Smartphone is a Double Edged Sword

Since 2004 there has been very little *meaningful* change. Productivity has fallen despite the smartphone. You might be wondering why this info on the smartphone all of a sudden? I’ve received a critical mass of research. I believe that it is telling us that the smartphone is a double edged sword and we need to respect that.

Planet Money explains our period of falling productivity: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/05/19/529178937/episode-772-small-change

This article explains the psychology of the smartphone and how it has made us less intelligent and is responsible for poor social skills and the gullibility crisis:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-smartphones-hijack-our-minds-1507307811

 

Review of “The Dark Side of Resilience”

In another one of life’s ironies, somebody could label you “not resilient” when in fact you might be “too resilient”. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Derek Lusk’s insightful article on “The Dark Side of Resilience” highlights another humbling highlight of our collective human ignorance. Indeed, everyone should be aware of this reminder of a dangerous psychological bias.

Key quotes that resonated with me from the article:

” …[E]xtreme resilience could drive people to become overly persistent with unattainable goals. Although we tend to celebrate individuals who aim high or dream big, it is usually more effective to adjust one’s goals to more achievable levels, which means giving up on others….[P]eople waste an enormous amount of time persisting with unrealistic goals, a phenomenon called the “false hope syndrome.”

…[T]oo much resilience could make people overly tolerant of adversity. At work, this can translate into putting up with boring or demoralizing jobs — and particularly bad bosses — for longer than needed.

…[The goal is to compete between groups not within the team, so,] …choosing resilient leaders is not enough: they must also have integrity and care more about the welfare of their teams than their own personal success.

In sum, there is no doubt that resilience is a useful and highly adaptive trait, especially in the face of traumatic events. However, when taken too far, it may focus individuals on impossible goals and make them unnecessarily tolerant of unpleasant or counterproductive circumstances. This reminds us of Voltaire’s Candide, the sarcastic masterpiece that exposes the absurd consequences of extreme optimism: ‘I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?’”

Quora – What is your super-productive life hack?

To become super-productive in life: Replace bad habits with good habits and then measure success against yourself (not others). Success is just personal improvements usually made by many small changes over time.

Easier said than done! Some tips:

Inventory habits – tools can be as easy as considering critical feedback you might already be receiving. Or you could make lists.

Find good habits and practice them – they don’t just fall in our laps. This requires research (mentors, books, etc). Clues on what materials to read might be gleaned from knowing your bad habits 🙂 I highly recommend fostering an internal locus of control or “I make my own destiny” vs “everything is always somebody else’s fault” (external) Locus of control – Wikipedia

Remove bad habits – Lots of habits are subconscious so look for tools that help with retraining subconscious. This can be difficult and very personal; reference motivational self help courses. Tools may include alt therapies like protocols around EMDR: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing – Wikipedia Don’t discount personal trauma when trying to change habits. You might have to address a trauma before being able to proceed in an area of your life.

Repeat… forever! After all, that is just the journey of life. It’s not a destination.

Originally posted at: https://www.quora.com/What-is-your-super-productive-life-hack/answer/Trevor-Textor

The great parking debate; back-in or pull-in?

stocksnap_8u9imyl2cqAs another blogger puts it, an issue that has “two bitterly feuding camps” and further compares it to the “…great ‘under’ or ‘over’ toilet paper debate.” I have a feeling that the blogger is Australian so here’s a Canadian (specifically Calgary), pro / con list for back-in:

Pros:

Safety – Apparently it’s safer. So you see a lot of SUVs and trucks doing this. Because, face it, SUVs and trucks have less visibility.

You can pull out faster – Great if you’re robbing the place! Personally I like to get in the store quicker to get in front of that person who doesn’t have kids and is going to dicker in front of us while in the checkout line while my kids try to tear the place apart… (you know who you are!)

Cons:

Groceries – How do you get into your trunk with another vehicle crammed against the trunk lid?

Parking – In Calgary the parking authority can’t see your license plate to confirm if you’re legally parked (in the fancy new online parking system) – so you could get fined and even towed.

Police – In Alberta your license plate is only on the back. If you’re backed in, it looks like you’re hiding something. The police have to get out of their car when patrolling to see your license plate further upsetting them.

Winter – You can’t plug in your block heater: it is in the front of the vehicle where the engine is and the plug-in for the stall is in the front. Which reminds me – when Imperial Oil started managing the Syncrude plant they decreed “all shall back in” and one cheeky Canadian said “that will work until winter…”. Suffice it to say, the Syncrude plant actually froze up for the first time in its history and couldn’t produce for over a week proving again that warm weather people have no idea about cold weather.

Safety – People who are backing in don’t signal what they are doing for some reason? So it appears that they stop randomly and start backing up. In my car, I’ve several times nearly taken their parking space or pulled through to the parking stall they are backing into.

Stall wastage – A large enough percentage of people who back in can’t do it straight. So they usually block off the adjacent stall from being used. This also happens with people pulling-in, however back-in seems to increase the angle beyond what is just “sloppy parking”.

There you have it! In Calgary, clearly the lesser used method is back-in and a high percentage of that is trucks. I am personally a pull-in person as there are too many cons with back-in in Calgary. I have a feeling that back-in occurs much more frequently in warmer climates. Pull-in just seems the more logical way to do it here.

PS. I prefer the toilet paper in the over position. My reasoning is a result of the newer holders that flip up. Imagine banging away in the upward direction on these holders and the paper role flies off…

Planet Money Talks About Organ Donations And How To Increase Them

Empathy is not an effective way to encourage people to be on an organ registry. But simply asking them when they are not thinking about it (via DMV registry) is extremely effective. It works because we are annoyed and distracted and not thinking about death. Interestingly, Alberta recently made this change, to ask the question at the registry, just this year.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/02/19/279664019/episode-518-how-to-bore-someone-into-donating-an-organ

The Anti-Store

Finally! The NPR Planet Money episode on Price Club / Costco. Why they purposely make shopping harder and why people love it. The quotes in this podcast are priceless; from the founder himself “I was adamant that we would not have signs telling people where things were because that would make it likely that they would wander through all the aisles and find other things to buy.”

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/09/25/443519599/episode-653-the-anti-store

Here’s something I don’t understand about people shopping at Costco. Clearly Costco is not a “quick stop” experience. There are no express cashiers! So why do people still insist on going to Costco to buy a single item???

Image of Costco patron buying only two items (that’s my stuff on the left) on Oct 30, 2015 – bananas and bread?:

CostcoShopJustTwoItems