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Love Your Work is the intellectual playground of David Kadavy, bestselling author of three books – including Mind Management, Not Time Management – and former design advisor to Timeful – a Google-acquired productivity app. Love Your Work is where David shows you how to be productive when creativity matters, and make big breakthroughs happen in your career as a creator. Dig into the archives for insightful conversations with Dan Ariely, David Allen, Seth Godin, James Altucher, and many more. ...
 
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Does image-based media make us think less about our principles and ideals, and more about pursuing mere appearances? Daniel J. Boorstin thought so. In his book, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, Boorstin breaks down why “The Graphic Revolution,” has built a world where our fantasies are more real than our reality. In this book summary…
 
The business of creative work is the business of riding randomness. If you want to write a bestselling book or launch a revolutionary company, you’re going to need luck. You’re navigating Extremistan, not Mediocristan, as I talked about in episode 253. How do you increase your chances of having a hit without risking everything? You do it with “The …
 
I recently got a message from a reader, who said, “I don’t know if it’s meditation or you reaching a new level professionally, but I feel like your writing is on FIRE!” I do feel my writing has improved over the last year. They’re right to think the meditation I talked about on episode 246 has helped. If I had to pick one thing that has improved my…
 
After fourteen rejections, as I outlined on episode 247, I finally landed a BookBub Featured Deal. Once I tallied up my results, I had lost more than $4,000 running the promotion. I’ll tell you why, and why I’d still do another BookBub Featured Deal in a heartbeat. My BookBub Featured Deal Results Book: The Heart to Start: Stop Procrastinating & St…
 
If you want to succeed in anything creative – whether that’s writing, art, or entrepreneurship – you’re navigating unfamiliar territory. Everyone else is living in Mediocristan, but you’re living in Extremistan. You need a different approach for deciding how you define success. “Extremistan” is a term introduced by Nicholas Nassim Taleb in his book…
 
Just a quick note here to tell you loyal listeners about a new opportunity over on Patreon. As I’ve said in my Patreon pleas at the end of the episodes, some money that I make feels better than other money. When I sell a book, that money feels good. When I get a sponsor for the podcast, that money feels...not as good. Other money I get that feels g…
 
Can the way we consume information make us unable to tell truth from lies? Neil Postman thought so. In his book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman says everything has been turned into entertainment: Our politics, religion, news, athletics, our commerce – even our education – have all been turned into forms of entertainment. This has weakened our …
 
I just got word that the Mind Management, Not Time Management audiobook is now live on Audible.com. And you can listen to it free. If you are not already an Audible member, you can listen to the Mind Management, Not Time Management audiobook free, with a free trial. Just go to kdv.co/mindaudible. If you prefer another platform, check it out, Mind M…
 
There’s an important bias to avoid: Survivorship bias. Unfortunately, people who might otherwise do something with their lives hide behind survivorship bias. Just as important as knowing when survivorship bias matters is knowing when survivorship bias does not matter. Survivorship bias has a fatal flaw. Example: Abraham Wald avoided survivorship bi…
 
As a nonfiction author, retaining what I read is my job. Through the process of writing three books, I’ve experimented with different ways of reading, remembering what I read, and using that knowledge to develop my own thoughts. I’ll share today my note-taking system. I hope it serves as a good example of a digital “Zettelkasten” or slip box. Liste…
 
If you’re a fan of using Getting Things Done to stay on top of all the, well, things you need to get done – you’ll love How to Take Smart Notes for staying on top of all the things you want to learn. I’ll give you an introduction – in my own words – in this How to Take Smart Notes book summary. The note-taking system introduced in Sönke Ahrens’s Ho…
 
Hey, just a quick note to let you know I’m launching a new (free) email course. It’s 100-Word Writing Habit, and you can sign up at kdv.co/100 I built my writing career by building a writing habit. Three books later, I still write 100 words first thing in the morning. That gets me going so – in addition to books – I can ship an email newsletter eac…
 
You’ve heard the expression, “The medium is the message.” But what does that really mean? “The medium is the message” is a term coined by Marshall McLuhan in his book, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man. More than fifty years after it was published – in 1964 – Understanding Media reads as if it’s from the future. In this Understanding Media sum…
 
What is BookBub, and what is a BookBub Featured Deal? BookBub is a gigantic email list that sends discounted or even free books to people. BookBub curates the deals they send to their subscribers. They send them “Featured Deals.” A BookBub Featured Deal is a chance to get your book in front of hundreds of thousands of readers – or even a million+ r…
 
I recently saw a tweet storm by entrepreneur/investor/philosopher Naval Ravikant. He was challenging people to meditate sixty minutes a day for sixty consecutive days. The view from the location of my 60th hour-long meditation session. Here’s a quote from Naval about his meditation challenge, from The Naval Almanack: Meditation isn’t hard. All you …
 
