Categories
Learning

Lean forward and lean back reading

Bookmarked SCREENS AND READING (screensresearchhypertext.com)

JOHN SCHWARTZ talks to clients about “sitting forward” or “sitting back” styles of reading. Media theorist HELEN KATZ describes those styles thus:

Lean forward, where the reader is actively controlling the flow of information.

*Lean back**, where the reader passively consumes information in a way that the author has directed.

Categories
Art and Design

A process for *selecting* rather than culling

Liked A Better Edit Makes Better Photographs by DavidDavid (davidduchemin.com)

My own edit process goes much more quickly because I’m not looking for every single image that meets some basic minimal technical standard. I’m looking for the ones that make me lean in. The ones that make my heart sing. The ones that grab me and won’t let me not select them.

You might have a great reason for rating images, but I think trying to decide whether an image deserves 2, 3, or 4 stars slows the process. Because I’m looking for a few frames that are a decisive “Yes!”, I’ve found rating them makes me look for the wrong thing.

I appreciate hearing about other creative people’s processes and approaches. A lot of these things, we kind of figure out on our own, but others may have developed more effective methods to do the same thing.

I totally am a “delete the bad stuff” editor, with my first round of edits simply clearing out the out of focus or poorly exposed or unnecessary duplicates. A second pass clears out boring and blah. Then I select my pool of images to edit (which is probably too many 😉).

As in everything, working with more intentionality yields better results, though it is harder. I like his mindset of thinking of a collection of photos from a trip as a body of work — this is probably similar to my thinking when I’m constructing an excursion blog post, where I try to curate a representative selection of photos, but if some shots are too similar I might remove one. In the comments, Jon Revere shares his perspective of framing a story, which sometimes means including less than great shots. This resonates with the approach I took to my 2021 photography and writing project Sense Memory.

I am unclear from his description: how many images does he delete? Does he save copies of all his photos to revisit in the future, or only the select best? Are there still 30k photos from that trip on his hard drive?

Categories
Getting Shit Done Meta Technology

Use different tools for creation and consumption

Replied to

I just realized I have mostly  migrated consumption to my phone somewhat unintentionally — but because I read articles on my phone I also tend to compose my commentary on the phone as well, even though typing on my phone sucks 😂 The editor is also hard to use on my phone, and cutting and pasting doesn’t work correctly, so I edit less than I might on desktop. On my phone, I can only see about two sentences at a time, making it harder to write longer form work.

How much does the tool shape what content people produce? Considering many people no longer have desktops and solely use phones for computing, does lacking a PC deter them from writing? How much of the shift to video is because it’s simpler to film than type on phones? How much is the rise of microblogging and descent of blogging tied to smartphones?

Categories
Getting Shit Done Lifestyle

Who do you give power over your time?

Bookmarked The Imperfectionist: Because the bell rings by Oliver Burkeman (ckarchive.com)

And so the risk is that a period with the potential to be absorbingly delightful…becomes something to “get through” instead – an obstacle one must get past before “real life” can resume, simply because it can’t be made to conform to how you think your days ought to go.

The more general… point here is that there’s often a deep tension between the desire many of us feel to exert control over our time – because we believe, if perhaps only subconsciously, that something will go very wrong if we don’t do so – and the possibility of actually being fully absorbed in that time. So it’s not really that the Christmas holiday gets in the way of real life. That would be absurd: Christmas is part of my real life, and a part I cherish. It’s my desire to control things that causes the real trouble.

Your family?

Your boss?

Your friends?

Your community?

Wanting to absolutely control our time conflicts with wanting to be part of community, and sharing experiences with others.

Burkeman discusses the conflict between community, efficiency and convenience in Four Thousand Weeks as well. Individualism puts our focus on ourselves and our personal productivity, but can lose us the experience of being part of a whole. When our own goals take precedence, it’s easy to distance ourselves through resentment of loss of control or treat activities as items on a checklist that must be done before we can get back to the real stuff.

(I say this also as someone who believes in setting boundaries with family and not doing things merely to placate others’ demands. So when you do agree to do something, it’s important to commit to the experience with intentionality.)

Categories
Comics Learning The Internet

The value of deep learning

Liked The dangers of short form content by thewokesalaryman (thewokesalaryman.com)

Short-form content is the spark that gets you to care about something. Yet it’s long-form content (like books) that will give you deep understanding.

[Y]ou can do more when you know more.

A link between depth and intentionality: choosing what you want to learn about, pursuing answers to specific questions. Broad curiosity followed by more focused quests for greater understanding.

Ties back into my general complaint about the internet: there’s a vast sea of 101 (and even lower junk) content dotted by archipelagos of richer material.

See also:

Content marketing has become hollow signaling

Go Deeper, Not Wider

Why the Depth Year Was My Best Year

 

Categories
Getting Shit Done Mental Health

Rethinking time to build happiness

Listened A New Way to Think About Your Time | Ashley Whillans by Ten Percent Happier from Ten Percent Happier

What if one of the keys to happiness is how intentional you are with your time?

