Who knows for sure?

Good interview on Helena Price.

“I see where you’re coming from, but you should just stop waiting for a mentor because it might never happen. Successful people didn’t necessarily become so because they had mentors—they just went and did stuff.” No one knows what they’re doing, so I shouldn’t wait around for the magical moment when someone else teaches me the correct way of doing things. That conversation was solid inspiration to go off and do my own thing.

When you’re young and starting out on your own without leadership, you don’t know whether your intuition is correct at all. You’re in a position where you’re forced to execute without knowing whether it’s right or not. But being told by people who have been doing it longer that nobody actually knows what they’re doing—and that it’s okay—was really helpful to me in the beginning. That was one of the most comforting things I’ve ever been told, but I have to remind myself of that every day.

The added bonus is that the site looks beautiful.

Minimalism Productivity

Slow down

Being in Fast Mode leads to constant switching, and constant busy-ness. It leads to overwork, because when do you switch it off? It leads to exhaustion, because we never give ourselves breathing room.

Learn to recognize when you’re in Fast Mode, and practice switching to Slow Mode now and then. It’s essential to doing all the things that are really important.

Via Zen Habits

As I’m pushing to focus on minimalism, one of the things I need to consciously remind myself is to always slow down. Some may call it stop and smell the roses. The result of rushing and thinking slowly differs greatly. While we’ve been brought up on the notion that hyper productivity is good, sometimes we take it to mean that it’s raw speed. I myself am a fan of productivity and its various techniques, but I think slowing down is a strong skill in terms of productivity itself. After all, being constantly stressed and busy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being productive. It’s also one of the reasons why I’m back to using my iPhone 4 for the moment.

Why not give it a try? Try and slow down when you’re doing something that you usually rush through, be it washing the dishes, replying a customer email, or typing a blog post.

The results might surprise you.


Don’t be late. Seriously.

No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish

This is something that a lot of folks, especially Malaysians, should read. I say Malaysians because we’re famous for creating the term “Malaysian Time”. Some folks think it’s funny and acceptable, but it’s just plain wrong.

It’s understandable that traffic jams, and bad weather can cause delays, but let’s not forget, when someone is punctual, it means that person has taken the time to factor those things in and left earlier to get there on time. That’s time with the family that has been given up in order to be punctual.

I read a great article on the importance of punctuality a while back, and I’m amazed that this isn’t taught at school. Mandatory reading if you ask me.

George Washington’s passion for punctuality was born from his youthful study of “The Rules of Civility” – his repeated copying of maxims like “Undertake not what you cannot Perform but be Careful to keep your Promise.” For Washington, being on time was a way of showing respect to others, and he expected to be treated with the same level of respect in return.


Opportunity costs in life

Eric Kim recently wrote a great blog post titled “opportunity costs in street photography”, but it’s more like an awesome post about opportunity costs in life.

I’ve recently been thinking about “opportunity costs” in my life. For every ounce of energy I spend on something (lusting after a new camera, wanting a new smartphone, etc) is an ounce of energy I could have invested elsewhere (reading a book, writing an article, spending time with loved ones).

There are lots of opportunity costs in our lifes, both in terms of time+effort and money.

The sad thing in life is that we can’t have it all. We only have limited resources. We need to choose wisely.

Productivity Tech

Things app

things-mac-black-friday-saleI’m a sucker for productivity apps, but one app that has been highly recommended by many folks that I haven’t tried is Things, mainly due to the price.

The good news is that the iPhone and iPad versions of Things is free for Black Friday, and the Mac App version has a 30% discount until the 28th of November.

Prior to using Things, I was hacking together a similar solution using Wunderlist (which is free). Things feels like a productivity app designed with GTD in mind, but has a nice balance between the simplicity of Wunderlist and the power of Omnifocus (which is also incredibly expensive, so I have yet to try that).

One minor quirk I’ve found is that I can’t set a reminder for a task, which seems like a strange oversight for me, but I just work around that.

If you haven’t tried Things yet, I’d recommend you download the app while it’s still free and give it a whirl. I tried it for a day or so and ended up buying the Mac app. No regrets so far!