It’s hard to predict the future, but you can be better at predicting the future. All you need is a few delicious avocados. Even the “experts” are bad at predicting the future Wharton professor Phillip Tetlock wanted to make the future easier to predict. So he held “forecasting tournaments,” in which experts from a variety of fields made millions of…
 
If you want to write a book, don’t ask, “How much money does the average book make?” In this context, “average” is meaningless. You’re in the world of Black Swans. The Black Swan is a book by Nicholas Nassim Taleb, and I have found the ideas in it critical to navigating my career as an author. Here – in my own words – is my summary of The Black Swa…
 
Today is the day! My new book, Mind Management, Not Time Management is now available everywhere! Writing this book has been a long journey. Over the past ten years, I slowly discovered the things I share in the book, and I also scrapped several drafts, before I finally got it right. I’m very excited to share with you a cohesive system for managing …
 
When I first heard of Getting Things Done, I was skeptical. How could it possibly live up to the fanaticism of its cult following? But once I saw the power of the “next action,” of “someday/maybes,” and of organizing tasks by “context,” I knew there was a good reason for the hype: “GTD” works. More than fifteen years later, GTD still helps me stay …
 
In the game of golf, there’s an expression: “Drive for show, putt for dough.” What it means is: If you want to win tournaments, practice putting. It makes sense. In a standard even-par round of golf, putts make up half of all strokes. You’ll use your driver less than half the number of times you’ll use your putter. There’s more strokes to get rid o…
 
Each November, writers around the world make a commitment. They commit to writing a novel within a month. It’s called NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writer’s Month. Since 2013, software developers have also been making a commitment. They’ve committed to generating a novel within a month. It’s called NaNoGenMo – National Novel Generation Month. The nove…
 
Subject: “IMMEDIATE Action Reqeusted [sic]” They misspelled “requested,” which had the unintended effect of highlighting that this email was urgent. There were some documents attached to the email. They wanted me to review the documents and sign them. Then, I would get a wire of money to my bank account – from Google, Inc. I had no idea this email …
 
In New York City, sometime around the beginning of the twentieth century, a young art student sat for a portrait. The artist who painted this portrait won a prestigious award for that portrait. The young woman who sat for the portrait suddenly became a sought-after model. She could actually earn money sitting for portraits. She needed that money. H…
 
Here’s a brain teaser for you: Imagine we’ve got a room full of people. We’re trying to figure if any two people in the room have the same birthday. For us to reach a fifty-percent probability that there are two people in the room with the exact same birthday, how many people need to be in the room? I told you this was a brain teaser, so suffice to…
 
Before I moved to Colombia, I lived several “mini lives” in Medellín. I came and lived here for a few months. I escaped the very worst portion of the Chicago winters. There was a phenomenon I experienced every time I came here, which taught me a lot about how I think about time. It always happened right around the three week mark. Getting used to a…
 
Maya Angelou was right, “People will forget what you said...but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Because I don’t remember what this woman said to me, but I do remember how I felt: Attacked. My heart was racing. I had two options: Lash out and defend my position, or excuse myself from the conversation. My brain hastily searched for …
 
When it came time for me to choose a college, I had no idea what I was doing. For reasons I still can’t explain, I chose to go to The University of Nebraska at Kearney. At least until I recognized my mistake. Kearney is a town in the middle of Nebraska. I grew up in Omaha, a city on the east edge of Nebraska. You may laugh, thinking, What’s the dif…
 
I used to be a time management enthusiast. I say “used to be,” because time management eventually stopped working for me. How I became an accidental author It all started with an email. It was the kind of email that would trip up most spam filters. I wasn’t being offered millions of dollars from an offshore bank account, true love, nor improved per…
 
Sometimes people tell me, “Hey David, The Heart to Start is a great book, but now that I’ve figured out how to start, how do I finish?!” If you’re anything like me, finishing is tough. You can always find a good reason not to finish what you’ve started. It’s not fun anymore, you don’t want to paint yourself into a corner if it goes well, or – my pe…
 
One day, I was in a coworking space, here in Colombia, writing in my Moleskine notebook. One of the other co-workers came up to me and asked me a question. He said, in Spanish, and with a sense of earnest curiosity, “Why are you writing in your notebook? Your computer is right in front of you. You can write much faster on your computer. Why aren’t …
 
Offer expires soon. You don’t want to miss it! It’s the investment of a lifetime! It’s going to be the party of the century! Can you feel the anxiety piling up? You know what it is – it’s FOMO. The Fear of Missing Out. In a hyper-connected world, FOMO is more intense than ever. Our friends are sharing amazing travel photos on Instagram, people are …
 
To get exceptional results, you need to do exceptional things. Most things that are normal are normal only because very few people can resist them. Just because it’s normal, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. It often means the opposite. It’s like the Ancient Chinese proverb says, “If five million people do a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing…
 
