Books

Announcing: The Praxis Anti-Book Club

Update: the book club is now closed Books are the worst. Seriously. Think about it. Most books have one good idea wrapped in layers and layers of fluff. Like one of those giant gift boxes you keep opening with smaller and smaller boxes inside, only to find a keychain. Books are static. By the time…

Read More →

Supersizing the Mind: The Science of Cognitive Extension

You enter your kitchen for a quick lunch: how is it exactly that your brain solves the problem “prepare lunch as efficiently as possible”? Your brain effortlessly, almost instantaneously “assembles” a diverse mix of problem-solving resources on the spot. These “resources” can include knowledge, tools, or structures, and can be: Mental: knowledge, experience, intuition Physical:…

Read More →

Introducing Praxis Vol. 1: Design Your Work

My first self-published ebook (Affiliate Link) went live in the Amazon Kindle store this weekend. I feel like a proud parent: It is a compilation of 16 posts from this blog, published between 2014–2016, updated and edited for clarity, accuracy, and consistency. If you’ve been wanting to dive into the archives, now is the time….

Read More →

The World Beyond Your Head: How Distraction Shapes Who We Are

Matthew Crawford’s book The World Beyond Your Head (Affiliate Link) is the most important book I’ve read in quite some time. It makes a sweeping argument about what it means to be an ethical, autonomous human in the digital age. Crawford draws a strong connection from the distractions buzzing on our phones, to the evolving…

Read More →

The Inner Game of Work: Focus, Desire, and Working Free

I’ve become obsessed with coaching. It started in February, when I started the 4-month Self-Expression & Leadership Program at Landmark. I was assigned an accountability group and a coach, who guided me through the process of planning and executing a community service project. That process included learning how to communicate a vision, how to recruit…

Read More →

Strategically Constrained: How to Turn Limitations Into Opportunities

I first came across the idea that great strengths can emerge from great constraints in Ryan Holiday’s book The Obstacle is the Way. He takes a philosophical and historical approach, citing numerous Very Important People in history who used their unique challenges as springboards. I was annoyed by the idea, thinking something along the lines…

Read More →

A Theory of Unlearning: Ecstasis, Anamnesis, Kenosis

A year ago in Productivity for Precious Snowflakes, I introduced the idea of Mood-First Productivity — that our moods, or unique states of mind, are fundamental drivers of creative knowledge work. But something was missing: how does one advance in the practice of Mood-First Productivity, besides noticing what mood you’re in at any given time, and trying…

Read More →

Getting Things Done + Personal Knowledge Management

An Integrated Total Life Management System By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs To learn more, check out our online bootcamp on Personal Knowledge Management, Building a Second Brain. One of the key insights of Getting Things Done, the book on personal productivity by David Allen that spawned the worldwide movement known as GTD, was that…

Read More →

A Review of Cal Newport’s Deep Work

This is my review of Cal Newport’s new book Deep Work (affiliate link), in which he makes the case that cultivating a capacity for intense concentration is the key competitive skill in the new knowledge economy. First, this is a well-written, thoughtful book with relevant stories and practical how-to’s for cultivating focus. I’m a fan…

Read More →