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Apps Music News Social Media Tech

How the Kindle teaches you to avoid distractions

There are only two ways to read a book: own a hard copy or read books on Kindle. Reading in the Kindle app on the iPhone is not the same as reading on a standalone Kindle device. On the phone, you are a click away from checking the dopamine-hitting social media feeds, email, and text/push message disturbances.

Reading requires focus, which is why the Kindle works. The Kindle is intentionally minimalist–its magic lies within its subtraction of features rather than extra bells and whistles of a smartphone. It constrains what you do, associating the task with the device.

When Seth Godin goes to write his blog posts, he does it within Typepad. When business people want to hold important meetings, they go to the office. When athletes train, they hit the gym. People use devices or places as triggers for experiences. 

The mobile phone brings everything to your fingertips, a computer that also acts as a camera, a wallet, music player and recorder. It is one of the most innovative inventions of our time because of its convergence and ‘always on’ Internet-connectedness. But with the Kindle device, you can only do one thing well: Read.

Browsing the Internet on Kindle is a frustrating experience, on purpose. On the other hand, playing music or using credit cards at the grocery are more convenient living as consolidations in the phone. They are better for multitasking with other activities than living as single standalone devices.

Kindle means to read just as Google is synonymous with search. These tools excel at doing one thing. As more technology gets integrates into our devices, some activities like reading will be best served on a designated screen.

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News Productivity & Work

Podcasts I’m Digging

Podcasts keep your mind fresh. Listening to them is like going back to school but you get to take the courses you want without the added pressure of an exam afterward.

From The Kernel:

“Hearing a podcast, on headphones, is the most intense listening experience I’ve ever had—and I’m addicted to it. I am putting someone else’s voice, their thoughts, directly into my head. My inner monologue ceases; their thoughts replace my thoughts. I know that sounds like a sci-fi dystopia. In fact, I find it an incredible way to interact with the world.”

Listening to podcasts is pure enjoyment.

Podcasts are also the perfect multitasking activity. You can pipe tidbits of important information into your head while you go along with your day. They’re especially helpful when you’re doing menial work in Excel. But I’ve also noticed that listening to podcasts while doing the dishes takes the listening to another level. Try it and let me know if you have the same augmented experience.

So what are my favorite podcasts? I listen to a variety of them but below are my top 5. You’ll get everything you need to know about art, history, entrepreneurship, and life hacking from these.

Podcast Earworms

  1. The Tim Ferriss Show
  2. 99% Invisible
  3. HBR IdeaCast
  4. In Our Time
  5. On Being with Krista Tippet

If you’re new to podcasting or looking to get back into it, download Overcast and pay up for all the extra features and then search for the above Podcasts.

+Occassionally, I’ll summarize a Podcast on my blog like I did with Maria Popova on the Tim Ferriss Show.

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News Productivity & Work Tech Uncategorized

News you can use

gif by @rasalo

You may read the news to stay up-to-date on current events or to conduct research. You probably get your news from multiple sources including social networks, online newspapers/magazines, or blogs. The plethora of resources can be overwhelming.

But no matter where and how often you consume the news, the only thing that matters is how you end up using it.

Part of the reason I blog is to make sense of the world around me. Nothing makes sense to me until I write it down and connect the dots.

“We cannot make good news out of bad practice.”

Edward R. Murrow

News is only so helpful as its application to the real world.

If you’re mostly a consumer today, I encourage you to use and remix what you discover and teach it back to other people. Apply the facts to experimentation.