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3 Things I Learned Last Week #66 – Focus, Energy, and Productivity Hacks

Welcome to the 66th edition of “3 Things I Learned Last Week”! 🌟

Join me on my journey of discovery as I delve into various sources of knowledge each week. This newsletter is a blend of insights and key takeaways from my recent explorations. I’m thrilled to share these gems with you and hope they inspire and inform as much as they have me. Feel free to share the love and spread this newsletter to friends who might enjoy it!

Here’s what I’ve got for you this week:

  1. Are You Too Self-Aware? [The Self-Awareness Paradox]
  2. You’re Living a Life You Will Regret (and it needs to stop)
  3. You’re Not Lazy: How To Force Your Brain To Crave Doing Hard Things

Let’s dive in!

🧠 Are You Too Self-Aware? [The Self-Awareness Paradox]

Watch the video here.

Self-awareness is often hailed as the ultimate self-help tool, but it’s more like medicine than money: its benefits depend on how you use it.

While therapy is a popular method for achieving self-awareness, the speaker suggests that journaling can be just as effective, offering a judgment-free space for introspection. However, there’s a catch—too much self-awareness can lead to self-delusion, where breakthroughs turn into false realizations, a common trap in therapy sessions.

The key is to balance self-awareness without pathologizing normal experiences or blowing minor issues out of proportion.

🔑 Key Takeaways:

  • Healthy vs. Delusional Self-Awareness: It’s crucial to distinguish between productive self-awareness and self-delusion to avoid creating false memories or overemphasizing minor problems.
  • Avoiding Over-Pathologizing: Excessive self-awareness, especially regarding mental health, can teach individuals to pathologize normal experiences, causing unnecessary distress.
  • Reframing Challenges: View discomfort and challenges as feedback rather than problems to be solved, and keep your mind occupied with physical activities.
  • Acceptance: Embrace the things you cannot change and consider reading recommended books on this topic for further insight.

⏳ You’re Living a Life You Will Regret (and it needs to stop)

Watch the video here.

The quest for productivity often drives us to traditional time management methods, which can inadvertently lead to self-doubt and disappointment.

Instead, shifting from managing time to managing focus and energy can be more effective. This approach emphasizes that quality output stems from deep focus and optimal energy allocation rather than the quantity of time spent.

🔑 Key Takeaways:

  • Focus and Energy Management: Set aside dedicated periods for deep, uninterrupted work, also known as distraction-free focus periods.
  • Enhancing Concentration: Use tools like Brain FM to boost concentration during focus sessions.
  • Understanding Chronotypes: Align tasks with your natural energy rhythms by understanding your chronotype—whether you’re a bear, wolf, lion, or dolphin.
  • Prioritization: Prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency, avoiding task overload to maintain sustainable productivity and prevent burnout.
  • Balanced Thinking: Balance focused, task-oriented thinking with diffuse, creative thinking to sustain both productivity and creativity.

💪 You’re Not Lazy: How To Force Your Brain To Crave Doing Hard Things

Watch the video here.

Self-control isn’t an innate trait; it’s a skill that can be developed.

The famous “marshmallow test,” which measures a child’s ability to delay immediate gratification for a larger reward later, highlights the power of self-control in predicting future success. This underscores the importance of cultivating self-control to shape our paths.

🔑 Key Takeaways:

  • Dual Systems of Self-Control: The brain has two self-control systems: the “hot system” for impulsive reactions and the “cool system” in the prefrontal cortex for thoughtful, long-term decisions.
  • Strengthening the Cool System: Enhance self-control by using strategies like “if-then” planning, mindfulness, and identifying personal triggers.
  • Understanding Emotional Patterns: Employ techniques like meditation to understand emotional patterns and enhance self-control for better decision-making.
  • Habit Formation: Turn positive behaviors into habits by consistently applying strategies like “if-then” planning and mindfulness, making them automatic and reducing conscious effort.
  • Self-Compassion and Mindfulness: Practice self-compassion and mindfulness, learning from mistakes and being aware of emotional responses to foster personal growth and strong self-control.

That’s all for this edition of “3 Things I Learned Last Week.” I hope these insights add value to your personal and professional growth. Stay curious and keep exploring!

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Wishing you a week full of learning, growth, and opportunities!

Warm regards,

~ Nathan

The author partially generated this content with GPT-4 & ChatGPT, Claude 3, Gemini Advanced, and other large-scale language-generation models. Upon developing the draft, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the content to their liking and took ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.


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