Smarter Faster Better

Freakonomics Radio is one of my favorite podcasts. It explores the hidden side of everything and in an episode from 2016 it explored how to be more productive. As with many things, productivity means different things in different situations.

For his book Smarter Faster Better Charles Duhigg talked to more than 400 people about the secrets of being productive in life and business. Not that this is my main goal in life, but it’s still very useful to know about  the most important productivity tools and skills.

Charles had this basic rule for his book, which was that when someone told him something that they felt made them more productive, that he wouldn’t include it in the book unless it seemed to be universal. And so if he talked to over 400 people, he probably heard 300 different ideas about how to increase productivity.

But what he would find is that one set of ideas would work for a group and then another group would say exactly the opposite. So a good example of this is, like, the fanatical devotion on one goal at all costs. When he talked to people in Silicon Valley, they would say

Here’s the most important thing on being productive, is that you choose, like, one outcome and you just remain persistent.

And then he would talk to people in big companies and they’d say

Here’s the thing about being productive. You have to be flexible. You can’t commit yourself to one goal.

And this happened again and again and again, except that he did notice that there was this small handful of consistent ideas that kept on coming up. As he boiled through all of these stories and all of these papers that he was reading and all of these experts, there were really only eight things that came up again and again and again.

The 8 Ultimate Productivity Tools or Skills

  1. Motivation
    We trigger self-motivation by making choices that make us feel in control. The act of asserting ourselves and taking control helps trigger the parts of our neurology where self-motivation resides.
  2. Focus
    We train ourselves how to pay attention to the right things and ignore distractions by building mental models, which means that we essentially narrate to ourselves what’s going on as it goes on around us.
  3. Goal-setting
    Everyone actually needs two different kinds of goals. You need a stretch goal, which is like this big ambition, but then you have to pair that with a specific plan on how to get started tomorrow morning.
  4. Decision making
    People who make the best decisions tend to think probabilistically. They envision multiple, often contradictory, futures and then try and figure out which one is more likely to occur.
  5. Innovation
    The most creative environments are ones that allow people to take clichés and mix them together in new ways. And the people who are best at this are known as innovation brokers. They’re people who have their feet in many different worlds and, as a result, they know which ideas can click together in a novel combination.
  6. Absorbing data
    Sometimes the best way to learn is to make information harder to absorb. This is known in psychology as “disfluency.” The harder we have to work to understand an idea or to process a piece of data, the stickier it becomes in our brain.
  7. Managing others
    The best managers put responsibility for solving a problem with the person who’s closest to that problem, because that’s how you tap into everyone’s unique expertise.
  8. Teams
    Who is on a team matters much, much less than how a team interacts.

Die ultimative Fettverbrennungsmaschine

Vor einigen Monaten habe ich mich mir einen Teil von The 4 Hour Body zu Gemüte geführt, muss aber zugeben, dass es mir etwas zu detailliert und langatmig war. Wenn man im Netz nach gesunder Ernährung oder Fettverbrennung sucht, bekommt man eine Unzahl von Empfehlungen serviert, die einen entweder auch „überfordern“ oder skeptisch machen, vor allem wenn jemand dann noch ein fragwürdiges E-Book verkaufen möchte mit unerträglich suggestivem Gelaber.

Über den The Grind Podcast von Lars Müller, der sich viel mit unternehmerischen Themen befasst, bin ich dann lustigerweise ohne direkt danach zu suchen auf die aktuelle Folge 48 gestossen, welche den marktschreierischen, Klicks und Zuhörer erbettelnden Titel „Wie du zur ultimativen Fettverbrennungsmaschine wirst“ trägt. Aber nicht abschrecken lassen, der Inhalt ist erste Sahne.

Lars unterhält sich mit der Sportwissenschaftlerin Tina Heinrich von Aeroscan, einem innovativen, wissenschaftlich anerkannter Atemgastest, der die Basis für individuelle und effiziente Bewegungs- und Trainingspläne liefert. Das Verfahren ist offenbar der seit über hundert Jahren anerkannte Goldstandard der Sportmedizin, die Spiroergometrie.

Obwohl es zwischendurch auch medizinische Fachbegriffe hagelt, kann man die Inhalte auch als Laie gut verstehen. Mich hat der Podcast jedenfalls überzeugt, nach Freiburg zu fahren und einen Aeroscan durchzuführen, um mehr über meinen Körper zu erfahren und wie ich mit minimalem Aufwand den grössten Effekt erziele. In der Gefahr dass es evtl. mehr als 7 Minuten täglich Sport benötigt, um sichtbare Ergebnisse zu erhalten.

(Beitragsbild von Pexels)

Not Lucky. Chosen.

That’s a quote from the fascinating sci-fi AI (artificial intelligence) movie EX_MACHINA. In the movie it refers to Caleb, the most talented coder in a company similar to Google.

Today, I somehow imagined to realize, though, that we’re all not lucky, but chosen when I reflected a Facebook post by Christian (also quoted below). Right, some people also  try to write meaningful stuff on Facebook. Sort of the really alternative facts, i.e. fundamental laws of nature or consciousness.

I’m aware that this might come across a bit cheesy or esoteric, but it might be more „scientific“ than many scientifically minded folks are willing to admit.

Remember to be grateful and happy for anything that triggers, scares and „makes you sad or lonely“.

It is your greatest friend showing you EXACTLY where you have given your power away and clouded your perception from the bliss of your true nature.

Every contraction and „negative“ experience is equally worthy of love and acknowledgement as the expanding and „positive“ ones. Treating your experience as such will reveal the gift that lies in any given situation, which always is here to serve your highest benefit and evolution.

Then when you no longer resist the natural and perfect flow of life, you will find that you will be more free to choose your experience consciously.

Greater freedom of choice, comes from greater freedom of being. If you find that you are having a hard time choosing your experience freely, maybe it is because you are running away from something(only ever more of yourself) that you dont allow yourself to be with.

Allow yourself to be with life, it will not destroy you, only your erroneous, yet innocent idea of yourself which is in many ways the very thing holding you back from expanding into your truest desire:
Connection with the source within, which is connection with all life.

Celebrate all life, not just your idea of it and the true divine nature that lies at the foundation of it all will be made apparent to you.

This is a key to a happy existence.