotional balance + moral courage), the threats from our "Input Age," how MLK and Eisenhower used solitude, FOMO (get over it!) and how to change the world (starting with YOU!).

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Distraction Addiction

Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is a professional futurist. (I think that is officially tied for first for the coolest job title ever. The co-winner? Professional Optimizer, of course. Hah. :) He has a PhD in the history of science and is a former Microsoft Research fellow and visiting scholar at Stanford and Oxford. I found the book fascinating and a great complement to our collection on how to conquer digital addiction. Big Ideas we explore include how to tame that monkey in your mind, email apnea (you breathing?!), the fact that "entanglement" tech is over 1 million years old ("Hi, stone tools!"), the big costs of task switching (and an easy way to feel its effects), the importance of experimenting (w/an experiment you can do today), the Latin wisdom solvitur ambulando ("it is solved by walking") and how to be an Optimizite rather than a Luddite. :)

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Miracle of Mindfulness

An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

Written in 1975, The Miracle of Mindfulness is one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s earliest books. It was originally written as a long letter to one of his main staff members in South Vietnam—encouraging him during very challenging times to continue their work of “engaged Buddhism.” It’s beautifully written and packed with wisdom. Big Ideas we explore include what qualifies as a miracle (hint: it’s ALL a miracle), choosing to sit or stand but avoiding the wobble, how to balance on top of a bamboo pole and three questions to ponder.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Focal Point

A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals

Brian Tracy is one of the classic modern self-development teachers and he's literally a Big Idea machine. In this Note, we'll have fun learning about the importance of taking responsibility in our lives and staying flexible (and, of course, some Ideas on how to do so!). We'll also check in on the importance of managing our time well by "one-touching" stuff and maintaining our optimism in the face of challenges.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Black Box Thinking

Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes--But Some Do

Failure. Some of us lean into it and learn as much as we can from it, and some of us prefer to avoid thinking about it and/or pretend it never happened. As you may guess, one approach leads to dramatically better performance over the long run. (Hint: Seeing failure as feedback + learning opportunities is a very wise idea.) Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at the aviation vs. health care industries, the importance of quantity of work if you want quality, marginal gains, cognitive dissonance and pre-mortems.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The 80/20 Principle

The Secrete to Success by Achieving More With Less

Did you know 20% of beer drinkers drink 80% of the beer? And that 20% of streets account for 80% of the traffic? And that most peeps wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time? And that 20% of customers/products usually account for about 80% of profits? Yepperz. In this Note, we’ll explore the 80/20 principle and how we can apply its power to every aspect of our lives to "achieve more with less."

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Compound Effect

Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success

Darren Hardy is the Publisher of SUCCESS magazine and knows a thing or 1,000 about success. It's all boiled down into this little manifesto on The Compound Effect. The equation? Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE. In the Note, we'll check out the power of compounding and how to welcome Mr. Mo to the party and create your greatest life.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Power of Rest

Why Sleep Alone Is Not Enough

Rest. You getting enough? If you're like most of us, the answer is No. Leading medical doctor, Matthew Edlund shows us how sleep isn't enough. We need to cultivate "active rest" into our day-to-day lives. In this Note, we'll look at how to integrate active Mental + Physical + Social + Spiritual rest while working out our brain, breathing and optimizing our lives.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Shallows

What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Wondering what the Internet is doing to our brains? Then I think you’ll love The Shallows. It’s a fascinating, well-researched, brilliant book. Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at the neuroscience of just how “massively plastic” our brains are, the hungry gremlins in your brain, how hyperlinks decrease retention, and young vs. old brains.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Discipline Equals Freedom

Field Manual

Jocko Willink is a retired Navy SEAL. He was commander of Task Unit Bruiser―the most decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War. I really enjoyed Jocko’s first book Extreme Ownership and I knew this one would be good but... I didn’t expect it to be THIS good. The words literally explode off the page. Not just because each micro-chapter was an incredibly inspiring micro-manifesto but because each word was written by a man so clearly living in complete integrity with his deepest values. John Maxwell would say his “moral authority” is extraordinary. I’d say his SOUL FORCE is palpable. If you’re in the mood for a soul-rattling call-to-disciplined action, I think you’ll enjoy the book as much as I did.

