Alex's Audio-book Notes

  azichettello
Oct. 4, 2015, 3:07 p.m.
Edited: Oct. 25, 2015, 10:53 a.m.
LearningSelf Help

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 azichettello - 3 years, 5 months ago Open

The Five Elements of Effective Thinking

Prologue

  • The root of success to everything is thinking

  • The fundamentals of thinking for success are also the same regardless of the field

  • This book is about the those fundamentals of thinking more effectively

Introduction: Elements of Effective Thinking, Learning and Creating

  • Elements of effective thinking, learning and creating

    • Understand deeply

    • Let go of preconceived notions and biases

    • Make mistakes

    • Raise questions

    • Follow the flow of ideas

  • Earth, fire, wind, water, change

  • We are all able to live our lives more successfully than most people do

  • Lifelong learners

1: Earth

  • Successful people continuously develop the core purpose of their life

  • Master the basics in order to become comfortable with the complex

    • As you move to things more complex the fundamentals become more nuanced

  • If you can't solve a problem look for an easier problem that you can't solve

  • Clear the clutter and focus on essentials

  • Consciously acknowledge what you actually see

  • Ask “how do I know?”

  • Try alternating opinions, even to those you feel are wrong

  • Use adjectives to see the invisible

    • ex: world war 1

2: Fire

  • Microsoft founders had a first failed startup analyzing traffic data

  • Move forward sooner than later

  • If you don't know how to succeed then start by failing

  • 9 failure mindset

  • Can try to get it right or purposely get it wrong

  • Make an attempt, find a flaw, fix it, repeat

    • Defects are not identifiable until they exist

    • Particularly important for writing

  • Find the right question to the wrong answer

  • Have a bad day and reflect upon it

  • Explore extremes and exaggerate

3: Air

  • Be like Socrates

  • Questions are a profound step towards understanding

  • Ask “what if?”

  • Don't pretend to know things that you think you should know

  • Don't be intimidated...you are the best authority on what you don't understand

  • Ask questions from alternative perspectives

  • Apply ideas from one subject to another to ask new questions

  • The best way to learn is to teach

  • Why students have math phobia

  • Before doing anything stop to identify the real question

  • Ask meta questions such as what is the goal of this task

  • The goal of education should be to develop critical thinking skills

4: Water

  • See the flow of ideas by looking back and forward

  • Successful innovators harness the power of a flow of ideas

  • Great solutions come from an evolutionary process, often with thousands of contributors

  • Just do it then iterate

  • Newton himself said his success and realizations were from standing on the shoulders of giants

  • All creative geniuses start as non geniuses and take baby steps from there

  • Ask yourself what previous ideas extend into the new idea at hand

  • Guessing what's next anchors what's there

  • Look back and reflect on previously gained knowledge and insights

  • New ideas should be viewed as a beginning

  • All ideas have extensions, you just have to find them

  • Modern day kids have the advantage of seeing the way the world is right now without any biases from the past (&I)

  • Ask what's next and follow the if this then that path

  • Think 1 step back to imagine 1 step forward

  • Realize that we are all prejudicial

  • The best state is a state of working progress

5: Change

  • Develop the habit of constructive change

  • If you embrace the ability to change then you are free from worry about any defects you may have (&K)

  • Work with your eyes open

  • Alter what you do rather than how you do it

  • Vast potential exists in us all

  • Being imaginative is a skill that can be developed

  • Allow old ideas to crumble in the face of new challenges

  • Doubt yourself..it's a sign of strength (&K,&I)

  • Becoming the quintessential you

  • Making these strategies habits is key to success (&I,&K)

  • How to be a quintessential person of the world

reply

 azichettello - 3 years, 5 months ago Open

Prologue

  • The root of success to everything is thinking

  • The fundamentals of thinking for success are also the same regardless of the field

  • This book is about the those fundamentals of thinking more effectively

reply

 azichettello - 3 years, 5 months ago Open

Introduction: Elements of Effective Thinking, Learning and Creating

  • Elements of effective thinking, learning and creating

    • Understand deeply

    • Let go of preconceived notions and biases

    • Make mistakes

    • Raise questions

    • Follow the flow of ideas

  • Earth, fire, wind, water, change

  • We are all able to live our lives more successfully than most people do

  • Lifelong learners

reply

 azichettello - 3 years, 5 months ago Open

1: Earth

  • Successful people continuously develop the core purpose of their life

  • Master the basics in order to become comfortable with the complex

    • As you move to things more complex the fundamentals become more nuanced

  • If you can't solve a problem look for an easier problem that you can't solve

  • Clear the clutter and focus on essentials

  • Consciously acknowledge what you actually see

  • Ask “how do I know?”

