Fiver Friday #6 – Happy New Year!


Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great transition from 2017 into 2018, and I wish you all the best for this year.

Here is what I’ve been reading:

  1. Tycho Brahe’s Cognitive Kingdom – Cal Newport
  2. A step-by-step guide to get richer, healthier, and happier in 31 days – Business Insider
  3. The End of Facebook’s Ubiquity? – Cal Newport
  4. 18 Books Everyone Will Be Reading in 2018 – Medium
  5. BuJoPro: Thoughts on Adapting Bullet Journal to a Hyper-Connected World – Cal Newport


  1. This Is The Easy Way To Save Money: 6 Powerful Secrets From Research – Barking Up the Wrong Tree
  2. Jocko Willink On the Power of Discipline – Cal Newport
  3. 11 Expert Tips To Make 2018 Your Most Productive Year Ever – Fast Company


BONUS +++:

  1. On Seriously Rethinking the Digital Economy – Cal Newport

Fiver Friday #5


Here is the latest edition of Fiver Friday, where I link to the best articles of the week that I’ve read:

  1. BuJoPro: Thoughts on Adapting Bullet Journal to a Hyper-Connected World – Study Hacks Blog, Cal Newport
  2. How Monotasking Can Change Your Life in a Distracted World – Thrive Global, Ana Homayoun
  3. The Best Personal Development Tools of 2017 – The Mission
  4. The One Priority You Should Be Focusing On – The List Producer, Paula Rizzo
  5. 14 Ways To Make Journaling One Of The Best Things You Do In 2018 – Thought Catalog, Ryan Holiday

Have a great weekend everyone!

Fiver Friday #4


Here is the latest edition of Fiver Friday, where I give five of the best articles I’ve read this week.  Hope you all enjoy it!

  1. How to keep time from moving so fast – A Life of Productivity, Chris Bailey
  2. Stoicism, Politics and Living Virtuously: An Interview with Nicholas Sarwark, Chairman of the Libertarian National Party – Daily Stoic
  3. How to Give Money (and Get Happiness) More Easily – Mr. Money Moustache
  4. The 12 Things That Travels Will Teach You – The Mission – Chad Grills
  5. The Ultimate Guide to Making Smart Decisions – Thrive Global – Shane Parrish

BONUS – Jony Ive’s iConcern – Study Hacks Blog – Cal Newport

Have a great weekend everyone!

Systems vs Goals


You can find a never ending steam of articles online and books dedicated to setting goals.  Long term goals, short term goals, interim goals, and on and on.  If only we set and reach these goals, we’ll feel happy and fulfilled.  But there is a problem with this thinking.  A goal is nothing but a target that we’re aiming for, and if we miss it, even slightly, we’re disappointed and depressed.  Say we have a goal to release 100 engineering drawings, or complete 1000 lines of code by the end of the quarter, and each day we’re aiming for that.  But, for whatever reason, we only get 95% of the way there.  We feel like we’ve wasted the time we’ve spent, or that we’ve failed to do our job.  What kind of way to think is this?  In reality, you’ve completed a tremendous amount of work, certainly more that you would have if you hadn’t set any goal at all.

But what is the alternative?  Simple, create systems instead of goals.  How does this work in practice?  Well, simple.  You still need a grasp of what you want to accomplish, and when it needs to be done.  Now, instead of setting a specific target, break down the important steps in the process of achieving what you want to accomplish.  Then, set up a type of mental “assembly line” for yourself.  Your task now is to work every day through each step of the assembly line.  You can monitor you progress using KPIs, or whichever method you prefer.  But, then, what you’re doing is looking at your progress on a much shorter scale, where you can make slight adjustments to your process, or your system, rather than as a binary PASS/FAIL measure.

You’ll see that, in our example above, even if you complete 95 drawings, or 950 lines of code, you’ll see it as a success.  But, the benefit of this system approach, is that you’ll actually be more likely to over-achieve, and complete more than you would have if you had just set a specific goal.  PLUS, moving forward, you’ll have a refined system in place that will help you jump right in to your next task or project.  You’ll  be amazed at the results!

Fiver Friday #3


Here’s the latest edition of Fiver Friday! There was a lot of interest for last week’s, so I am excited for everyone to have a look at this one!

  1. Over 40 Conversational Questions to Keep You from Feeling Stuck – Thrive Global, Paul Ellsworth
  2. How to Build Permanent Habits With Zero Willpower Or Motivation – The Mission, Roy Huff
  3. Do You Make These Thinking Errors? – Darius Foroux
  4. Protect Your Morning Routine to Unlock Unrivaled Work Performance – Lifehack, Brian Lee (@brianleeshl)
  5. The Do’s and Don’ts of Goal Sharing – Michael Hyatt
BONUS – On the Complicated Economics of Attention Capital – Study Hacks Blog, Cal Newport
I hope you all enjoy these, have a great weekend!

How to Get Out of a Rut at Work


We’ve all felt at one time or another that we’re just spinning our wheels at work.  Going through the same routine tasks everyday, and not feeling like we’re accomplishing or learning anything.

Here are some quick tips that I’ve learned over the years that I use when I feel like I’m stuck in a rut.

Change of Routine

Sometimes, I just feel like I’m going through the same motions at work every day.  Arrive at the same time, coffee breaks and lunch at the same time and place, and leave at the end of the day at the same time.  What I’ve found is that these routines, over time, end up making me feel like I’m stuck, even if I am satisfied with the content of the work I’m doing.  So, a sure fire way of feeling better, and getting unstuck, is to change up my routine.  I will wake up at a slightly different time and change my morning routine, or take a new route or method of getting to work, bring a different lunch, or eat and go to lunch with different colleagues.  Really any of these will help, and the more you do the better you’ll feel.  You’ll find your brain has to work a little bit harder to keep up with the routine, and you’ll feel more focused and energized.  This is almost always enough to get me out of a rut.

Find a New Collaboration

Even if you manage to make a change in your daily routine, you may still be stuck with the same tasks day after day, which can end up being a little boring.  Another sure fire way to get out of a rut like this is to find a colleague who works in a different department or field, and try and find a way to collaborate with them on a project.  Make sure your boss is OK with the extra work, but as long as you can squeeze it into your normal schedule, it shouldn’t be a problem.  Collaborating will allow you to use different parts of your brain, and also, ideally, introduce you to other networks of people, with whom you’ll be able to work on even more projects in the future.  This is a great way to get out of a rut, and also, ultimately, broaden your skills and advance your career.

Find a Mentor

Similar to collaborating, finding a good mentor can be invaluable.  If you find the right one, a mentor has been through everything you’re going through now, and knows how to deal with it.  They can lead you in the right direction to meet new people, broaden your skills, and even teach you how to get more out of what you’re working on now.  Sometimes we get so stuck in the daily routine, we fail to see the learning opportunities right in front of us.  A mentor-ship gives us the opportunity to step back and see what we may be missing.

Hope you found these interesting and useful, good luck!

Fiver Friday


Here’s another addition of Fiver Friday, where I give five links to articles I found interesting this week.  Enjoy!

  1. Tilting – A Life of Productivity, Chris Bailey
  2. The Woodworker Who Quit Email – Study Hacks Blog, Cal Newport
  3. Why Teams That Think Differently Do Better – Thrive, Emma Haak
  4. How to Maximize Your Conversations This Holiday Season – Michael Hyatt
  5. Tribe of Mentors – Intro – Tim Ferriss

Have a great weekend 🙂