Our tasks are air, and our time is a container. What we do expands to fit the time we allot it.
Give yourself thirty minutes to draft an email, and you will expand the task until the half hour is over.
Imposing constraints on yourself isn’t constrictive. Constraints fill our time balloons so that they neither drop nor pop.
The only possession you have in life is the time that you are alive.
Everything else, even the most prized item, will be taken from you eventually and wasn’t yours to begin with. Nothing else belongs to you because all else is temporary.
But the time that you are alive is and will always be yours.
So cherish it deeply.
A gift on Christmas is expected.
A gift on a random Thursday is appreciated.
When you feel reactive, wearing earplugs is a great way to re-center.
Reactivity is sensitivity to stimuli, whether sounds: the ping of an email message, sights: the push notification from a text message, or distractions: reading the news before starting your work.
Reducing some stimuli isn’t a panacea, but it sure does help.
At some point, tomorrow needs to be today.
There’s never a reason to go into a store blind. If you don’t have a plan, you’re at the mercy of the shopkeepers who know you and your preferences better than you do.
If you go to a grocery store and don’t know what you’re going to buy, you’ll buy too much.
If you go to a clothing store without a budget, you’ll spend more than you would have thought beforehand.
If you online shop for nothing in particular, you’ll end up buying something completely unexpected.
None of these things are inherently bad or mistaken. It’s just a question of whether you would do it again if you could go back in time.
If there are over five people on a Zoom call, there should be rules of engagement.
It’s good to direct questions to specific people, not the group as a whole.
Silence over Zoom is a sign that people don’t know whether they are free to speak.
Having structured conversations work better than free discussions.
I always thought people would just pull me aside, and tell me that I was special, capable, or a somebody. But that rarely, if ever, happens.
If you want guidance or support from others, you must be proactive and seek others out yourself.
And because not all of us will learn this lesson, be the person who pulls other people aside. It’s a rare and powerful thing to uplift another person. So do it wisely and often.
When we think we are sticking it to the man, are we also being used by another authority?
Are we the queen attacking the checkboard for our cause, or are we pawns in another person’s game?
IM chats, text messages, podcasts. These approximate human connection. But because they aren’t the real thing, I should be wary of overuse and dependency.
Silence and solitude feel worse at the beginning, but there is some peace on the other side. Equanimity comes from accepting that approximations are not perfect substitutes for human connection. Welcoming discomfort makes these approximations more special and real.