  • Try alternating opinions, even to those you feel are wrong

  • Use adjectives to see the invisible

    • ex: world war 1

reply

 azichettello - 3 years, 5 months ago Open

2: Fire

  • Microsoft founders had a first failed startup analyzing traffic data

  • Move forward sooner than later

  • If you don't know how to succeed then start by failing

  • 9 failure mindset

  • Can try to get it right or purposely get it wrong

  • Make an attempt, find a flaw, fix it, repeat

    • Defects are not identifiable until they exist

    • Particularly important for writing

  • Find the right question to the wrong answer

  • Have a bad day and reflect upon it

  • Explore extremes and exaggerate

reply

 azichettello - 3 years, 5 months ago Open

3: Air

  • Be like Socrates

  • Questions are a profound step towards understanding

  • Ask “what if?”

  • Don't pretend to know things that you think you should know

  • Don't be intimidated...you are the best authority on what you don't understand

  • Ask questions from alternative perspectives

  • Apply ideas from one subject to another to ask new questions

  • The best way to learn is to teach

  • Why students have math phobia

  • Before doing anything stop to identify the real question

  • Ask meta questions such as what is the goal of this task

  • The goal of education should be to develop critical thinking skills

reply

 azichettello - 3 years, 5 months ago Open

4: Water

  • See the flow of ideas by looking back and forward

  • Successful innovators harness the power of a flow of ideas

  • Great solutions come from an evolutionary process, often with thousands of contributors

  • Just do it then iterate

  • Newton himself said his success and realizations were from standing on the shoulders of giants

  • All creative geniuses start as non geniuses and take baby steps from there

  • Ask yourself what previous ideas extend into the new idea at hand

  • Guessing what's next anchors what's there

  • Look back and reflect on previously gained knowledge and insights

  • New ideas should be viewed as a beginning

  • All ideas have extensions, you just have to find them

  • Modern day kids have the advantage of seeing the way the world is right now without any biases from the past (&I)

  • Ask what's next and follow the if this then that path

  • Think 1 step back to imagine 1 step forward

  • Realize that we are all prejudicial

  • The best state is a state of working progress

reply

 azichettello - 3 years, 5 months ago Open

5: Change

  • Develop the habit of constructive change

  • If you embrace the ability to change then you are free from worry about any defects you may have (&K)

  • Work with your eyes open

  • Alter what you do rather than how you do it

  • Vast potential exists in us all

  • Being imaginative is a skill that can be developed

  • Allow old ideas to crumble in the face of new challenges

  • Doubt yourself..it's a sign of strength (&K,&I)

  • Becoming the quintessential you

  • Making these strategies habits is key to success (&I,&K)

  • How to be a quintessential person of the world

reply

 azichettello - 3 years, 4 months ago Open

The Practicing Mind

Introduction

  • We have to learn to welcome and enjoy the art of practice in order to overcome the challenges in our lives (&I)

  • We have to find joy in doing rather than in achieving (&I)

    • Most of our time spent is on the action and not the result

    • Enjoying the act of doing is the most important skill to have

  • Author's background is in music

    • Played many interests

      • Guitar

      • Piano

      • Saxophone

    • Applied these concepts initially towards learning instruments

    • Realized that these concepts apply to all areas of his life (&I)

      • Ex: Even raising a child is highly related to the act of practicing

  • Focus on presence while learning, practicing and doing (*T)

Chapter 1: The Learning Begins

  • Life is on continuous practice session (&K)

  • The foundations of effective practice are: (&I)

    • Understanding the fundamentals

      • To improve this, I should slow things down more in the beginning (|A,*T)