Ashley Whillans is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School and author of the book Time Smart. Her groundbreaking research has led her to radically reevaluate how she spends her own time. Her goal is to help you move from time poverty to time affluence.

In this conversation, we talk about:

how to do a time audit

funding time, finding time, and reframing time

the surprising extent to which prioritizing time over money predicts happiness–and what to do if you usually do the opposite

how to handle time confetti

the value of canceling meetings

Decision conflict (?) when you feel like you should be doing something else

Time confetti — social media and tech notifications break up our time into little pieces instead of a longer chunk

Be careful not to let yourself fall into a rabbit hole of meaningless activities like cleaning out your inbox — set a time limit

Find or fund time (pay someone else to do activities that aren’t meaningful to you), or reframe activities to find meaning

Do a time audit to figure out what activities are sucking up your time

Time affluence — feeling in control of how you spend your time

Optimal target = using but not straining skills

Look for ways to give back to make your time feel more meaningful

Block time for meaningful activities, plus a quick planning session early in the week to figure out how you’re going to spend your time

Build breaks into your day to make up for the breaks that have disappeared in the world of virtual meetings where you switch context rapidly with no transition time

Set an intention of what you want to do that day in the morning

Place physical reminders of meaningful activities you could do / to act with intention in places around your house

People who value time over money tend to be happier

Pay attention to when your default activity is work

Also important to incorporate your values outside of work, even when it’s meaningful (like spending time with family and other leisure activities)

“Time Smart” by Ashley Whillans

Categories
Art and Design Reflection Writing

Draw inspiration from, not be influenced by

Liked How To Be Influenced by Ian Leslie (The Ruffian)

Artists (in the broad sense – painters, novelists, composers, etc) are pretty much defined by the struggle to be themselves; to absorb influences without surrendering to them; to be open to others and stubbornly individual. Consequently, artists have a different relationship to influence than the rest of us do. The core difference is this: artists do not absorb their influences passively. They choose their influences, and they choose how to be influenced by them.

“Interrogate your influences.”

Thoughtful, intentional curation and inspiration. I also appreciate the thought to go narrow — some phases of work and thinking benefit from a wide range of inputs, while other times focusing the inputs you’re taking in purposefully can align and refine your work.

Categories
Lifestyle Reflection Relationships

How many times will you go there, see them, do that again?

Bookmarked Opinion | How Covid Stole Our Time and How We Can Get It Back by Tim Urban (nytimes.com)

Depressing Math is especially depressing when you’re living through a pandemic. Covid hasn’t taken away our weeks, but it has robbed us of our favorite activities — experiences that are already in short supply.

A reminder to savor life and time with family and friends

Categories
Getting Shit Done

Crystal Clear Intentions

Liked Start the week right with our Monday newsletter, Wandering Weekly! – Wandering Aimfully by Caroline Zook (Wandering Aimfully)

Every Monday we drop into your inbox with helpful, actionable tips on how to balance running a *profitable* business with a spacious, satisfying life.   You’ll get an opt-in confirmation email within 5-10 minutes. If you don’t receive it, please reach out to us at hello@wanderingaimfully.com. Thanks!    

When our intentions are crystal clear to us, decisions become a lot easier to make.

Today I was about ten minutes into my daily workout, when I noticed my mind drifting and my motivation plummeting. Why? To put it simply: I was bored. I’ve been sticking to the same program for a month or two now and I know what to expect, so my brain has a tendency to checkout.

As I noticed this, I started to consider turning off the workout and moving to something more fun and less tedious. At the same moment I was considering this, the instructor said something along the lines of: “Don’t quit on yourself. Keep pushing through and challenging yourself… that’s what this is all about.”

For a moment, I agreed with her. I stuck it out a few more minutes, really doing my best to push through the mental resistance. There’s obviously a lot of value in developing that mental fortitude. But then something occurred to me: “Challenging myself” is actually NOT what it’s about for me. Not really.

My personal intention with exercising is crystal clear to me. It’s all about consistently doing something that maintains my physical and emotional health.

If consistency is my North Star, I have to be aware of the obstacles that could drag me off that course. Boredom, dread, and starting to feel pressured in my workouts are all things that are going to make me LESS likely to be consistent, not more likely.

— Caroline Zook

Categories
Mental Health Personal Growth

Apply Meaning with Intention

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

3 short ideas from James Clear, 2 quotes from other people, and 1 question for you.

“The events of your past are fixed. The meaning of your past is not.

The influence of every experience in your life is determined by the meaning you assign to it.

Assign a more useful meaning to your past and it becomes easier to take a more useful action in the present.”

— James Clear

This is a good reminder for a ruminator like me.

You are in control of interpreting your past. Apply meaning with intention to not be trapped by past mistakes.