"Mind Management" book notes

Published at 2023-11-11T22:21:47+02:00

These are my personal takeaways after reading "Mind Management" by David Kadavy. Note that the book contains much more knowledge wisdom and that these notes only contain points I personally found worth writing down. This is mainly for my own use, but you might find it helpful too.

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Productivity isn't about time management - it's about mind management. When you put a lot of effort into something, there are:

Empty slots in the calendar

If we do more things in less time and use all possible slots, speed read, etc., we are more productive. But in reality, that's not the entire truth. You also exchange one thing against everything else.... You cut out too much from your actual life.

When you safe time...

...keep it.

Follow your mood

Ask yourself: what is my mood now? We never have the energy to do anything, so the better strategy is to follow your current mode and energy. E.g.:

Boosting creativity

The morning without coffee is a gift for creativity, but you often get distracted. Minimize distractions, too. I have no window to stare out but a plain blank wall.

The right mood for the task at hand

We need to try many different combinations. Limiting ourselves and trying too hard makes us frustrated and burn out. Creativity requires many iterations.

I can only work according to my available brain power.

I can also change my mood according to what needs improvement. Just imagine the last time you were in that mood and then try to get into it. It can take several tries to hit a working mood. Try to replicate that mental state. This can also be by location or by another habit, e.g. by a beer.

Once you are in a mental state, don't try to change it. It will take a while for your brain to switch to a completely different state.

Week of want. For a week, only do what you want and not what you must do. Your ideas will get much more expansive.

It gives you pleasure and is in a good mood. This increases creativity if you do what you want to do.

Creativity hacks

Planning and strategizing

Minds work better in sprints and not in marathons. Have a weekly plan, not a daily one.

Organize by mental state. In the time management context, the mental state doesn't exist. You schedule as many things as possible by project. In the mind management context, mental state is everything. You could prepare by mental state and not by assignment.

You could schedule exploratory tasks when you are under grief. Sound systems should create slack for creativity. Plan only for a few minutes.

Fake it until you make it.

E-Mail your comments to paul@nospam.buetow.org :-)

Other book notes of mine are:

2023-03-16 "The Pragmatic Programmer" book notes
2023-04-01 "Never split the difference" book notes
2023-05-06 "The Obstacle is the Way" book notes
2023-07-17 "Software Developmers Career Guide and Soft Skills" book notes
2023-11-11 "Mind Management" book notes (You are currently reading this)
2024-05-01 "Slow Productivity" book notes
2024-07-07 "The Stoic Challenge" book notes

More books and other resources I found useful.
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