        • Ex: Slow down the tempo of drum playing or typing

    • Being aware of what you are doing

      • This is sometimes challenging for me (|A)

        • To fix this, consider recording myself (*T)

    • Being dedicated to the practice

      • Discipline/self control

  • Our culture dictates that we always need to be multi-tasking

    • This is very bad for our ability to learn and practice effectively

    • We need to be aware of our thoughts

      • Presence and mindfulness is crucial in learning and effective practice (&I)

  • Initially this book was designed to learn how to play instruments

    • But the principles helped him write the book, start a business and be successful in other ways so he expanded the book into more than just music (&I)

  • Slow down when learning fundamentals (*T)

  • Record myself to help with self awareness as appropriate (*T)

Chapter 2: Process, Not Product

  • Authors approach to learning golf

    • Spent an hour a day reviewing the lessons taught

    • Used a cut golf club to practice indoors

    • Focused on immersing himself in the practice

  • To truly learn, we must focus on the process of practice and immerse ourselves in each moment of it (&I)

  • Two common mistakes when learning how to do something (&I)

    • 1) They don’t take the time to develop the mechanics/fundamentals of what they want to learn

    • 2) They focus on the goal at all times

      • The goal should be to have effective practice session

  • Shifting your goal from the product to the process

    • If the goal is to perform the practice session with as much focus as possible, then you could feel good after each session if you do so well (&K)

    • We can’t focus on the process when we have the end goal in mind

  • Practice vs. learning

    • Learning can be done passively

      • Reading or seeing something

      • Doesn’t necessarily require deep awareness

    • Practice must be active

      • Requires doing something repeatedly, training

      • Requires deep awareness and focus

  • Society grooms people to be results oriented

    • School focuses on the grade you get

      • They get funding based on grades

    • Makes us anxious about the result

  • The author was a B and sometimes A student except for math which he hated

    • He explains his struggles with math

      • Discuss with Leanne (|A,*T)

  • Authors experience going to school as an adult with people right out of high school

    • A bunch of classmates cheated and got rewarded with a good grade without learning anything

  • Our education system wipes the process away and replaces it with a single number

  • The Japanese society is more process oriented than western society

    • Musical instruments

    • Technology

    • Automotive

  • The goal should be treated as a rudder only (&I)

    • We should be most concerned with putting concerted effort in moving in the right direction at every moment

  • The problem with patience and discipline is that developing each of them requires both of them (&K)

  • We have a get-it-now culture which harms are happiness

    • Using credit cards to get things before we have money for it

      • The process of working for something brings more joy than actually buying the thing (&I)

    • We don’t really get much happiness at all from things, rather we get it from our actions; the process (&I)

  • Share concepts of this chapter with Leanne (*+T)

Chapter 3: It’s How You Look At It

  • We have an unrealistic idea of achieving perfection at everything we do

    • There is a method to use to help us get over this:(&K)

      • “And then?”

  • Advertising preys on the concepts that all is not right until you get something or go somewhere

  • At what stage of the life of a flower is it perfect? (&K)

    • At every stage, it is perfect at what it’s supposed to do

    • We are the same way

      • As beginners, we are perfect as beginners

      • And so on

    • We should not have anxiety about the distance between that which we are not and that which we are (&I)

  • In order to be mindful, we cannot be assessing how we are doing at any moment (&I)

    • Our focus must be on the act itself and not the self assessment during the act

    • We need to decide what we want to do (set goal) before we do it and then not think about the goal throughout the entire action

    • Goals are set in order to determine what we should spend our time on in life (&K)

  • Martial arts

    • The idea of martial arts has been corrupted by society and marketing

    • True martial arts is a way to train presence through the threat of bodily injury yet in a safe environment (&K)

      • Introducing a threat helps one train presence

    • Consider learning martial arts sometime in my life but preferably in the near future (|A)

      • I think this type of physical training would help balance me

        • Dancing is also something that may help

  • Beginners mind (&I)

    • The perspective of a beginner which allows us to think about all the details without any automatic or habitual reaction

    • Over time, we lose beginners mind and our capacity to improve is crippled because we become unaware of what we are even doing

    • Example: Driving

  • One place we natural display a lot of presence is during video games (&K)

    • Though there is an end goal, the game itself is fun and therefore the end result is just superficial as the purpose is the fun playing it

    • Consider what about video game is different than anything else (|A,*T)

      • Is it simply just the amount of stimulation that exists in a video game?

