Have smartphones destroyed a generation?

This article paints a scary picture. As a father of 4 young ones for whom “screen time” is a highlight of each day, I have a lot of trepidation on the entire topic. It’s a longer read, but the essence of it is that despite being safer during the teen years than most generations before them, teens today have a higher rate of mental illness. I found the article well written, with the author eschewing the need to wax nostalgic: To those of us who fondly recall a more analog adolescence, this may seem foreign and troubling. The aim…

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Why you need “white space” in your daily routine

On the topic of habits, Jocelyn K. Glei makes the case for ensuring your have whitespace in your day (aka margin). She’s drawing from the design principle and applying it to every day life. We need white space in our daily lives just as much as we need it in our designs because the concept carries over: If our lives are over-cluttered and over-booked, we can’t focus properly on anything. What’s more, this way of working actually shrinks our ability to think creatively.The older I get, the more of this I find myself needing margin. This…

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How I got my attention back

Here’s another enjoyable essay from Craig Mod. He’s one of my very favourite writers and this article was no different. However, although I usually read Craig’s writing and feel like he’s ahead of the rest of us, that was not the case for this article. His experience reminds me of many others in the past year or two (example). By the time I finished the post, I thought back to how Cal Newport opines that Internet sabbaticals are not a true fix for the modern knowledge worker. For those who want their attention back. And I…

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Focus for 2017

Happy Monday, everyone! I wanted to remind you that The Focus Course is open for registration as of today. Shawn and his team have refreshed the course and added new content (including the recent Focus Summit videos). For all those who sign up early on, there is also the chance to win some cool prizes. Register here Full disclosure: as a guest of the Focus Summit, I benefit from referring people to sign up for The Focus Course. I hope that you’ve been reading here long enough to know that I don’t recommend products & services because I…

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Being busy doesn’t mean you're successful

Chris Savage, co-founder of Wistia, shares a little about how he had to change how he approached his own work. As their business grew, his time became more scarce as more and more things filled it up. And that was a problem: There comes a point when your effectiveness falters, though, when you’re no longer focusing on the right things or doing your best work. In fact, you may have already passed that point, but you didn’t realize because your busy schedule made you feel successful.His solution? To go on a holiday. While there, he had the…

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Finding your bliss station

Austin Kleon shares how he and wife try to cultivate a space and a time where one can get away from the world. Kids, jobs, sleep, and a thousand other things will get in the way, but we have to find our own sacred space, our own sacred time.I give this a hearty, “Amen!” As one who values some daily time away from all the activity and people of my life, I appreciate the idea. And I can understand the need for both a space and time. Oddly enough, I appreciate both. During the workday, I appreciate the space,…

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The age of distraction

Some articles open with a whimper, some with a bang. This one is in the latter camp: Busy, distracted, inattentive? Everybody has been since at least 1710 and here are the philosophers to prove itIt’s an interesting read, where the author, Frank Furedi, is looking at the past in an attempt to address the concerns of the present. Concerns regarding attention, or the lack thereof. And he claims we’re not dealing with anything new, but with an issue that has been around for 300 years. Those who suffer this debilitating condition have a particular name for the state…

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