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When the 80/20 Rule Fails: The Downside of Being Effective

Audrey Hepburn was an icon. Rising to fame in the 1950s, she was one of the greatest actresses of her era. In 1953, Hepburn became the first actress to win an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a BAFTA Award for a single performance: her leading role in the romantic comedy Roman Holiday. Even today, over half a century later, she remains one of just 15 people to earn an “EGOT” by winning all four major entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. By the 1960s, she was averaging more than one new film per year and, by everyone's estimation,…
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The Myth of Multitasking: Why Fewer Priorities Leads to Better Work

The word priority didn't always mean what it does today. In his best-selling book, Essentialism (audiobook), Greg McKeown explains the surprising history of the word and how its meaning has shifted over time. “The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities. Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality. Somehow we would now be able to have multiple “first” things. People and companies…
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Zanshin: Learning the Art of Attention and Focus From a Legendary Samurai Archer

In the 1920s, a German professor named Eugen Herrigel moved to Japan. He came to teach philosophy at a university a few hours northeast of Tokyo, in a city called Sendai. To deepen his understanding of Japanese culture, Herrigel began training in Kyudo, the Japanese martial art of archery. He was taught by a legendary archer named Awa Kenzo. Kenzo was convinced that beginners should master the fundamentals of archery before attempting to shoot at a real target, and he took this method to the extreme. For the first four years of his training, Herrigel was only allowed to shoot…
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The Productivity Guide: Time Management Strategies That Work.

What is Productivity? Let's define productivity. Productivity is a measure of efficiency of a person completing a task. We often assume that productivity means getting more things done each day. Wrong. Productivity is getting important things done consistently. And no matter what you are working on, there are only a few things that are truly important. Being productive is about maintaining a steady, average speed on a few things, not maximum speed on everything. My Top Productivity Strategies Eliminate Time Wasting Activities by Using the Eisenhower Box: This simple decision matrix will help you take action, organize tasks, and get more done.…
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The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice.

In some circles, Ben Hogan is credited with “inventing practice.” Hogan was one of the greatest golfers of the 20th century, an accomplishment he achieved through tireless repetition. He simply loved to practice. Hogan said, “I couldn't wait to get up in the morning so I could hit balls. I'd be at the practice tee at the crack of dawn, hit balls for a few hours, then take a break and get right back to it.” For Hogan, every practice session had a purpose. He reportedly spent years breaking down each phase of the golf swing and testing new methods…
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The Goldilocks Rule: How to Stay Motivated in Life and Business

In 1955, Disneyland had just opened in Anaheim, California, when a ten-year-old boy walked in and asked for a job. Labor laws were loose back then and the boy managed to land a position selling guidebooks for $0.50 apiece. Within a year, he had transitioned to Disney’s magic shop, where he learned tricks from the older employees. He experimented with jokes and tried out simple routines on visitors. Soon he discovered that what he loved was not performing magic but performing in general. He set his sights on becoming a comedian. Beginning in his teenage years, he started performing in…
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The Ultimate Productivity Hack is Saying No

The ultimate productivity hack is saying no. Not doing something will always be faster than doing it. This statement reminds me of the old computer programming saying, “Remember that there is no code faster than no code.” The same philosophy applies in other areas of life. For example, there is no meeting that goes faster than not having a meeting at all. This is not to say you should never attend another meeting, but the truth is that we say yes to many things we don't actually want to do. There are many meetings held that don't need to be…
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Creativity Is a Process, Not an Event.

In 1666, one of the most influential scientists in history was strolling through a garden when he was struck with a flash of creative brilliance that would change the world.While standing under the shade of an apple tree, Sir Isaac Newton saw an apple fall to the ground. “Why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground,” Newton wondered. “Why should it not go sideways, or upwards, but constantly to the earth’s centre? Assuredly, the reason is, that the earth draws it. There must be a drawing power in matter.” And thus, the concept of gravity was born. The…
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The Ultimate Habit Tracker Guide: Why and How to Track Your Habits.

If you want to stick with a habit for good, one simple and effective thing you can do is keep a habit tracker. Here's why: Elite performers will often measure, quantify, and track their progress in various ways. Each little measurement provides feedback. It offers a signal of whether they are making progress or need to change course. Gabrielle Hamilton, a chef in New York City, provides a good example. During an interview with the New York Times, she said, “The one thing I see that consistently separates the chef from the home cook is that we taste everything, all the time,…
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