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Goji Berries---Cat Ladders, Productivity, and How to Write Emails

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June 9 · Issue #21 · View online
Goji Berries
I started goji berries to share interesting and useful things. If you have been enjoying reading the newsletters, consider forwarding them to your friends.

1. Swiss Cat ladders. You can pre-order the book here. h/t Benedict Evans

2. Stuff I Own And Use: Artir (Nintil) has a list. So does Alexey. Includes wisdom bombs like:
“I posit that computer mouse is one of the most important workplace investments you can make – even programming is much more like a videogame (which is played with a mouse), than a command line. The only thing that makes you continue using your laptop’s touchpad and prevents you from buying a mouse right now is status quo bias.”
And for tea lovers, link to Gwern’s tea reviews. (For fans of black tea, I recommend the popular but very good, Yorkshire Gold.)

3. How to “Deep Work”: I think the precise methods for how to do “deep work” are left best to the person. But if you are still scratching your brains about how to get started, here’s a guide to deep work. Those looking for a simpler path to productivity, look no further than Adam Grant’s essay. His key point:
“Being prolific is not about time management. There are a limited number of hours in the day, and focusing on time management just makes us more aware of how many of those hours we waste.
A better option is attention management: Prioritize the people and projects that matter, and it won’t matter how long anything takes.
Attention management is the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments.”

4. The Questions of Job: A career maven shared with me the five questions you should ask when assessing your job: Pay, Challenge/Learning, Content/Domain, Work/Life, Meaning/Impact. Put each of these on a scale.

5. Terrific Writing Advice: Trish Hall, the author of the forthcoming Writing to Persuade has terrific advice about writing, texting, emailing, and such. Some hors d'oeuvre:
Tell the truth
Texting
No: Subway broke down! See you soon!
Yes: 15 minutes late. So sorry. First drink on me.
and
Just Ask
No:
Dear Everyone,
I’m involved with a group that gives scholarships to young people and I am hoping that some of you might be able to attend our celebration next Monday. Let me know if you can.
Yes:
Dear Trish,
I’m involved with a group that gives scholarships to young people and I am hoping that you can attend our celebration next Monday. A number of people you know, including John and Jim, will be there. Can I leave your name at the door? It’s at 6 p.m. at the Historical Society Building.
— Gaurav

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