      • If so, then how do we become more stimulated by routine activities?

    • Consider whether video games should be used for training children (|A,*T)

  • The only difference between work and play is that we prejudge things that are work as not fun and things that are play as fun (&K)

    • We need to stop prejudging activities as either fun or not fun and begin to see everything as a recreation (&I)

    • The reality is that nothing is really work or play (&K)

      • Some people see it one way or the other

      • If we feel like something is work we should stop and think why we feel like that activity is work and consider whether something can be done to alter your perception (*T,&I)

  • When we are making a lot of decisions, whether small or big, it tends to make us associate the action with the result of the action and therefore distances ourselves from presence (&I,&K)

  • Try this technique: (*T)

    • Take anything you normally see as tedious or difficult work and spend the first half hour performing the activity mindfully and then continue resuming your normal attitude

      • Don’t try to enjoy it, simply be aware of what you’re doing (&I)

        • If you try to enjoy it, it can negatively impact your attitude by frustrating you

  • Try the “and then?” perspective (*T)

  • Consider learning martial arts as a way of training physical presence (*T)

  • Consider learning how to dance as a way of training physical presence (*T)

  • Try mindfulness technique on an activity for 30 minute intervals (*T)

Chapter 4: Creating The Habits That We Desire

  • Awareness

    • We need to be aware of what we are thinking, what we are doing and what we are trying to accomplish in order to alter our experiences in life (&I)

  • Habits

    • Controls how we react to things naturally

    • Habits are formed by the things we do repeatedly over time

    • Practice is the way to deliberately form a habit (&I)

    • Habits of mind are formed all the time (&I)

      • When we repeat a certain mental thought, we develop a habit unknowingly

      • When we deliberately take control of our thought processes, we can create positive habits of thought

  • Sports science

    • Habits are studied all the time for sports because the most effective performance happens without thinking about; habitually with little no response time (&K)

    • Sports experience has shown that a habit can be successfully developed with repetition of that activity 60 times a day for 21 days (&I)

      • This amount is probably dependant on the activity and the particular person and how much effort is spent on the activity as well (|A)

  • On building habits and struggling

    • When you are aware of the habit you are trying to perform, you don’t have to be frustrated with lack of results since the habit with form naturally with the repetition (&I)

      • The better perspective is to see the mere act of repeating the activity as a success, whether it is comfortable/easy or not

        • Review this concept with Leanne (|A,*T)

  • How to eliminate a bad habit or replace it with a good one (&I)

    • Before we start building habits, we need to first decide how we should react before the situation arises when we are in a mindful state

    • As practice, you could simulate the situation in your mind to practice the reaction

      • When the actual situation happens, it is quite difficult to stay to your intentions because the habit overtakes our control

      • In order to overcome this, you should pick a trigger that alerts you to the habit

    • Use the trigger to remind you to act the way you intend

    • Over time the reaction to the trigger will become autonomous and the habit will be formed

  • Try setting habit goals that include a particular number of repetitions for a particular duration of time, e.g. 60 times a day for 21 days (*T)

  • Try using mental simulation and triggers to form habits (*T)

Chapter 5: Perception Change Creates Patience

  • There aren’t many principles that you need to understand to live joyfully and productively in life (&I)

    • Life has a way of making those few principles slip away from us all the time (&K)

      • This is why it is good to refresh your awareness and learn about the principles from different angles which helps to habitualize the principles

        • Rereading books or reading new books about the same thing is good for this reason

        • The Power of Now attacks a central questions from many angles in a single book (|A)

      • The hard part is continuously living the principles (|A)

  • Patience

    • Another angle of looking at everything in this book

    • A virtue that comes before all other virtues

    • Patience is about being okay with the way things currently are and the rate at which things are currently changing (&I)

      • Being patient allows one to be happy at any time

  • Developing patience

    • Presence helps us develop patience

    • Realize that there is no true perfection (&I)

