Best of Web - August 31st, 2020
A weekly collection of online gems.
Articles that expanded my mind this week are
An excellent deck from a Jenae Butler, a program manager at Google on standing united with our Black community.
While the sample size is small, this research examines whiteboard interviews in Tech sector finds that the classical software engineering interviews are more a test of a performance anxiety than coding ability. In this test, all women who did the public interview (whiteboard with someone watching) failed and all who did the private interview (that just tested coding ability) passed.
Scott Young, author of Ultra Learning and Cal Newport author of Deep Work are collaborating to create a three part series called a Life of Focus. Their first lesson on Giving your brain some breathing space, is a short effective piece on reclaiming your time.
For those seeking to be famous, Tim Ferris shares his 11 reasons to not be famous, a sobering read. The essay concludes with a quote from Jim Carey - "I think everybody should get rich and famous, and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it’s not the answer."
Setting Goals comes in the way of being in the process. James Clear asserted that you don't rise to the level of your goals, but instead fall to the level of your systems. This article discusses the joy of being in process driven, of being in a state of exploration without seeking achievement of growth without goals. This has been the core tenet of eastern philosophy and this author also draws inspiration from J Krishnamurti.
Books I am reading now
Mastery by Robert Greene - This book has become a reference book. I find myself reading small pieces, putting it aside and coming back to it at regular intervals.
Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows. Even some exposure to Donella's work, will cause you to see the world in systems, its elements, interconnections and purpose and will give you insights on how changes in each impacts the system.
Some things I am thinking about
There seems to be an explosion of interest in productivity but it is overrated. The focus should be instead on well being, especially in the midst of COVID. Well being leads to productivity but not the other way around.
Email should be a task of the day and not your task list. Emails (and by extension, chats, group posts etc.) are demands on your time placed by others, they are the small pebbles, the sand, that fill your jar, leaving you no time for meaningful work. Instead start the day with intent, with clarity on a short list of things that would make it time well spent.