Locked +1s

#241 Utter Commitment, Psychology Of

The Power of Focusing Your Life Force
The other day, Phil Stutz and I were chatting about the power of going ALL IN on ONE thing. We talked about how hard it is to do but how
Locked +1s

#151 Digital Sabbaticals

Taking Breaks from Focus NOT from Distraction
Let’s revisit Cal Newport’s Deep Work for another genius idea. At the risk of repeating myself even more than normal (yes, it’s
Locked +1s

#1179 High Quality Work Produced =

Time Spent x Quality of Energy x Intensity of Focus
Back in the day, we chatted about Cal Newport’s Deep Work Equation. It goes like this: High Quality Work Produced = Time Spent x Intensity
Locked +1s

#633 Burning a Hole Through Your #1 Goal

What’s Most Important to You? Are You Focused on It?
In our last +1, we talked about planting our most important seeds in the spots that get the most sun. (Quick check in: Are YOUR most
Locked +1s

#322 A Wealth of Information

Creates a Poverty of Attention
Herbert Simon won the Nobel Prize in Economics. He was one of the early thought leaders in the field of “attention economics.” In 1971,
Locked +1s

#15 Did I Win?

How to Sink a $1m Putt and Do Other Great Things
Gold-medal-winning mental toughness coach and author Lanny Bassham is all about focusing on the PROCESS of goal achievement. He tells a
Locked +1s

#377 Parkinson’s Law + 80/20 Principle

= Productivity Magic
Continuing our theme of how to Optimize our productivity, let’s talk about an Idea from Tim Ferris. In The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim combines
Locked +1s

#372 Single-Mindedly One Touching

What’s Important? Start. Finish. (Repeat.)
Here’s another Big Idea from Brian Tracy that you’ll find echoed among all the great productivity gurus. I love how Brian puts it so
Locked +1s

#177 How to Add a Month to Your Year

In One Simple Step
Let’s go back to our Motivation Equation for Today’s +1. You may recall that Motivation = Expectation x Value divided by Impulsivity x
Locked +1s

#16 Relentless Solution Focus

60 Seconds of Whining and Then You're On!
Jason Selk is one of the world’s leading mental toughness coaches. He tells us that the best among us have a “relentless solution
Locked +1s

#373 How to Get Rid of Your ADD

Hint: Get Rid of Your Other ADD (Addiction to Digital Devices)
In our last +1, we talked about single-mindedly focusing. Today we’ll talk about its opposite: “continuous partial attention.” First,
Locked +1s

#645 Boundaries or Burnout

100% On + 100% Off <- Repeat
In our last +1, we talked about how the Peak Performance guys recommend we craft our optimal work-to-rest ratio. Pop quiz: You recall the
Locked +1s

#376 What to Do When You’re Flowing

Stay in the Zone - Keep Hammering
Lanny Bassham won a gold medal in rifle shooting. We’ve talked about him and his wisdom from With Winning in Mind a number of times. Today
+1s

#275 First Things First

Second Things? Not at All
One of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “First Things First.” He also wrote a whole book by the same name. But
Locked +1s

#128 How to Discover Your Deep Work Style

Hermit. Bimodal. Rhythmic. Journalistic. (Yours?)
Deep Work. As we’ve discussed many times, it’s increasingly more rare AND increasingly more valuable. The amount of high-quality work we
+1s

#261 Success Math

How to Calculate the Odds of Your Success
Matt McCall is one of the leading venture capitalists in the world. He also happens to be a friend and advisor and personal investor in
Locked +1s

#1180 Astonishing Productivity

Some Math on How to Create It
In our last +1, we had some fun playing with Cal Newport’s Deep Work equation. We modified it from: High Quality Work Produced = Time
Locked +1s

#1189 Limitless Steps

How to Moonwalk Around the Earth 2 Dozen Times
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that we are the superheroes of our own lives. Our ultimate supervillain? Technology. (At least when
Locked +1s

#1112 How to Make Yourself Miserable

And How Not to Waste Brain Cells
In our last +1, we talked about my impulsive little foray into a Dropbox Paper chat—allowing myself to get distracted reacting to some
Locked +1s

#1111 Crossing Bright Lines

And Getting Back on Track
This morning I did my normal thing. Starting last night with shutdown complete, etc. You know the drill. My #1 AM1 Deep Work goodness was
+1s

#201 Creative vs. Reactive

Choose One Before the Other (If You Want to Actualize Your Potential)
Creative and reactive. Two words with the same exact letters. Just a slightly different placement of that “c.” But, alas, that “c”
Locked +1s