      • Perfection is defined based on where we are right now

      • As we change, our idea of perfection changes

      • Perfection as we currently see it is an illusion of your current perspective

  • Real joy comes from the ability to experience and appreciate your improvement moment by moment (&,&K)

    • There is no way to be satisfied by reaching a destination

      • The author discovered this in regards to self improvement in instrument playing

      • He had to learn to enjoy the act of practicing and improving rather than attaining a certain level of ability or perfection

  • Stop looking at your progress and for progress and you’ll develop immensely more patience and dedication in your efforts, especially in endeavours that are large (&I)

    • When you achieve this level of patience with yourself and endeavours: (&I)

      • Your ability to persevere significantly increases

      • Your self confidence improves drastically

        • Talk to Leanne about this (|A,*T)

  • Elevate the importance of patience in my life (*T)

Chapter 6: The Four “S” Words

  • The four “s” words are: (&I)

    • Simple

      • Take a complex activity and break it down to it’s basic components

      • Helps you focus on what’s next

    • Short

      • Keep the duration of doing something challenging short (&K)

        • Especially if you are having trouble starting or if it’s difficult to spend a lot of time doing it

    • Small

      • Break down the large goal into smaller goals that are manageable

    • Slow

      • Take your time doing the activity so you can fully understand the details of what you are doing

      • Taking your time also makes time less relevant or completely irrelevant during the activity (&K)

        • This is flow (|A)

      • It is a common mistake to try to do things quicker to finish quicker

        • This causes more mishaps and missing things including integral learning

        • Trying to do things fast generally has the result of taking longer to do things because you do it less consistently (&K)

          • So take your time

  • Example

    • Cleaning the garage

      • Break it down into sections

      • Do it for specific short intervals

      • Take your time

  • Working slow and deliberately gets things done faster (&I,&K)

    • The important part here is being deliberate

      • Purposefully slow rather than accidentally slow

      • Don’t confuse this with doing something in a distracted state of mind

    • We operate better when we are relaxed and working consistently

    • Avoid rushing because it introduces a lot of wasted effort

      • Mentally and physically

    • Try this principle on anything or everything in life (*T)

  • Stop thinking about the time you are spending doing on something (&I)

    • The only reason you should care about the time is if it is absolutely crucial to finish in a specific time period

      • It very rarely is

    • Continue to practice this during meditation in particular (|A,*T)

      • Set it and forget it...

  • All the four “s” words are interrelated

    • In order to do something slowly, it helps to break it down to smaller bits

  • We can even do this while brushing our teeth

  • Apply the four “s” words to anything particularly challenging in life (*T)

  • Stop thinking about time or wasting time during activities...set it and forget it (*T)

Chapter 7: Equanimity and DOC

  • Equanimity

    • Even-temperedness and calmness

    • A virtue everyone should develop

  • People that display supreme equanimity don’t seem to be affected by anything, whether good or bad

    • This is because equanimity is characterized by a non-judgmental perspective (&K)

  • Judgments are always based on some preconceived ideal or idea of perfection

    • They are grounded in a relative truth

    • But ultimately they are illusions

  • Judgments are almost always tied to an emotion which skews are ability to perform effectively

  • The quiet observer vs. the ego (&I)

    • Similar concept to what is described in The Power of Now (|A)

    • (11 mins into chapter)

    • In order to become non-judgmental we have to align ourselves with the observer and not the ego, the one judging and feeling (&I)

      • When you align yourself with the true self you can allow your ego to run rampant and yet not affect your behavior

      • The ego will always exist but need not control you (|A)

    • The best way to develop your alignment with the quiet observer is through meditation (&I)

      • It’s a way to train your ability to exist as the quiet observer in despite of the ego

  • DOC

    • Do, observe, correct

    • A supplement to meditation that helps one align oneself with the quiet observer and live non-judgmentally

    • How DOC works (&I)

      • Focus on what you are doing

        • Do not evaluate/judge yourself during the action

      • Observe the outcome and evaluate the result

        • Don’t confuse evaluating with judging

        • Evaluating avoids the idea of good and bad and focuses on the particular quality of the details (&K)

      • Make adjustments to the action

    • I should try to apply DOC to things other than meditation (|A,*T)

      • Tennis

      • Basketball

      • Ping Pong

      • Typing

      • etc.

