I'm always into exploring why good things sometimes happen and sometimes don't. Chief among those is when there's a known best practice that some people follow, and others neglect. Why is this the case?
A couple weeks ago, Taylor Pearson and I wrote about the same topic coincidentally -- I put out Celerity #2: Power Laws and he put out How to Prioritize around the same time.
Taylor's one of the smartest people I know, and so I shot him an email to ask about this. I think his reply is very insightful and he gave me the go-ahead to share it.
"Good stuff. Coincidentally this week's TSR is Celerity #2: Power Laws. Covered similar ground.
Two announcements --
1. The Strategic Review is now on Medium.
After many years of consciously choosing not to syndicate TSR, I just made the switch.
The potential downside, as I saw it, is that maybe I'd be more hesitant to cover potentially controversial topics like the Danger Flags series was -- but, what pushed me over the edge is that the newest series, Background Ops, is both incredibly useful and totally mainstream-friendly. That's a winning combination!
So Background Ops #1: Strict Limit is on Medium -- check it out:
One of the nicest benefits about doing science-y and ops-y things in public is that you prompt a lot of conversations with smart people, which makes you smarter in turn.
My friend Mike Johnson -- scientist and philosopher par excellence -- wrote to me recently with some interesting thoughts, and with his permission, I'm sharing them with you.
Mike initially wrote to Kai and I,
"Philosophical digression: I was really struck by Sebastian's question, 'How do you get people to install whatever makes them care about improving their life? How do you get people to start?' -- this seems like the million-dollar question. I also wonder if we could find a good way of understanding the neuroscience of what's going on in the brains of people who are engaged in a self-improvement spiral, vs those who aren't."
I recently recorded a podcast episode of Nat Chat with Nat Eliason. It was super cool and I really enjoyed it — Nat's a brilliant guy and someone I've greatly enjoyed getting to know recently, and the podcast was quite fun and informative. The episode will be out in the next week or two.
One thing we talked about was time tracking and its value. Time tracking is super valuable and important. By explicitly tracking your time, even for a short little while, you get a much better and more objective grip on how your life is going — and then you can start making improvements.
I wrote about this somewhat years ago, but I hadn't publicly gone through what I do in a while. So in this post, I want to walk you briefly through the theory, what I do (which is a little complex), and what I recommend you do to get started (which is very simple and easy).
I. The theory: You need to know where your time goes.
One of my favorite books is Peter Drucker's The Effective Executive. I re-read it around once per year. The first chapter is titled "Effectiveness Can Be Learned." The second? "Know Thy Time."
The New Year's Pentathlon runs from January 6th to January 21st. It's the 6th Pentathlon we've held, and each one gets rave reviews. (Check the page for many testimonials.) It's a great way to start 2018 off with a bang and have two weeks of peak performance to start the year, as well as take lessons and skills forward with you all year.
For Cyber Monday only, when you get your spot on the Pentathlon, you get a +1 to give to whoever you'd like: a friend, family member, coworker, or colleague. The Pentathlon works great when you do it alongside someone you know and care about — we've had cofounders come together, husband/wife teams come together, we've had brothers do it together and connect more through it... it's pretty great.
Also potentially a great holiday gift. Normal price is $300, so it's a snazzy thing to be given. (You can inquire in advance if the person is available from Jan 6-21.)
if you're curious, check out —
Hello old friend,
We're offering perhaps the most unique and cool Valentine's Day gift ever at Ultraworking —
The Pentathlon's been terrific for married and dating couples to compete in together in the past, and for Valentine's Day, you can get a spot for you and your loved one for less than the price of a normal full-price entry. Great way to thrive together, support each other, and potentially learn some life-long lessons about how to communicate and support each other forever.