For centuries, so-called experts and motivational speakers have preached that we should conquer the ‘enemy’ called procrastination, at all costs.
Because if we fail to avoid laziness, we’ll waste away our life’s potential.
So what do we do?
Each day, we try even harder to motivate ourselves to get important things done. But when we procrastinate, we beat ourselves up and blame it on our laziness.
What if instead, there was a better explanation behind why we procrastinate, other than a lack of willpower or motivation?
Here’s what scientists have recently discovered.
In 2018, a team of researchers conducted a groundbreaking study to investigate the differences between the brains of people who struggle with procrastination and those who don’t. …
Over the course of his 39 year writing career-from 1843 to 1882-Anthony Trollope wrote 47 novels, 17 non-fiction books, 2 plays, and over 20 articles and letters, that made him famous.
As a further testament to his incredible work ethic, Trollope juggled his writing whilst holding down a full-time job with the Civil Service in the General Post Office, for the first 20 years after his first publication.
But Trollope’s superhuman-like productivity didn’t happen by chance.
In his Autobiography-and as noted in Daily Rituals: How Artists Work- Trollope explains how he created a morning routine of writing in 15 minute-intervals, which helped him to produce over ten pages a…
In 1964, at the premier of Mary Poppins, Walt Disney reached the pinnacle of his career.
A year after his death, in 1966 alone, 240 million people watched a Disney movie, over 100 million watched a Disney television show each week, 80 million read a Disney book, another 80 million bought Disney merchandise, and about 7 million visited Disneyland. 
During his lifetime, Disney pioneered the animation industry, changed the shape of American recreation with Disneyland park, introduced motion picture to television, and built the first “modern multimedia corporation.”
Till date, Disney holds the record for the most Academy Awards won by an individual: a total of 22 Oscars. …
In the fall of 1969, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman — two rising stars in the psychology department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem — formed a formidable friendship that would change how we think about how we think.
Together, the pair would create the field of behavioral economics and revolutionize large parts of cognitive psychology.
After Tversky died in 1996, Kahneman carried the mantle and in 2002, was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Central to Kahneman’s revolutionary work was the discovery of cognitive biases that affect our decision-making.
Here are the top five major cognitive biases that lead to bad decisions in life and work. …
The late philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, once said, “without music, life would be a mistake.” This rings true for most of us.
Whether we listened to sad music after a painful breakup or upbeat music on our graduation day, music has played a significant role in our most memorable life events.
Memories aside, music also influences our mental performance and ability to get things done.
Here’s the science of how music affects your productivity, and how to use it to your advantage.
When you listen to music you enjoy, the brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes you feel good, and reduces stress and anxiety. …
After four painful years of training in archery, Herrigel had grown impatient with his lack of progress, and was on the verge of quitting.
Four years prior (during the 1920s), Eugen Herrigel, a German professor, took a leap of faith and moved his entire family to Japan, in hopes of learning the Japanese tradition of Zen in Archery.
Herrigel had everything planned out: he’d teach philosophy at the University of Tokyo and master the art of archery within a few years.
And after much protesting and pleading, Herrigel convinced the legendary Japanese archer, Master Kenzo Awa, to take him on as a pupil in Kyudo, the Japanese martial art of archery. …
By the time he was 13 years old, Michael Gerard Tyson had been arrested 38 times and was sentenced to a Juvenile center in upstate New York.
Tyson was a far cry from the typical profile of a juvenile delinquent: he was pudgy, extremely shy, spoke with a lisp, and was afraid of getting into fights.
In fact, he was regularly beaten up by neighborhood bullies who dubbed him the ‘Little Fairy Boy.’
Like most street kids at the time, Tyson was raised by an alcoholic mother and grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a rough neighborhood that resembled the wild west — imagine movie scenes of people shooting one another, police cars and ambulances ringing deafening sirens whilst speeding down streets, robbers breaking windows, and young kids selling drugs to hookers. …
One day, in the 3rd Century BC, King Hiero II of Syracuse, Sicily, summoned Archimedes — a young, Greek physicist and mathematician, donning a long, flowing, white beard — to verify that his new crown was made of pure gold, or that some silver had been fraudulently substituted by the goldsmith.
This would’ve been a simple task for Archimedes, but for the King’s one caveat: the crown must not be damaged, or else there would be serious repercussions.
For several weeks, Archimedes pondered upon possible solutions to the King’s crown problem, but he couldn’t crack the code, and time was running out. …
It’s easy to get carried away with the never-ending search for the perfect plan to achieve our goals.
Whether we’re looking for the best diet plan to lose weight, the perfect idea for a book, or project, the best business strategies and so on, the pursuit of perfection can be exhilarating and addictive.
But does this focus on perfection lead to progress towards our goals? Or does it hold us back from achieving them?
Let’s get started.
“The perfect is the enemy of the good”
In the book, Art & Fear ( audiobook), authors David Bayles and Ted Orland, describe the story of a ceramics teacher and the experiment with his students, which reveals surprising insights into why some people achieve their goals, and others don’t. …
Benjamin Franklin is best remembered as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, but he achieved much more in his lifetime.
During Franklin’s 84 years alive, he invented the lightning rod, made significant discoveries in physics and population studies, wrote best-selling books, composed music and played the violin, harp and guitar at a high level, founded many civic organizations, including the University of Pennsylvania, and much more.
How did Franklin achieve so much more than his contemporaries, given he had the same 24 hours each day to get things done?
The answer to this question lies in Franklin’s daily schedule. …