  • Han Solo’s reaction to challenge: “Here’s where the fun begins” (&K)

    • This is the attitude we should have in regards to dealing with challenges with our own mind

    • I have this attitude for the most part except when I start getting worn down and tired (|A,&KA)

      • I generally get worn down when I’m tired of a particular activity or when I’m lacking confidence in my ability to achieve a desired result

      • Sometimes it is because I’m distracted by something else

  • Use DOC to take control of your emotional reactions to difficult situations or events in life (&K)

  • If we go too far to control our actions too quickly we may burn out (&I)

    • We need to be aware of when we have gone too far and need some time to relax

    • Be patient with yourself and you will build more discipline over time

  • Practice DOC in all skill based activities in my life (*T)

Chapter 8: Teach and Learn From Children

  • Wisdom is not a byproduct of age...teach and learn from all those around you (&K)

  • What are the fundamental differences between children and adults? (&I)

    • It’s not what they want but rather their perception of life

      • Time goes slower as a child and time becomes more precious as an adult

        • It’s difficult to teach a child because they don’t see the point in doing something for the future

        • Children have more presence than adults as a result

          • So we can learn how to live with more presence by watching children (&K)

  • What are effective ways to teach a child? (&I)

    • Children learn best from experience but have trouble thinking about the result of their current actions on the future

      • So instead, teach a child to see the result of their past actions on their present situation (&K)

        • You can do this having them discuss their thoughts and feelings and then taking notes so they can think about them later (&A)

    • Upon them wanting/needing something, explain that you will give it to them after they do something good in the future

      • Teach the delayed gratification (&I)

      • Teach them that their emotions are fleeting (&I)

        • Pogo-stick story: His child didn’t want the pogo-stick after 2 weeks

    • Be a positive role model

      • If you display positive behavior in the home, especially early on, the child will likely emulate that behavior

  • Learning from children

    • It is egotistical to believe you cannot learn from someone younger than you, even a child (&I)

      • A child’s brain is different than yours

      • Society is different today from when you were a child so they may have more insights that you didn’t have

      • And there are even children that are more mature than adults

  • As we teach children, we should be taking the same advice that we give them

    • We should learn as we teach (&I)

  • Incorporate the concepts of this chapter into children raising notes (*T)

  • Start learning from children more (*T)

Chapter 9: Your Skills Are Growing

  • Nothing in this book is new knowledge (&K)

    • Everything that was taught is something that must be learned by every new generation and is centuries old

  • All things are fleeting but our spirit is permanent

    • We need to focus on living a deep and meaningful life (&I)

  • Review this book when I’m struggling with focus and discipline in life (*T)

reply

 azichettello - 3 years, 4 months ago Open

Eat That Frog!

Chapter 1: Introduction

  • You will never catch up; there will always be more to do than you have time for (&K,&I)

  • You cannot teach someone that which he doesn't know, you could only bring that which someone knows to a higher level of awareness -Galileo (&K)

  • Learn from other successful people then apply what you learned

  • To succeed you need to focus on the most important thing and do it well and see it through to completion (&I)

  • This book is about actions, not science or theory or psychology

  • 21 methods and techniques that apply to various aspects of success

  • Prioritization and getting the important things done is the best way to find success (&I,&K)

  • Work on the hardest of the most important challenges first (&I)

  • Don't think about things you know you have to do; just do them first thing in the morning (&K,&I)

  • 95% of success comes from the habits you develop (&K,&I)

  • Important task completion gives you a rush of endorphins and dopamine such that it can easily become a habit if you just start and make it a routine

    • Become addicted to starting and completing important tasks

    • Think continuously about the rewards and benefits of being an action oriented person and it will come more naturally

  • Clarity of purpose is the most important part of personal productivity (&I)

  • A great rule to follow is to think on paper (&I)

