Getting Shit Done

Article pairing: don’t let habits get in the way

Gamification might be bad, actually? – Elizabeth Bear

Not only does it turn your entire life into filling out timesheets, as if everything we do needs to be self-improvement or a billable hour (#hustleculture) but it also changes the goal, right? So the goal stops being “I want to play guitar because I enjoy playing guitar….And instead, the goal becomes “I should play guitar because I am supposed to play guitar so I get to fill in the little box on my habit tracker.”

One thing I learned in my twenties, which I am trying to relearn now, is that there are only two reasons to do things: because you want to, or because you have to.

The Imperfectionist: Against good habits – Oliver Burkeman

I think one of the subtler psychological obstacles to building a creative and fulfilling life – in other words, to actually getting around to the things we most want to do with our finite weeks on earth – is the idea that we first need to become the kind of person who does those things all the time.


Process Over Outcome

Quoted 3-2-1: On mediocrity vs. genius, taking risks, and when to ignore a problem | James Clear by James Clear (James Clear)

3 ideas from me, 2 quotes from other people, and 1 question for you.

“New goals don’t deliver new results. New lifestyles do.

And a lifestyle is a process, not an outcome.

For this reason, your energy should go into building better habits, not chasing better results.”

— James Clear

Getting Shit Done Personal Growth

Watched Interview with James Clear

Watched Tiny Changes with Big Results // Ground Up 083 by Matt D’Avella from

James Clear is the author of the book Atomic Habits. His work combines a range of disciplines including biology, neuroscience, psychology & philosophy.

“Decisions and habits are two pillars of leading a better life. Your decisions set the potential for your life. Your habits determine how much of that potential you realize.”

— James Clear

His metaphor is interesting about balancing ambition with not being super accomplished: be gracious with yourself for being a sapling and not a full gown tree, just focus on keeping growing and being good for where you are now.

“Find out what the right recipe of your talents are… and how can you combine those in some kind of unique way that’s more compelling than they would be alone.”

— James Clear

Risk-taking: look for known costs/risks and unbounded potential

Benefit of getting your inspiration from another vertical than the one where you create – e.g. bringing in content from books to the blog and email newsletter sphere can make you stand out

“People take too much ownership of their ideas and don’t realize how much they’ve been gifted” from the past and others. “Give all the credit away.”

“When life doesn’t challenge you, you should probably challenge yourself.”

— James Clear

Getting Shit Done

The Importance of Maintenance

Bookmarked Art of Managing Yourself: Things I’ve Learned by Yina HuangYina Huang (

If there is one fundamental principle I live by, it is to remember the second law of thermodynamics: that everything is subject to entropy and decay.
In less intense terms, it literally means everything is falling apart slowly.

The 5 Principles of Self-Management:

  1. Actively manage these four things: physical items, digital items, thoughts, and time.
  2. Focus on systems and routine to automate recurring tasks.
  3. Treat yourself like your own CEO.
  4. Beyond organizing your digital and physical items, it’s important to organize your mind.
  5. Nothing is forever, the key is maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.

The “organize your mind” step is part of why I have this mind garden!

I’ve found that ensuring these four are organized is one of the best ways to minimize stress and anxiety:

  • Physical items
  • Digital items
  • Thoughts
  • Time

Using the analogy of a business, what are the key categories in your life that you need to consistently maintain? For ex: Physical Health? Financials? Relationships? Personal Growth?

Personal Growth

Changing habits through observation

Bookmarked How to change an unwanted habit by Amogh (The Examined Life)

It took me <2 min/day for a month. No will power, guilt or external motivation needed.

Exhibit A, what gets measured gets managed.

“We won’t need to force any change in our behaviour because consciousness itself will take care of this by its intrinsic power.

His approach: literally write down how much of something you did a day. Every day for a month. For example, number of cookies eaten or time spent on phone.

As we begin to see and realize what we repeatedly do–without needing self-shaming and blame–the power of awareness automatically begins to exert influence on our behaviour and impulses