#442 WARNING: Noisy Environments

Can Diminish Your Performance
As I was writing that last +1 about our two Goddesses, some sort of truck starting beeping down the street. I immediately reached over and
+1s

#291 How to Add 11 Years to Your Life

Count How Many Times You Check Your Phone Today
Quick quiz today: Do you know how often the average American checks his or her smartphone? * Enter Jeopardy music here * Well… What’s
Locked +1s

#430 Chewing on 100k Words Per Day

Lions, Kings, Monks and Original Thoughts
Here’s another little gem from Dan Pink’s To Sell Is Human. (The man is a brilliant writer and a treasure-trove of goodness.) He tells
Locked +1s

#421 WIN! WIN! WIN!

What’s Your Next Most Important Thing? (<- Crush That. Repeat.)
Continuing our theme of hammering our #1 Wildly Important Goal, let’s talk a little more (again) about WINning. We’ve touched on the
Locked +1s

#1190 The INFINITE Power of CONSISTENCY

(Energy x Focus x What’s Important Now) ^ Consistency
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that, if we could figure out how to take 30 EXPONENTIAL steps, we’d be able to hop in a rocket
Locked +1s

#859 The Invisible Gorilla

And the Spotlight of Your Attention
Have you ever heard about the Invisible Gorilla? Insert1: Spoiler alert coming for those who haven’t heard of it yet! Insert2: Watch this
Locked +1s

#831 How to Make Time

4 Steps: Highlight + Laser + Energize + Reflect
Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky is a great book. It falls into the “Alexandra Amazon-ed it and I immediately swiped it and read
+1s

#187 The Zeigarnik Effect

How to Use It to Your Optimizing Advantage
Today we’re going to meet a woman named Bluma Zeigarnik. Bluma was a Russian psychologist who did some fascinating research. Back in the
Locked +1s

#799 Building Agency: Step #2

Mirror Mirror in My Brain (and in Yours!)
In our last +1, we had fun taking the first step in building our Agency. Pop quiz: Do you recall what that step was? (And, MUCH more
Locked +1s

#734 Severe Pruning

Need To Do Any?
Steve Chandler has a new book called CREATOR. It’s awesome. I particularly loved one of the passages in which he shared some Ralph Waldo
Locked +1s

#1253 How to Create Time

And Put It to Work for Us
A few +1s ago, I invited you to join me and play The 100,000 Game. As in: 100,000 steps per week. Which, as we discussed, comes out to an
Locked +1s

#104 The iPhone Effect

How to Immediately (+ Easily) Boost the Quality of Your Interactions Today
Have you ever heard of “The iPhone Effect”? Get this: Imagine bringing people into a lab. Split them into two groups. One group sits
Locked +1s

#1283 The Inventor of the Telephone

Refused to Have a Telephone in His Study
Alexander Graham Bell once said: “Concentrate all your thoughts on the task at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a
Locked +1s

#37 Multitasking Is a Myth

What We Do Is Really Task Switching — And that Has a Big Cost
Multitasking is a myth. Our brains aren’t like computers with parallel processors. We can’t actually do multiple things at one time.
Locked +1s

#52 The Most Dangerous Thing You Can Do While “Multitasking”

Can You Guess What It Is? (Now Quit Doing It!)
We’ve established the fact that our brains don’t have parallel processors like a computer. As much as we’d like to think that we can
Locked +1s

#231 Simplex vs. Complex

How to Make Our Lives an Elegantly Simple Masterpiece
As you may have noticed, I’m a bit obsessed about the etymology of cool words. 😃 I like to open up my Apple dictionary, read the
Locked +1s

#836 Time Craters

Remove the Distraction-Asteroids from Your Life
Wrapping up our fun tour through the brilliant life-design system called “Make Time” created by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, let’s
Locked +1s

#329 Warren Buffett on Goal Setting

Three Steps to Clarity
In Born for This, Chris Guillebeau tells us that, according to legend, Warren Buffet once gave a struggling friend a three steps process for
+1s

#296 Carpe Momentum

Execute the Task at Hand & High Five Mr. Mo
In our last couple +1s we created some momentum with Newton’s First Law. 🤓 Here’s another angle on the same idea. This is from Harvey
+1s

