Deep Work in a Distracted World

Imagine a 1-hour task taking 1-week to complete.

It sounds crazy, but it happens all the time. Research from 2016 claims that people are interrupted 50-60 times during an average workday (about once every 7-8 minutes). Worse, distractions tend to lead to more distractions. That "do you have a minute" coworker question becomes a 20-minute discussion about 2-3 other things. And, oh, by the way, one of them is urgent and needs to be done right now. The distraction rabbit hole runs deep.

My 3 Words for 2021

Year 2021

Remember that feeling at the end of 2019? It wasn't just a brand new year ahead of us. We had a brand new decade to kick off. Such potential! Such hope! So many New Year's resolutions and goals!

Of course, we all now know the joke. WTF was the point of owning a 2020 planner? By March, the world had turned upside down. Nearly every modern society was forced through a series of dramatic changes. I won't bore you with the details because, well, you lived it. You probably had to significantly alter life as you knew it as well as abandon most (or all?) of those goals.

Sometimes It's Just for Me

I love writing (to publish externally) and journaling (to keep private). However, things don't always fall neatly in one bucket. I just finished writing something I had every intention of sharing, but then something in me felt resistance. It was a moment of reflection just for me. And while I'm certain others would find it valuable, nobody else would feel the lesson as deeply as me.

I still benefitted by writing it and processing an experience of my life, but that's where the value probably ended.

Decisions Without Actions

A decision without action is not a decision.

Call it a goal, wish, or intention. But these are all mental targets.

To decide is to cut away. To decide and say yes to one thing means you are implicitly saying no to other things. Actions are the actualization of this as you move towards the things you decided upon and away from the things you did not. But action is the crucial ingredient of actualization.

Selling to Needs Versus Wants

On Black Friday, people will sleep in tents in order to be the 1st in line to save 10-20% off a new TV.

If an addict is out of money, they will go to extreme lengths to borrow, cheat, and steal (from strangers, friends, even family) in order to get their next fix.

These are just a few examples of how powerful our wants can be.

Bitcoin: Buy Now, Believe Later

When you know the inevitable is about to happen, you know that you have to start sometime and somehow. Let it be now.

For the impatient, my overall recommendation (for anyone with a net worth of over $100) is as follows: buy $100 worth of Bitcoin and do not touch it for 5-years. Seriously, hold it no matter what.

For some people, investing in cryptocurrency sounds big and scary. To make sure they are not making a huge mistake, they’ll want to put in 100s of hours of research before risking $100.

Don’t.

Well-Intentioned Assholes

Barking erupts as my dog, Linus, wakes up from a deep slumber to thrash himself off the couch before attempting to sprint to the front door. Of course, we have hardwood floors, so his paws keep slipping as you hear a constant stream of his claws scraping over and over again. Eventually, he gets to the front window to let out his loudest, scariest barks.

All because a mailman ringed the doorbell to drop off an Amazon package.

Creative Constipation

Creative space

My doctor wrote the diagnosis on the wall—FOS. I thought it was a word instead of an acronym. He interrupted. "You are full of shit."

He then reviewed my X-ray to show me just how bad it was. Apparently, a fraternity diet (filled with 2nd and 3rd helpings per dinner) combined with a massively stressful academic workload wasn't a winning combination.

Interruptions and Learned Helplessness

Imagine an alarm clock that goes off at short, random intervals. Despite all efforts to guess when the next loud noise is coming, it could be anywhere from 5 seconds to 5 minutes.

Imagine trying to work on something complicated that requires deep focus. Think of something at the level of chess or sudoku, where you might have to store lots of different options in your brain all at the same time while not losing your place.

Pages