markg-photo-newsletter
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Relatively recent (2019) :)

#780 I want my attention back

#780 I want my attention back
Today, I could live on Twitter all day, everyday, convincing myself I was being productive. Or, at least inducing the chemicals in the mind that make me feel like I’m being productive. Read more news. Send more replies. Start more threads. Each incoming reply activating a corresponding dopamine pop. Largely pushing nothing in the world forward.
Maybe I lost my attention because I’m weak, lonely, pathetic. Maybe everyone else has total control; they can resist all the information spun by algorithms—all the delicious dopamine hits in the form of red circles. Bing! Maybe it’s just me.
But … I want my attention back.

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From the archives (2017)

179/365 Window-shopping for willpower

179/365 Window-shopping  for willpower
The next question everyone asks is, “What kind of exercise is best?” To which I respond, “What kind will you actually do?” The body and brain don’t seem to discriminate, so whatever you are willing to do is the perfect place to start. Gardening, walking, dancing, yoga, team sports, swimming, playing with your kids or pets—even enthusiastic housecleaning and window-shopping qualify as exercise. If you are absolutely convinced that exercise is not for you, I encourage you to expand your definition to include anything you reasonably enjoy about which you can answer no to the following two questions: 1. Are you sitting, standing still, or lying down? 2. Are you eating junk food while you do it? When you have found an activity that meets this definition, congratulations! You have found your willpower workout. Anything above and beyond the typical sedentary lifestyle will improve your willpower reserve.

from "The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It"
by Kelly McGonigal

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178/365 A deeply uncomfortable unknown

178/365 A deeply uncomfortable unknown
Taking advantage of major opportunities often requires completely letting go of something safe and comfortable, and venturing into a deeply uncomfortable unknown. Doing so takes two things: the self-confidence to put yourself in very uncomfortable situations, and the self-awareness to clearly know your values, priorities, and purpose in life.

from "Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within"
by Chade-Meng Tan

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177/365 Action expresses priorities

177/365 Action expresses priorities
Action expresses priorities.

  • Mahatma Gandhi
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176/365 Running against myself

176/365 Running against myself
Yes, I keep track of my word count. Every month I print out a calendar sheet and set word targets for every weekday. This looks a little crazy, but I have to do it because I am basically a lazy person. I need to see whether I’m ahead of plan or behind, so every evening I note the word count and the difference from the target and feel good if I’m ahead. This routine keeps me on travel speed – it’s like running against myself (Saturday and Sunday are buffers to catch up if I have to).

from "Secrets of Productive People: 50 Techniques To Get Things Done: Teach Yourself" by Mark Forster

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175/365 Take a 24h break

175/365 Take a 24h break
Take a twenty-four-hour break from TV news, talk radio, magazines, or websites that profit from your fear. If the world doesn’t end without you watching every private and global crisis unfold (prediction: It won’t), consider cutting out mindless consumption of these media.

from "The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It" by Jane McGonigal

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