#271 WIG vs. Whirlwind

Which One Wins?
Continuing our Productivity 101 theme, here’s another gem from the 4DX guys. Recall that the first discipline of execution is to know your
+1s

#289 “It’ll Only Take a Minute”

Yah, Right.
Here’s another gem from our Procrastination-Fighting SuperResearcher, Tim Pychyl. He tells us that one of the most dangerous things we can
Locked +1s

#1286 “The Purgatory of the Idiot”

vs. The School of Genius
As you probably noticed if you’ve been following along, I recently rebooted the PhilosophersNotes TV series. (Check it out on the App, on
Locked +1s

#493 The Supercomputer in Your Head

And How to Turn It On
A few +1s ago, we talked about Manoush Zomorodi’s great book Bored and Brilliant. We reflected on the fact that 25 minutes of time wasting
Locked +1s

#74 Spinny Fingers

How to Quickly Regain Your Balance When Life Spins You Around
Try this little experiment. Step 1. Find a safe spot to spin around and get yourself dizzy. Step 2. Spin around and get yourself a little
+1s

#270 2 Scorecards

One for the Lead + Another for the Lag
While we’re on a roll with the 4 Disciplines of Execution, let’s circle back and talk a bit more about the Lead vs. Lag Measures. This
Locked +1s

#508 Task Switching Is Expensive

A Super-Quick Exercise to Calculate the Costs
We talk a lot about the value of going deep and creating, as Peter Drucker puts it in The Effective Executive “large quantums of time”
Locked +1s

#798 Building Agency: Step #1

Control Stimuli (Or Else!)
In our last several +1s, we’ve been talking about The Power of Agency. In our next few +1s, we’re going to talk about the Top 3 ways
Locked +1s

#1188 Superhero, Meet Your Supervillain

The 5 Digital D’s: Deluge + Distraction + Dementia + Deduction + Depression
A few +1s ago we spent some time with Jim Kwik and his brilliant book Limitless. Jim is a huge fan of superheroes. As a kid, he suffered a
Locked +1s

#938 Calm Determination

And One-Pointedness
The other day I was flipping through a jumbo, 3-inch wide, 3-ring binder of my very first 100 PhilosophersNotes. I have those Notes
Locked +1s

#220 Put First Things First

Habit #3 of Highly Effective People
We’re officially on a roll with the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We’ve covered Habit #1: Be Proactive and Habit #2: Begin with
+1s

#286 Genius Dress Code

Save Your Brain Cells for Stuff That Matters
In his classic book on Creativity, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi walks us through the science of what makes extraordinary creators so
Locked +1s

#199 #Arrows and Our Friend Apollo

A Handy Tool for Rocking It
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that we never want to confuse ourselves with visions of an entire lifetime at once. The trick?
Locked +1s

#1003 Traction vs. Distraction

Which Way Are You Being Pulled?
Nir Eyal wrote the playbook that pretty much all of the major tech companies use to create their super-compelling (addictive/Irresistible?)
+1s

#75 Simplify the Battlefield

Wisdom from a SEAL Commander on What to Do in the Chaos of Life and War
In our last +1 we talked about Spinny Fingers and how to quickly regain our equanimity when life spins us around. Here’s another way. Mark
Locked +1s

#80 Time Blocks

The #1 Power Tool for Great Days and a Great Life (You Using Them?)
Continuing our theme of making TODAY (and every day!) a Masterpiece Day, let’s take a quick look at Time Blocks. Gary Keller wrote The ONE
Locked +1s

#36 Deep Work

How to Escape Shallowville and Go Deep
Cal Newport has a very big brain. He got his Ph.D. from MIT and is a professor of Computer Science at Georgetown. He also wrote one of my
Locked +1s

#242 Elon Musk + The Sun’s Power + You

A Gigacrazy Amount of Energy Waiting to Be Utilized
In our last +1, we talked about the power of focusing the sun’s rays via The Psychology of Utter Commitment. Moral of that story:
Locked +1s

#239 "Shut-Down Complete!"

Your New End-of-the-Day Ritual
Continuing our theme of making sure we’re oscillating to optimize our energy, let’s focus on the end of our workday. First: You DO have
Locked +1s

#522 To Sculpt or To Be Hacked?

