Back from Taiwan! And some great links!

Dear Friend,

  • My books and coaching will help anyone get a strong start in 2019 – both make excellent gifts! (Coaching hours usable for up to a year after purchase, and you can be located anywhere.)

I recently got back from two fantastic weeks in Taiwan, where I visited my partner, currently a visiting professor at National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in Hsinchu. While there, I also gave a presentation to a group of faculty and students on Catalyzing Student Productivity.

(Some will recognize the procrastination / perfectionism framework I’ve been using, and teaching, for years. I never tire of it!)

I loved Taiwan! The people are incredible nice, and they also love dogs, so I felt a real sense of kinship!

While I was away, some great productivity links came in. Please see below for a few – and whatever you are planning to celebrate, this month, I hope you celebrate it to the max!


Here are the links:

If You’re Not All-In About a New Opportunity, Just Say No 
Someone at the NCTU workshop asked for time management technique, and I told her that the most important technique is not to have too much to manage. Saying no is one of the top three techniques for accomplishing that. (Delegation and gaining clarity on your mission are the other two.) Related.

How to Optimize Caffeine (and Improve Your Productivity
Drink your coffee before you feel tired.

Nine Writers on the Most Outrageous Ways They’ve Procrastinated
Some amusing (I guess, to onlookers) examples. Note the frequent use of rationalization and denial; also, “procrastination as a mimic of productive work.” Also, while I’m generally a fan of moves and other big life changes, you should probably avoid them, if possible, while trying to finish a book or thesis.

How I Got My First Developer Job at Age 40 After 10 Months of Hard Work
Anytime someone shares the honest and specific details of their success, it’s really useful. This article is also a reminder that it’s possible to find your groove and success in middle age or beyond. (Perfectionists tend to be impatient and want their success while young.) Related. Also related.

Instagram is supposed to be friendly. So why is it making people so miserable?
“Users ranked how their use of the platforms affected everything from the quality of their sleep to their Fomo – the fear of missing out on what others are enjoying. Instagram came last, scoring particularly badly for its effects on sleep, body image and Fomo.”

Sometimes You Have to Quit to Get Ahead
Many people take too long to quit a bad job, relationship, or other situation. It can be hard to know when to go–and there may not be one “right” time to do it, so don’t wait for that–but, generally speaking, better to quit a bad scene sooner than later.

Authoritarianism Thrives on Demoralization: How to Fight Trump and Stay Psychologically Healthy
This one is a bit older, from June, but the advice is solid. Related.

Bonus: Walter the Frenchie indulges in some world-class whining when told he can’t go to the park as planned. But Mom is up to the disciplinary challenge!

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