Ari Meisel (@arimeisel) created a productivity system out of necessity. He was suffering from a chronic and life-threatening illness that was so severe, he had no choice but to make the most out of every ounce of energy he had. He took everything in his life and he applied what he now calls “OAO.” He Optimized, Automated, and Outsourced everything …
 
As the nineteenth century was turning to the twentieth century, Frederick Taylor grabbed a stopwatch. He stood next to a worker, and instructed that worker on exactly how to pick up a chunk of iron. Over and over, Taylor tweaked the prescribed movements. Grip the chunk of iron in this way, turn in this way, bend in this way. Once Taylor found the o…
 
Andrew Mason (@andrewmason) started a little website called The Point. An investor friend of his gave him a million dollars in seed money. The Point failed, but Andrew then used that seed money to pivot his idea into the fastest-growing company in history. Groupon hit a $1 billion valuation in only sixteen months. For someone with no entrepreneuria…
 
First of all, I hope that you are taking good care of yourself during these unprecedented times. I hope that you and the people you love are safe and healthy. I have something I’ve been working on for a looong time. And it’s very relevant to what we have going on today. Many people are working from home. They’re thrust into unstructured days, and t…
 
Many businesses have “SOP’s” It sounds very official as an acronym, and what it stands for sounds even more official: Standard Operating Procedure. It’s a document which outlines a process within a business. What’s the purpose of the process? What are the steps to follow? Who will do different parts of the processes, and which parts can’t begin unt…
 
Megan Devine (@refugeingrief) is the author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK, and runs the Writing Your Grief workshop. It wasn’t until Megan, a therapist, experienced grief herself that she discovered how we as a culture utterly fail to support the grieving. As loyal listeners know, I experienced a tragedy several months ago. My healthy, active, 69-y…
 
What are you doing?! Didn’t you read the title of this episode? I’m begging you: Stop listening to my podcast. You’re still here? Okay, I’ll see what I can do to persuade you to stop listening to my podcast. I’ll admit it: It bums me the fuck out that there aren’t more people listening to my podcast. I’ve been delivering an episode every week for t…
 
Dylan Evans (@evansd66) had an intense experience with uncertainty. He was fifty percent certain that civilization would collapse within several years. So, he sold his house, gave up his job, and set out to learn how to survive the apocalypse. He tells the story in his book, The Utopia Experiment. He and a team of volunteers constructed yurts on th…
 
In the 1600s, Penelope Kent boarded a ship from Holland to the New World with her new husband. Their ship wrecked off the coast, but still, Penelope and her husband made it to shore. There, they were attacked and tortured by the natives who lived on the land. By the time the natives were done with them, Penelope’s husband was dead. Penelope was sti…
 
Dr. Aziz Gazipura is author of a great book, Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty... And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself. What does it mean to be a "good person?" If someone asks you to do something, do you have to do it? If someone invites you to hang out, do you have to …
 
When I was writing my first book, Design for Hackers, I developed a ritual. I would lay all of my research materials on the floor. Graphic Design history books were splayed out. I had research papers or articles printed out and stapled. There were highlights and sticky notes everywhere. In the center of all of this, I had a whiteboard. Well, it was…
 
Demir and Carey Bentley are co-founders of Lifehack Bootcamp, where they help professionals make more of their time and energy, to get more results. They once found themselves getting sucked into the prevailing values of the place they lived. The place you choose to live can have an outsized influence on how you choose to live. If where you live is…
 
As I kicked and punched at the man, I glanced at the knife in his right hand. And I felt it dig into my side. It all started as I crossed paths with the man. He reached in his pocket, and pulled out the knife. I then did what surely only an idiot would do. I began to fight him. A few seconds earlier, as the man approached me on the path, he stared …
 
Things were not going well for Neil Pasricha (@NeilPasricha). He came home from work one day, and his wife told him she no longer loved him. Around that same time, Neil's best friend committed suicide. Neil needed something to lift his spirits. Something to remind him, every day, that there was something good in the world. That’s when Neil started …
 
There’s an expression, to burn your boats. It originated with a military strategy. Hernán Cortés famously “burned the boats,” after arriving in the New World to conquer the Aztec empire. (He actually “scuttled” his ships. He sunk them.) I recently burned my boats, when I killed off a $150,000 passive revenue stream. The birth of a passive income mu…
 
How’s it going? Really, how are things going for you? If things are going pretty good, you might want to tear everything down, and start all over again. Nick Kokonas (@nickkokonas) is Co-Owner of The Alinea Group and CEO of Tock. The Alinea Group is a collection of restaurants Nick started with world-class chef Grant Achatz, including their first r…
 
Four years ago, almost to the day, I moved to Colombia. Four years ago, I decided to become a writer. Four years is how long it takes to get a college degree. Today, I’m graduating. It might seem strange that I didn’t think of myself as a writer. By the time I set out on this mission I had already written one best-selling book. But writing was stil…
 
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