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Why Track Your Habits?

I first became interested in tracking my habits after reading by James Clear. While habit tracking is nothing new, the benefits of doing so cannot be understated. As Peter Drucker famously said,

What makes habit tracking so powerful is it solves one of the biggest problems of building any new habit: slow feedback.

Building positive habits is hard because it can take weeks, months, or even years before you start to see any results from sticking with it. You need a way to stay motivated in the short-term when your desired results still…


Understanding the models derived from physics, chemistry, and biology

The Great Mental Models Vol. 2 by Shane Parrish
The Great Mental Models Vol. 2 by Shane Parrish
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Book Notes

Volume two of series explores the core mental models derived from the fundamentals of science: physics, chemistry, and biology. Understanding these models will help you improve your understanding of how the world works so you can learn to make better decisions.

Part 1: Physics

Relativity

Relativity helps us to understand that there is more than one way to see everything. …


A shortlist of the best books and articles to elevate your reading for the upcoming year.

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Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

This year I read 26 books and hundreds of articles. My interests ranged from behavioral psychology, mental models, note-taking, health, wealth, design, and much more. In no particular order, these are the five books and five articles I found most valuable.

A quick note: These are the best books and articles that in 2020; it doesn’t mean that they were published in 2020.

The Best Books I Read in 2020

Impro by Keith Johnstone


Here’s how I improved my metabolic health by wearing a Levels CGM (and even lost 8 pounds!)

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The box I received in the mail before starting the 28-day challenge.

Disclaimer:

For the past 28 days, I’ve had a tiny needle stuck in the back of my arm, reading my blood. And no, I’m not diabetic nor pre-diabetic. …


“A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.”

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I used to be proud of reading 30+ books each year. I thought it was the key to gaining a competitive advantage in a world that rewards those who seek to discover and act upon good ideas. But in my constant pursuit of discovering the next “big idea,” I never took the time to digest what I’d just read.

Three years and 100 books later, I eventually realized I had been playing the wrong game. In my quest to…


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Even though our quality of life has never been better, we continue to add to our stress levels. We’re too distracted, take on more than we can handle, and our standards continually rise, making it hard for us to play catch-up.

What’s missing in our culture of knowledge work is a foolproof system for keeping track of what needs to be done, what should be done, or what should consider being done. What’s missing is a system for managing what’s on your mind.

Most often…


How Roam makes connecting ideas easy so you can become a better thinker and writer

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I’ve tried a lot of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) tools, but none of them stuck. They were either too rigid or too complicated for quickly capturing notes and the ideas running around in my head. My notes stayed separate; connections between ideas never got made.

My desire to find a flexible system that worked quickly…


How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler
How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler
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The Art of Reading

There are three possible goals for reading. You’re either reading for information, reading for understanding, or reading for entertainment.

Reading for Information occurs when you read newspapers, magazines, or online articles. The content you consume may increase your store of information or affect your emotional state, but it doesn’t improve your understanding of the material.

Reading…


The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
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The Psychopathology of Everyday Things

The two most important characteristics of good design are and . Discoverability asks what actions are possible of the product and where and how to perform them. Understanding asks how the product is supposed to be used.

Design is concerned with how things work, how they’re controlled, and the nature of the interaction between people and technology. When done well, the results are brilliant, pleasurable products.

But when done poorly, it can lead to frustration and irritation. Bad design of more complex commercial and industrial products and machines can even lead to accidents, injuries, and death.

When accidents happen…


How I overcame the four most popular excuses for not learning so you don’t have to make the same mistakes.

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Photo by Clément H on Unsplash

Learning how to code is something I’ve thought about doing for some time but always found an excuse for putting it off. Then the pandemic happened, flipping my schedule upside-down. If I was serious about wanting to learn, then this was the perfect opportunity. It was time for my next 30-day challenge.

In 30 days, I went from being a complete beginner who didn’t know what a programming language was to a budding developer who was getting comfortable with building landing pages using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I summarized my learn-to-code journey with the following tweet.

Defining My Why

So why did…

Blake Reichmann

Engineer & Writer | Writing about the best books, tools for thought, and systems for maximizing creativity at lawsonblake.com

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