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The joy of missing out [Weekly Brain Tools]

Mar 05, 2019 | Posted by Cristina in Newsletters

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The text below was sent in October 2018 as part of our weekly newsletter. If you enjoy it and want more, subscribe here.

Hello, friends,

I started this week with “It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work“, the book recently released by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, Basecamp’s co-founders, and I have to say it’s just as amazing as I expected it to be.

I took four pages of notes out of it and I’ll be back with a more detailed review in Friday email series about the best books read throughout this year but, til then, here’s just one idea from it that I’m hoping it will inspire you this week.

In the book, Jason and DHH talk about the concept of JOMO – the joy of missing out, as opposed to FOMO (fear of missing out).

We’re always competing in the sport of information, trying to know more than everybody else and be faster to the latest story – a sure recipe for anxiety. We’re eating away hours and hours from our lives, always refreshing the news feeds for another drug dose. While our brains get the delusional chemical rewards of feeling in control, the less focused we become and the less deep quality work (and money) we make.

In a recent conversation with Tim Ferriss, Jason Fried talked about how news coverage got turned into entertainment. He realized that very few things happen during the middle of the day that he absolutely needs to be informed about right away, so he’s not missing out on anything by paying attention to things all the time. In most cases, what happened an hour ago doesn’t matter. He decided to get back to reading actual newspapers, in the morning, only once a day – a good and healthy pace, instead of accessing news online, instantly, all the time. It’s the joy of missing out!

Same mindset should be adopted when it comes to what’s going on at your company. There’s absolutely no reason everyone needs to even attempt to know everything, and especially not in real time. If it’s important, you’ll find out about it. Most of the time, it’s not that pressing, so stop treating every little thing like it’s on a breaking-news ticker. Say no to real-time chat and the expectation of an immediate response, and focus on what matters.


Ok, time for the neuron-expanding articles.


1. Taylor Pearson: JOMO: Learning to say No without explaining yourself.

All that talk about JOMO reminded me of this article written in 2014 by Taylor Pearson, an entrepreneur and author. Oldie but goldie.

2. Noah Kagan and James Clear: Habits [podcast]

James Clear, one of my favorite bloggers in the world, writes on topics related to self-improvement and building better habits. While waiting for my copy of his book to arrive, I’ve listened to this short podcast episode between him and Noah Kagan (entrepreneur, founder of Sumo, and writer).

In his conversation with Noah, James talks about what he learned from his own business failure (he spent $5,500 building an iOs app that made him… $19 in revenue), how to find marketing opportunities that will make you stand out in a crowded space (he built a blog with over one million readers), and the four ways that he monetizes his content.

3. Paul Jarvis: You don’t hate marketing, you hate what you think marketing is

Paul Jarvis, designer, course creator and author of “Company of One” (coming out in January), shares valuable insights about how marketing really works. These are lessons learned from his 20-years experience in helping businesses create websites.

4. The Rise of Anti-Notifications

An article about the rise and fall of notifications and how they’ve lost their efficiency. A good comparison is the fable of the shepherd boy who cried wolf too many times and alarmed everyone with imaginary dangers, so people stopped paying attention to the real ones.

5. Brad Stulberg (author of Peak Performance): “It’s Okay to Be Good and Not Great“:

We’re told that striving to be great and never being satisfied are necessary to meet the ever increasing pressures and pace of today’s world. It’s the only route to success. But what is it all for? What does success even mean? Rates of clinical anxiety and depression are higher than ever. Some experts believe that loneliness and social isolation have reached epidemic proportions. Two-thirds of all employees report feeling burned out at work. Surely this isn’t the kind of success that everyone is after.

6. Living in a parallel universe through books

Last week we published an interesting interview with Kai Yeo, partner and Creative Director of the BUREAU, a Singapore-based design studio. He’s also the co-founder and Design Lead of Hutan Tropical, a modern outdoor lifestyle brand that embodies Southeast Asia’s spirit and designs, produces, markets, and distributes tropical goods for a variety of outdoor and urban activities.

– why personal projects are encouraged at his agency, how they started working out together, and why everyone’s getting involved in different aspects of the business
– why he recommends future designers to read all kinds of books – not just the ones that are design related – and be a sponge and a cultural junkie. (“Design isn’t the end game and it can be informed and inspired by so many other things.“)
– how biographies help us live someone else’s adventure through their words, like in a parallel universes.

Read the whole interview here.

p.s. if there’s anyone you look up to and you’d like us to interview about their favorite books & reading habits, let us know – just reply to this email with a few words about that person and link where we can learn more.

Have an efficient & calm week! Keep JOMO in mind. 🙂

– Cristina

The text above was sent in October 2018 as part of our weekly newsletter. If you enjoyed it and want more, subscribe here.

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