Links for myself

Action Step: Create Imperfect Work

(1) Give yourself permission to not get everything right the first time around, and just START.

Like Steve Chandler talks about in his book Time Warrior, use the “4-minute Rule” — just commit, right now, to put in 4 minutes on that thing you’ve been thinking about.

It might be messy. You might not be at your best. But you’ll GET STARTED, and thats 80% of the battle.

And most of the time, you’ll be carried away into the work.

Before you know it you’ve spent an hour chipping away at that problem set you were going to put off.


Some advice right here —

  • Not because it’s just “good” to get things done early, but because turning in product and testing deliverables to class TA’s or professors early allows you the (golden) opportunity to get feedback and be able to iterate before turning it in.
  • They’re usually just happy to see that students are putting in the effort, and usually end up giving you feedback that is directly correlated with what they’re looking for — i.e. MORE POINTS.
  • Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein
  • Here’s what you need to take away:

You don’t need to feel good to…

  • Get up off the couch
  • Open your laptop
  • Open your book
  • Start working on a problem set
  • Start researching for a project

Action Steps: Breaking Down Your Work

(1) Next time you find yourself bored, either in class or when you’re trying to review your notes studying for an exam, ask yourself: “Is this too easy? Is there actually a problem for me to solve?”

Think of a way you could change it up. If you’re learning about Kirchoff’s Current Law, how can you frame it as a question to be answered or a problem to be solved? Instead of reading the answer (e.g. the equation is i1 = i2 + i3, total current going into a node equals total current coming out, etc.), pick a particular circuit from the examples and ask yourself, “What happens to the current when it hits this split and now has the chance to go in 2 different directions? How does it decide where to go?”

(2) If you find yourself overwhelmed and frustrated when doing homework problems or working through examples covered in class, take a step back.

Slow down and stop trying to rush through to the answer.

Ask yourself “What exactly about this problem do I not understand?”Then slowly walk through the problem and break it down into component parts.

These are your new “problems” and should be treated separately. Take your time and solve each of the mini-problems within the actual problem you’re working on. Then put it all together at the end. This will keep your motivation up as you start racking up small wins, and will prevent overwhelm because you’re not trying to keep track of too many “chunks” in your working memory all at once.

(3) If all else fails, and you’re just totally de-motivated and have no energy to keep working on what you’re working on, change it up.

Change grabs attention in the brain, so switch to a different topic, or go fold your laundry, or get up and move to a different room or your favorite coffee shop. Don’t feel guilty about this, you’ll be more productive if you just accept that you’re not feeling it in the moment, and get back to it later.

  • Organize your meetings around your schedule deadlines, set an agenda beforehand by email, and make sure to assign and record next actions that each team member has committed to for the upcoming week.


The Magic Moment

  • Analyze how Medium creates the magic moment with this editor/publisher. For example how it creates the graphic when you attach a link.
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