Monday, August 8, 2022

Maximize your mindset with these tips


  1. How can you better adopt a “systems” mindset to maximize your creative output while minimizing your time and effort?
    Self-improvement and personal development are about improving your memory, mind, thinking, and decisions. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I want to produce better results over time. I want to achieve bigger goals while working less and putting in less effort; that’s leverage. When I think about the long-term vision of my life, I’m tired of trying to become this superhuman optimized machine-like entity.

    Instead, I want to create systems. And so your job is not to do the work; your job is to create the systems that do the work. It’s a decoupling of the value you’re creating from the hours you’re putting into your business and career. It’s such a subtle but huge shift; that’s what a second brain is. It’s a system; it’s a point of leverage for you to create, be more productive, and make more creative outputs, decisions, and experiences without having to just pour in more and more of your own time and effort.
  2. How can you create a second brain to better unlock your creative potential?
    A second brain is a system of personal knowledge management. It’s not as simple as downloading an app; you need three things to build a second brain: the tool, the behavior, and the mindset. 
    • The Tool: The best tool is the simple notes app you likely already have on your digital devices. The power of note-taking comes in its informality. How many great ideas come from a whiteboard session, all these scribbles and crazy diagrams, and suddenly something emerges. Creativity cannot be rigid and precise; it needs to be messy and somewhat chaotic. We can have that kind of messiness and chaos while also benefiting from the incredible capabilities of technology if we get those ideas and capture them digitally. 
    • The Behavior: The four-part framework is called code. C-O-D-E stands for capture, organize, distill, and express. Think of it as a production line you adopt as a part of your daily routine. Four things have to happen:
      • Capture: It has to be saved digitally somewhere that you can access
      • Organize: It has to be organized to know what's important, what's not, or what's important in a given situation. 
      • Distill: It has to be boiled down to the essence
      • Express: This is communication. It's to express yourself, your ideas, tell your story, share your message, and make an impact. 
    • The Mindset: People must put aside the note-taking they learned in school and consider note-taking as a companion to their ongoing learning. There’s a big return on investment here: the notes you take can become part of your lifelong learning of projects and goals. Your second brain is like the map of everything you’re undergoing on your journey that you might want to reference in the future, which is a much more long-term perspective.
  3. How can you better filter what you capture and what you leave behind to maximize saving only the most transformative insights?
    The best filter requires a simple adjustment toward what is surprising and what resonates with you. You can’t use too much energy or intellectual effort at the capture stage because not much value is created there. Instead, the value is created when you organize, distill, and express. You need capture to be so low effort and frictionless that it is much more effective over the long term to use emotions like surprise or resonance to decide what to keep.

    I see how people read and highlight. They’re highlighting every remotely good idea, stuff they already know and agree with. Instead, save very sparingly. Only keep the highlights that blow your mind—the ones that are so surprising they make you stop and sit back, almost like you’re in shock. 

    Your second brain is like a CliffsNotes, a portable collection you have of the key points to remind you that they exist and what they are. Once you’ve retrieved it, you can spend all the time you want going back and finding all the details, but the key is finding that genuinely moving piece of information and capturing it effortlessly.
  4. How can you implement the PARA framework to supercharge organizing your digital life?
    CODE is how to take action and move information from input to output. PARA is how you store things. It’s the organizational hierarchy, but the key is instead of a vast system, like a library with categories and subcategories, there are only four categories:

    P - Projects which are currently active
    A - Areas of ongoing responsibilities in your work and life 
    R - Resources that you’re collecting
    A - Archives are everything from the past that is no longer active

    It’s a simple hierarchy. There’s a project folder and then a folder for each project. There are two levels. You can’t go down more than two levels. You can start this in 60 seconds. Go into your notes app, or whatever program you’re using, and create one folder for each active project you’re working on. This exercise is really powerful. People are like, “What’s the big deal? I know what I’m working on.” I would suggest you don’t. You have projects in the back of your mind and projects on the back burner; you have projects that you’re working on actively that you haven’t even identified as a project. Making a project list is one of the most powerful exercises to organize your digital life.
  5. How can you leverage the “just in time” approach to maximize executing successful projects?
    A question a lot of people have is when do you do your organizing? You’ve captured all these notes. Do you sit down once a day, once a week, or once a month? 

    My approach to executing projects is called “just in time”. I have no regular cadence because the ideal time to sit down and organize your notes is not on any schedule. It’s the moment you decide to start a project. Think about it. If you’re coming out of a meeting with your boss, they’ve said, “okay, it’s time to redesign the website. This is a top priority project”. The minute that project comes into existence, suddenly, you know what you’re trying to do. Suddenly you have goals, constraints, and you know what the competing priorities are. Five minutes earlier, when that project was not started, what basis would you even organize your notes? According to what?
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