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An Update on My No Reading Challenge and An Introduction to Jimmy & Neil Have Problems

Why not reading has been so good for me (to my great surprise)

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

As I’m nearing the end of my first week without reading, I’m stunned. I did not expect the benefits to be this intense. What I’ve called a ban from reading though, is more a ban on mindless distraction. Even as I’ve stopped reading, new mindless distractions are always cropping up. Pokemon Sword, which is stunning, is a strong contender. Twitter on my iPad (I deleted it from my phone) is always a temptation.

Yet thanks to my little experiment, I’m finding more and more that the benefits of no mindless distractions far outweigh the costs. More and more I’m finding that if I want to do something (like check Twitter or play Pokemon), blocking out time is the way to go. No more random checks littering my day. I’m trying to move more towards mindful breaks.

With that said, I’m making a couple of key changes.

First, no more phone in the bedroom. I have an alarm clock, it’s time to use it. My morning routine sucks because the first thing I pick up is my phone. It leads to nothing but stress.

Second, when I do start reading again, I’m going to have a minimum time limit. No more 1 minute reading sessions while I’m snacking. If I’m going to read, it will be for at least 5 minutes.

Back to regularly scheduled programming (kind of). As I’m without reading material yet again, I’m pulling material from my blog with Neil Weeda, Jimmy and Neil Have Problems. There, we write about problems, big and small, then propose outlandish solutions.

Today you’ll be getting my 5 favorite articles from our over 2 years of writing. So without further ado, here they are.

  1. How to Reclaim Our Digital Homes: A Guide — One of the inspirations for my no reading challenge, this guide takes you through all kinds of digital tech from texting to social media.
  2. Low Risk Tasks: How To Master The Art Of Procrastination — I love counterintuitive strategies. This is about as counterintuitive as it gets.
  3. Myth Busting: The Way to Our Destiny — When Neil and I started, we released a product a month. In this article, we break down the myths underlying our (failed) strategy.
  4. Neil & Jimmy’s Philosophy — Our favorite mental models, all compiled in a single article.
  5. Building a Better Search Engine — What comes after Google? That’s the question that drove this article. Look out for an updated version someday…



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Jimmy Cerone

Jimmy Cerone

I dig up the interesting stuff so you don’t have to