Weekly Brain Tools: How We’re Helping You Save Time
Feb 12, 2019 | Posted by Cristina in Newsletters
The text below was sent in January 2019 as part of our newsletter. If you enjoy it and want more, subscribe here.
Heya! Cristina here.
Long gone are the times when professions were for life, and no human jobs will be safe from automation / machine learning – the future is now, to quote my long-time friends Non Phixion.
Those of you who are at the beginning of your careers might have to readjust or reinvent yourselves in a few years, as what you learned in school becomes obsolete.
In order to cope with the accelerated and stressful pace of change, we can’t afford to be complacent. Not if we want to thrive in the new economy. We need to work on gaining more skills and be (emotionally) prepared to start from scratch whenever we need to.
And as traditional education has become unaffordable (the student debt crisis getting worse, costs increasing way faster than wages), we need to be resourceful and orientate towards other reliable sources of knowledge.
Books are one of the trustworthy and affordable sources of information that can help us become the CEO of our own lives (as corny as it may sound). However, we lack the luxury of time to figure out the best books for our needs. Not all of them are great, or we might read them at the wrong time.
That’s where we make a difference, by guiding you towards books curated by people who are considered among the best in their fields. Basically, we’re helping you save time.
That being said, big thanks to everyone who took their time to share the best reads of last year and why they found them valuable! We published all of them here: best books read in 2018 by The CEO Library community – a sugary-fuel for your reading queue 😛
This was a great way to reinforce our mission, and it was wonderful to learn that many of those life-changing books that you read in 2018 were discovered thanks to our work here, at The CEO Library! A book suggestion that comes at the right time might change your life, and witnessing your journey keeps us going, full speed ahead.
“Learning how to break habits is a very important meta-skill that can serve you better in life than almost anything else.”
The quote above belongs to Naval Ravikant, CEO and founder of AngelList, and one of my favorite independent thinkers.
In 2018, I’ve talked a lot on the subject of making and breaking habits, and even co-organized a workshop on the topic, with a focus on a few domino-habits: how to start reading books, how to start running, and how to quit social media – or at least become more mindful about how we spend our digital time.
To put things into context, a few years ago I was one of the most followed Romanian women on social media and a renowned digital marketer for the most popular hip-hoppers. I was also sedentary and didn’t read at all, not one book per year. Now I read more than 50 non-fiction books per year and my favorite free-time activity is running long distances on mountain trails. The transformations were shocking to all those who’ve known me for a long time.
And since I’m always asked about books on making and breaking habits, I put together an essential list of the best habits books recommended by people who are the best at what they do. Learning how to master new skills can help you achieve your goals.
But before you dig into those books, here’s a piece of advice: don’t get too cocky.
No matter how many new habits you make or how many of the bad ones you manage to break, it never gets easy. The important thing is to accept that life happens and get back on track as soon as possible.
I’m gonna get personal for a moment. At the end of 2018 I accepted to temporary take over all marketing and communications for my fiance’s business, a local streetwear brand. This was right before their most important sales of the year and the winter collection launch. I was familiar with the company from its early days, but as a strategy consultant, without any execution.
That decision disrupted my whole routine. I went from 0 social media messages to replying to more than 100 per day (and some days more like 500), managing a small team, organizing photoshoots, and leveled up on various skills in no time, such as e-commerce logistics, customer support, and others.
For almost two months, I felt like I was thrown in and spit out of a washing machine. It was brutal. I kept my contribution at The CEO Library to the strict necessary – and felt guilty for this (still do), I didn’t have any time or energy left to go for a run (not even ONE), to read (barely managed to finish a book during those weeks), and so on. Obviously, my mental health and confidence in myself were affected.
Crazy thing is, when I made the decision to temporarily jump in and help, I was convinced I can do them all. I truly am the easiest person to fool.
Six weeks later, when things cooled off, I found myself starting from scratch. Once again, I’m rebuilding my routine and habits. Guess what I was doing on December 31, just a few hours before my birthday? Yeap, pushing through my first run after the longest break I took in 4 years, since I started this habit. It never gets easy.
Sorry, I’m not super human. Things are not working out perfectly in my life all the time. The only constant is sharing these struggles I’m going through, putting them in writing, hoping that they might prove to be valuable to someone else.
And that “don’t get too cocky” advice is probably the one I personally need to remember, first and foremost.
WEEKLY BRAIN TOOLS:
- Habit Tracker – Great to learn new habits
- You don’t need more self-discipline, you need nuclear mode – Nate Green, February 2017 (if you enjoy this, you should subscribe to his newsletter).
- Comprehensive list of book summaries websites – When you don’t have the time to read a book in full, these may help
- Why willpower is overrated – discovered a year ago, in another great newsletter, written by Shane Parrish from FarnamStreetBlog.com.
- How long is this going to take? – a great article on radical transformations and long term commitment, written by food coach Carmen Albișteanu in April 2018.
- Your whole life is borrowed time – Raptitude, August 2018: “This “I could be dead” perspective isn’t a sentimental thinking exercise. I think it’s a more honest view of our ever-tentative situation, one that respects the impersonal, flippant way in which fate handles our lives. […] There are always speeding cars, rare diseases, gas explosions, and treacherous stairwells. And none of these events, when they do happen, are negotiable.“
- How to develop better habits in 2019 – Ryan Holiday, December 2018.
Keep learning and always question your assumptions!
The text above was sent as part of our weekly newsletter. If you enjoy it and want more, subscribe here.