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Tech Productivity

Issue #180  (How to Break a Bad Habit) 07/25/22

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A couple of the articles in this week's "Articles & Resources" section feature information about habits. You'll enjoy those, but I think the idea of having good habits ties in well with a Twitter thread shared by Sahil Bloom where he explains:

"There’s a concept in aviation called the 1-in-60 Rule [that] says that a 1 degree error in heading will cause a plane to miss its target by 1 mile for every 60 miles flown. This concept applies quite directly to your life and growth: Tiny deviations from the optimal course are amplified by distance and time. A small miss now creates a very large miss later. This highlights the need for real-time course corrections and adjustments."

The full thread is worth a read, but I really like how this illustrates how easy it is to miss our goals due to a small variation now. The thread eventually ties into the concept of habits (thought that's not the primary theme).

Bad Habits Neon Sign

Habits, especially bad habits, can take as much further off course than just 'one degree'. But even something small that doesn't seem to be affecting us now (i.e. a 'one degree' variation) can have long-term consequences.

To help fight against this tendency to be 'one degree off', Sahil reveals the three questions he asks himself on the last Friday of each month, a sort of self check-in that helps him maintain his course. You might find his advice helpful.

Now on to this week's hand-picked productivity links!


Tools & Apps

Skiff — End-to-end encrypted wallet-native email that protects your inbox with no big tech privacy concerns and the code is open source. — Online QR code generator for events and appointments. When the code is scanned with a smartphone, all the info is added to the phone's calendar.

Spyglass — Mac, Windows, or Linux app. A personal search engine that indexes what you want, exposing it to you in a simple and fast interface. — A video meetings platform to socialize, collaborate, and throw virtual socials, making meetings more fun and interactive.

Productivity Toolset — An all-in-one browser extension that helps you perform numerous routine tasks faster, with ability to add hot keys, mouse events, groups and folders, and more.

Bookly — iOS or Android app to help you track your book reading sessions in real-time, keep you accountable, and build your reading habit.

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Articles & Resources

How to Break a Bad Habit — Makes a good case for the importance of understanding what's happening in our brains when it comes to trying to break bad habits, along with the usual hard work that's involved.

Micromanagement vs. Micro-Tasks: How to Set Junior Employees up for Success in Remote — Many in the workforce seem to feel that junior employees working remotely have a harder time than those working in person. This goes over some solutions for supporting remote junior workers.

The Brain Has a ‘Low-Power Mode’ That Blunts Our Senses — Based on a study conducted on mice that revealed an energy-saving strategy in the visual systems of mice.

Taking a Break from Social Media Makes you Happier and Less Anxious — Clearly nothing new in that headline but this is a good reminder from Cal Newport who discusses a recent study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

How to Sleep Well Again — Some suggestions to tackle insomnia that go beyond pills and deals with behaviour that may be causing problems with sleep.

Research Concludes: We Waste Our Time At Work — The main time-waster is meetings. When meetings are reduced, just about everything in the workplace improves significantly.


Have a suggestion for a productivity-related tool, article, or other resource? Send me a direct message via X (@LouisLazaris) and I’ll consider including it in a future issue.

Stay productive!


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