How to Get More Confident

One of my favorite TV shows is the 1969 BBC series Civilisation, hosted by Sir Kenneth Clark. A survey of European art, it’s intelligent, insightful, and gorgeous, with (for the time) outstanding production values. Yes, it’s also the epitome of white male, Eurocentric art criticism, but it still rewards watching, especially if you keep its…

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My Eye!

Cute dachshund dressed as priate

So, I just had eye surgery. Not cataracts, something trickier and scarier. I will spare you the details except to note that the surgery is called a “vitrectomy.” Those who want to look up the icky details are welcome to. It took almost a year from my initial diagnosis to get my surgery—and not so…

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Five Questions to Ask if You’re Not Enjoying Your Creative Work

Creativity can, and should, be an incredible source of fulfillment, meaning, and joy—and so, if you’re not enjoying your creative work, something might be wrong. If so, try answering these five questions: 1) Do I really want to be doing this? Sometimes we take on creative projects for the wrong reasons, like ego or to…

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The Easiest, Most Powerful Thing I Do For My Productivity

The easiest, most powerful thing I do to boost my productivity is a nightly ritual that takes about ten seconds. Before I tell you what it is, I need to explain two things:  (1) I use two computers:  Using two computers may sound like an indulgence, but it’s not, especially given the productivity boost it…

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Procrastination is Hoarding

An illustration of Tolkien's dragon Smaug sitting atop his hoarded gold.

We procrastinate, in large part, to avoid the hurt of criticism or rejection. If you don’t hand your work in, after all, it—and, by extension, you—can’t be criticized or rejected. And even if you do manage to hand it in, procrastination provides a built-in justification for any disappointing outcomes you receive: “I was rushed.” The…

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Disconnecting Shouldn’t be Radical!

no-wifi symbol

(Excerpted from my book Productivity is Power. The original contains many citations, which are omitted here for brevity’s sake.) One of productivity work’s big divides is between those who try to work while connected to the Internet and its many distractions, and those who have figured out that that’s a really bad idea. The second…

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Two Great New Year’s Resolutions

paperback and tablet showing cover of Productivity is Power

Happy New Year Everyone! I tend to be skeptical of New Year’s resolutions, which are often grandiose and built more around impulse than planning. But here are two good ones for 2023: 1) Reduce the time you currently spend on housework, chores, and errands by 25%, investing that time instead in “mission work” (creative /…

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My New Book on Undergraduate Productivity is Out!

paperback and tablet showing cover of Productivity is Power

I’m thrilled to announce that my latest book, Productivity is Power: 5 Liberating Practices for College Students, is now out and available at all online and offline bookstores. Productivity is Power is for ALL undergraduates (and college-bound high schoolers), as well as for the parents, faculty, counselors, coaches, tutors, and others who support them. If…

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