  • 7 step formula

    • 1. Decide exactly what you want

    • 2. Write it down

    • 3. Set a deadline on your goal

    • 4. Make a list of everything you will need to do to complete your goal

    • 5. Organize your list into a plan

    • 6. Take action immediately

    • 7. Resolve to do something every day that moves you towards your major goal

  • Never miss a day

  • Think about your goals and review them daily and then take action right away

Chapter 2: Plan every day in advance

  • Make good plans before you act (&I)

    • A few minutes of planning each day saves lots of wasted energy throughout the day

  • Always work from a list (&I)

  • You can make your list the night before to get your subconscious solving problems

  • You should have a master list, monthly list, weekly list and daily list (&K)

  • Set priorities and sequences (&K)

  • Make a master list in Laddice and organize into monthly, weekly and daily tasks based on priorities (*T)

Chapter 3: Apply the 80-20 rule to everything

  • Most people procrastinate the vital few and busy themselves with unimportant items (&K)

  • Always ask yourself if what you're doing is in the top 20% or bottom 80% and never do the bottom 80% until the top 20% is complete (&I)

Chapter 4: Consider the consequences

  • The potential consequences of an activity is the key way to evaluate the importance of a task (&K)

  • Long term perspective is the best way to success (&I)

    • Long term thinking improves short term decision making

  • Before starting anything ask yourself what are potential consequences of doing or not doing it

  • Future intent influences present actions (&K)

  • Successful people delay gratification

  • There is never enough time to do everything but often plenty of time to do the most important things (&K)

  • Research shows that the pressure of deadlines and the resulting stress reduce efficiency (&K,&I)

  • What can you and only you do that will make a difference? (&K)

Chapter 5: Practice creative procrastination

  • Procrastinate or delegate low value activities (&K)

  • Avoid unconscious procrastination at all costs (&I)

Chapter 6: Practice the ABCDE method continuously

  • The first law of success is concentration

  • ABCDE method:

    • A = high impact, high importance item

    • B = important but not nearly as much as A

    • C = not important but nice to do

    • D = something that could be delegated

    • E = something that could be eliminated

  • Then label each item in order of importance

    • A1 is the biggest frog

  • Try ABCDE method (*T)

Chapter 7: Focus on key result areas

  • There are generally 5 to 7 key vital functions you need to perform in any job

  • What are my key result areas? (&I)

  • Your poorest key result area is what holds you back (&I)

  • Identify your areas of weakness and set goals to improve them (&I)

  • What 1 skill if developed well would have the greatest impact on my career?

  • Never stop improving your key result areas

  • What are my key result areas? (*+T)

  • What are my poorest areas? (*+T)

  • Work on weakest areas (*T)

Chapter 8: The law of 3

  • The ultimate goal is generally to live a long and happy life

  • Determine the 3 most important things I do at work and then ask what would be the impact of doing just those things and nothing else (&K)

    • Do this for all aspects of life too

  • What are the 3 most important things I do at work and in life? Can I just do those things? (*T)

Chapter 9: Prepare thoroughly before you begin

  • Have everything you need at hand before you begin and executing will be much easier

  • Make your work area nice and comfortable to complete tasks

  • Get it 80% right the first time then correct it later (&K)

  • Consider making work area nicer (*T)

Chapter 10: Take it one oil barrel at a time

  • Focus on one thing at a time

Chapter 11: Upgrade your key skills

  • A major contributor to procrastination is a feeling of inadequacy in one or more areas required to complete the task (&K)

    • So you need to learn the things you feel you are inadequate in

  • Continuous learning is required to succeed in any field

    • Read in your field for at least an hour a day

    • Take courses and seminars

    • Listen to audio books and programs in the car

  • Turn driving time into learning time and it could be enough to become an expert in any field (&K)

  • Identify the key skills that will help you the most in your field and develop those skills

Chapter 12: Leverage your special talents

  • Identify your special area of uniqueness and then become very good in those areas

    • What do you naturally do well that others have to struggle with?

  • What do you enjoy the most?

