Categories
Funny Video

This is what happens when you reply to spam email

For three years, writer and comedian James Veitch answered spam email.

“All I’m doing is wasting their time. I think any time they’re spending with me,  is time they’re not spending scamming vulnerable adults of out their savings.”

In a hilarious TED Talk, he details his thread with one spammer who contacted him about a business deal. Into the second week, James got the spammer to start replying in ridiculous code revolving around candy.

Advises Veitch, if you’re going to reply to spammers do it from an anonymous email to avoid a barrage of even more SPAM.

Categories
Productivity & Work Social Media Tech

Working against attention residue

516qDWM73AL

Going to work to answer emails won’t make you a better emailer, just as another five minutes on Twitter won’t improve your social networking game. Email, Twitter, and incoming messages drain our cognitive fitness.

Continuous partial attention fragments our mind and impedes deep thought, which is at the core of doing meaningful work.

How are we alive if all we do is process tasks?

Digital knowledge work seems to be typing into little boxes all day. We confuse distraction with busyness.

If we are the CEO of us, perhaps we need better focus engines to keep our eyes on the donut and not the donut hole.

Listen to You 2.0: The Value Of ‘Deep Work’ In An Age Of Distraction

gif via The Daily Dot

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Psychology

Save the worry for later

Instapaper your worries. That is, save them for later. By the time you come back to them, they’ll only be important if they’re still on your mind.

Anxiety is a trigger, one that works to benefit you. You’ll continue to think about the exam if you do nothing about it. Studying builds up your confidence and reduces your nervousness. Nevertheless, some worries are like inbox zero are excessive. Overthinking can often lead to overdoing, which falsely prioritizes unimportant things like answering every email.

Allay the fear by doing something about it (image from Thin Slices of Anxiety)

The longer you wait to tackle apprehension, the more anxious you’ll get. In fact, the feeling of procrastination is often worse than doing the actual work. Everything fades away once you get started, paving the way for a clearer future ahead.

Categories
Social Media Tech

Let’s be honest 

There’s a reality between what people say and what they do.

Examples:

  • People keep predicting the death of email but its keeps getting bigger and more important because it’s the one feed where we can control. Everything else (i.e. social media) operates on linear abundance or algorithmic infinity.
  • Tech pundits continue to predict the death of Facebook as teens shift to ephemeral sharing apps like Snapchat. But Generation Z still uses the social network; not because it’s ‘cool,’ but because like email it’s just part of their everyday lives.

The story we tell ourselves is actually different than how we act.

Categories
Productivity & Work

Deep work

Who would’ve thought that your future success rests on the ability to disconnect from the internet and do deep work. If you want to get good at anything, you’ll need to practice for hours with deliberate focus. In an interview with James Altucher, professor, and author Cal Newport suggests that you need three to four hours of intense training each day, whether that be writing, playing the guitar, or shooting hoops.

Newport’s book So Good They Can’t Ignore You argues that skills trump passion, that the reward for putting in the work is the attention your deserve. If you can be consistent, it’s shouldn’t take the 10,000 hours of practice to master something.

It’s hard to delay gratification in a world that teaches you to do everything now. Action is more noticeable than inaction. You go to work to spend more time answering email and slack conversations than tackling a project with long-term benefits. You’re graded based on your ability to manage velocity. It’s no wonder people burn out.

The web is a gift and a curse, a tool for connectedness that can often lead to drowning in a pool of dopamine. Who would’ve thought your success would be determined by your ability to single-task and the only way to get your mind back would be to appreciate doing nothing.

Categories
Productivity & Work Social Media Tech

The Myth of Inbox Zero

Keep on checking…. (Image via Samuel Zeller)

“God, I’m so proud of keeping my inbox to zero,” said no one ever.

Inbox Zero is a futile game. It’s a fun myth created by life hackers to illustrate stellar productivity. But the internet never ends and no one has ever achieved anything great by having an empty inbox. In fact, a plethora of email is more likely to be a sign of busyness, as is a messy desk.

A lot of people like email because it offers more control than the incessant social media feeds. It also avoids the regrettable FOMO that comes with checking Facebook and Twitter. Meanwhile, startups like Slack are trying to merge email with instant messaging and social. to make communication more efficient. But try as they will to reinvent email, it’ll still be there in its simplest form like our snail mail.

Email is a punching bag – you can hit it as hard as you want but the dimple is temporary. Bills, newsletters, and spam always reform to force you to mark them ‘read.’

You can’t defeat email – the best you can do is to contain it.