< THAT Is the Question (Two Lists for Your Digital Optimizing)
Continuing our focus on how to conquer digital addiction, let’s talk about a super simple way to get a little more clarity on the
Locked +1s

#494 Science of Daydreaming

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Did you know there’s actually a science of daydreaming? It’s true. Thank you, awesome researchers. Technically, they describe it as
Locked +1s

#1267 Targeted Thinking

What Do You Want + Now What Needs to Be Done?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole idea of “neutral” thinking since I first read about it in Trevor Moawad’s It Takes What It
Locked +1s

#179 Chunk It!

Break Your Epic Goals into Bite-Size Chunks
In our last +1, we talked about reducing Delay to increase Motivation. I briefly mentioned the power of “chunking” a big goal into small
+1s

#294 Newton's First Law

As Applied to Your Life
A few +1s ago, we briefly mentioned Newton’s First Law of Motion. Let’s talk about it a little more. First, Isaac Newton. Born in 1642.
Locked +1s

#1084 Efficient vs. Effective

One’s Good for Time the Other’s Good for People
In our last +1, we talked about David Brooks‘ wisdom that the word “altruism” is an invention of the 18th century. Before that? Being
Locked +1s

#482 Digital Sabbath

The Johnson House on Sundays (Yours?)
In our last +1, we took a quick trip to our garage to recapture a potentially lost micro-moment as Eleanor and I filled up our water jug.
Locked +1s

#237 Making Waves

And Riding them to Your Highest Potential
In our last +1, we talked about the importance of honoring your ultradian rhythms—remembering the fact that our performance atrophies
Locked +1s

#1248 The Soul Force of Consistency

300 Zeroes for the W.I.N.
The other day I was preparing for a discussion I had with a Navy SEAL Mental Performance Working Group led by Captain Robert Schoultz.
Locked +1s

#39 Deep Work + Team Work + Monkey Work

What Goes When for You?
In our last +1, we talked about matching your mental energy to the right task. The essence of that? You don’t want to try to do your most
Locked +1s

#595 The 1-Hour (Deep) Workday

4 Hours Too Much? OK. Let’s Do 1!!
We’ve been talking a fair amount about the idea that some of history’s greatest creators didn’t work all that much. To be clear, they
Locked +1s

#590 The 4-Hour Workday

The Magic Number for Greatness?
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that we need to train our recovery the same way we train our Deep Work. We want to create nice,
Locked +1s

#1191 Genius Work vs. Mediocre Work

High Fiving Your Inner Genius
In our last +1, we talked about the INFINITE power of Consistency. Recall that our (always evolving) equation for Awesome now goes something
Locked +1s

#812 Covey’s Big YES!!

Makes It Easier to Say “No”
In our last +1, we had fun hanging out inside Peter Drucker’s (and I quote) “VERY BIG waste paper basket.” As the great Drucker taught
Locked +1s

#810 Peter Drucker on Creativity

Make That… on Plodding
In our last +1, we talked about Twyla Tharp’s great book The Creative Habit. In addition to seeing who she thinks wins the philosophical
Locked +1s

#591 Morning Routines

The Keystone for Your 4-Hour Workday
Continuing our theme of architecting the optimal 4-Hour Workday, let’s talk a little more about some wisdom from Alex Pang (and his great
Locked +1s

#793 Best Hours for Your Brain

Science Says…
In our last couple +1s, we talked about snoozing our snooze buttons and then throwing away our alarm clocks entirely. (Dare to dream, eh?
Locked +1s

#518 Getting to the Bottom of Things

Vis-a-Vis Staying on Top of Things
In our last +1, we talked about the humble algorithm and Professor Harari’s point that it is, arguably, the single most important concept
Locked +1s

#559 A Cognitive Athlete Who Smokes

Let’s Not Be One
In our last couple +1s, we’ve talked about Optimizing your FOMO by unplugging from the incessant consumption of the inessential. Today
Locked +1s

#38 How to Schedule Your Best Work

Match Your Mental Energy to Your Task
Scott Adams created Dilbert. (Over 10,000 of them by now, actually.) He also wrote a great book called How to Fail at Almost Everything and
+1s

#152 Digital Sunset

Bedtime for Your Electronics
In our last +1, we talked about Digital Sabbaticals. Today, let’s talk about Digital Sunsets. I’m not 100% sure if I coined that phrase
Locked +1s

#238 The 4.5-Hour Workday

Science Says: It's the Magic Number for Greatness
Continuing our theme of making waves and riding them to greatness, let’s learn a little more about how Tony Schwartz applies this wisdom