  • What is my special area of uniqueness and how can I develop it? (*T)

Chapter 13: Identify your key constraints

  • What is holding you back or slowing you down? (&I)

  • Identify the current limiting factor

  • Once you eliminate one constraint there is always the next one to conquer (&K)

  • Eliminating key constraints is often the most important frog and always feels good to get it done (&I,&K)

  • Identify my key constraints and work to eliminate them (*T)

Chapter 14: Put the pressure on yourself

  • Only about 2% of people could work entirely without supervision; we call them leaders (&K)

  • Always look for ways to go the extra mile

  • Build up your reputation to yourself (&I,&K)

  • Work as though you have only one day to complete the task at hand

  • Create your own forcing system and set deadlines and sub deadlines on all activities (&I)

  • Estimate the time it will take to finish each item then race to win and complete it faster making it a game (&K)

  • Always have personal deadlines for everything I set out to do then try to beat them (*T)

Chapter 15: Maximize your personal powers

  • Stay fully rested (&I)

  • Identify the times of the day you at your best and use those times to accomplish your most challenging tasks (&I,&K)

  • Sometimes the very best use of your time is to go home early and sleep for 10 hours straight (&I,&K)

  • Take 1 full day off per week and do nothing that taxes your brain on that day; spend time with family or friends, watch a movie, exercise, etc. (&I,&K)

  • Take vacations

  • Start day with high protein, low fat, low carb breakfast (&I)

  • Avoid very sugary things (&I)

  • Exercise for 30 minutes a day (&I)

  • Make sure I emphasize a healthy lifestyle in order to stay productive (*T)

    • Plenty of sleep

    • Working at peak hours (6-9AM)

    • Days off for rest (1 a week?)

    • Vacations

    • Nutrition

    • Exercise

    • Meditate*

Chapter 16: Motivate yourself into action

  • Be an optimist and always respond positively to people and actions and events (&I)

  • Continue to tell yourself you can do it

  • The last great freedom of mankind is the freedom to choose your attitude under any external situation - Viktor Frankl (Logotherapy) (&K,&I)

  • Never share your problems with others because 80% don't care and about 20% are glad you have the problems (&K)

  • Optimists: (&I)

    • 1) Always find the positive

    • 2) Always find the lesson from each set back

    • 3) Become action oriented instead of blaming and complaining

    • Optimists also think a lot about their goals and future, not their past or where they have came from

  • Talking to your self in a positive way gives you a sense of power and control (&K,&I)

  • You become what you think about most of the time

  • Refuse to criticize, complain or blame for anything (&I)

  • Focus on keeping optimistic (*T)

Chapter 17: Get out of the technological time sinks

  • There is more to life than just speed -Gandhi (&K)

  • Detach from technology on a regular basis

  • Discipline yourself to use technology as a servant, not a master

  • Just leave things off

  • There is no need to read or watch the news...if something is important people will tell you at their first opportunity! (&K)

    • You just need to have a social network or be around people enough (&KA)

  • Try avoiding using technology at times that it makes sense (*T)

Chapter 18: Slice and dice the task

  • Salami slice approach

    • Divide task into many slices and do one slice at a time

  • Swiss cheese approach

    • Working for a set time period and then resting

    • This is likened to the pomodoro technique (&KA)

  • Compulsion to completion is often experienced (&K)

  • Salami slice and swiss cheese methods are great ways to overcome procrastination

Chapter 19: Create large chunks of time

  • Make appointments with yourself and be disciplined to keep them

  • Getting up early in the morning when no one else could bother is a great way to get a lot done

  • Work on an airplane

  • Work uninterrupted and steady during the allocated time block (&K)

    • This allows you to get things done faster

  • Try creating appointments on my calendar to get important things done (*T)

  • Try working through an activity without interruption (*T)

Chapter 20: Develop a sense of urgency

  • Work steadily

  • Get into a flow state

  • What is flow? (*RT)

  • An inner drive of urgency often contributes to achieving flow (&K)

  • The momentum effect

  • Keep repeating:

    • “Do it now”

    • “Back to work”

  • Try getting into a state of flow (*T)

Chapter 21: Single handle every task

  • Keep working on a project continuously till it is complete

  • Concentrate single mindedly on the most important task and don't stop

  • The more you discipline yourself to work through a task, the greater efficiency you develop (&K)

  • Self discipline leads to higher self respect which leads to a greater ability to be more self disciplined (&K,&I)

  • Summary of the 21 great ways to conquer procrastination (*RT)

  • Review and outline summary (*T)

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