Life & Death; Newsletter #30

4 Little Wonder Bites

📖 Current Read; 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living — Ryan Holiday

The Daily Stoic Meditation for May 10th outlines how, sometimes, rather than simply sitting on the sidelines, we must take action and throw ourselves into the arena.

This is how we become recognised & esteemed, and importantly, influential.

Photo: Joseph Frank/Unsplash

“Let us also produce some bold act of our own — and join the ranks of the most emulated.”

— SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 98.13b

This phrase, sitting on the sidelines, means exactly that.

Sitting on the sidelines is when you wait around, and, in most cases, avoid firsthand action.

Rather than, in the literal sense, throwing yourself into battle and doing courageous acts, you are simply sitting by and watching. You are not in the action.

In all other fields, not just warfare, this phrase still applies.

Rather than getting hands on, taking the action and doing the work, you may just be leaving it all to other people.

Rather than making a name for yourself, you’re sitting aside and waiting.

Theres a great number of reasons behind why people sit on the sidelines and avoid real action.

Reasons such as;

  • Lack of knowledge
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of success
  • Not feeling ‘ready’

Whatever the reason, it results in one thing: stagnancy.

If you do not throw yourself in the arena (cautiously, of course, and with a solid plan of action) you will not move forward. This is the simple law of life.

Without action there will be no forward progression.

With this, it becomes evident that, no matter why you sit on the sidelines, it becomes detrimental to your overall progress and development.

The process of getting in the arena is, of course, entirely opposite to sitting on the sidelines.

When you get in the arena, you welcome as much action as possible. You absolutely throw yourself into battle (be it literal or in some other sense), and you are hands on.

Rather than waiting or watching, you are making the moves.

The ball is in your court, so to say.

There are clear advantages that come when you get yourself in the arena and you take firsthand action.

Advantages such as;

  • Success
  • Development
  • Growth
  • Overcoming fear of failure, or fear of success
  • Firsthand experience

Many of the advantages simply boil down to this: real progress.

When you get in the arena, you are making 100% more progress than if you sat on the sidelines.

You are doing the work yourself. You are putting yourself out there. This is progress.

And that is how you become inspirational.

Idea of the Week. 💭

4 pillars of productivity, outlined by The Digital Workspace.

It sounds fancy and complicated, however, when the steps are broken down, it becomes something that anyone can follow!

  • Task management — a way to collect and organize all the stuff you have to do
  • Prioritization — a way to decide what you do first
  • Time management — a way to structure your day so that you get the most important things done
  • Focus — a way to reduce distractions and accomplish your goals

Task Management

Task management is at the heart of productivity: you have to know everything about your tasks.

You have to know what they are, how long (on average) they’ll take, who set them, their deadlines and so much more!

There’s two key components of task management:

  • Reminders
  • Breaking things down

Task management is crucial when it comes to productivity.

Task management ensures that you know what you need to do and when. This enables you to correctly direct your energy.

How many times have you forgotten to complete an important task, simply because you failed to remind yourself of it?

Trying to remember what to do takes up way too much space in the mind, and as seen, we often fail miserably at remembering it all.

The better option is to manage your tasks by reminding yourself of them!

This ensures that they don’t slip the mind, and that you get everything done.

Secondly, how many times have you been faced with a huge, colossal task that you simply have no idea how to tackle?

Task management is not just knowing what tasks you have to do, but it is breaking down those tasks into manageable steps.

Ensure that, with your tasks, you break them down into smaller chunks! Chunks that are fairly easy to follow, chunks that are very actionable.

Prioritisation

Prioritisation is something that everyone can do, but few people actually do.

Prioritisation is the act of deciding the importance and urgency of your tasks and projects.

It is the act of figuring out 3 things.

  • What is most important?
  • What brings the most growth?
  • What you most want to do?

To make something a priority, it is wise to consider these 3 categories.

Does it need to be done now?

Will it help you or the company advance?

Do you even want to do it? Or can it be delegated?

Prioritise the most important tasks that bring the highest return.

Set aside time to focus, uninterruptedly, on these tasks.

Time Management

Similarly to prioritisation, time management is an extremely important skill that many lack.

Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between different activities.

It is deciding how much time, you’ll allot to a certain task, and when.

Time management is absolutely key to productivity.

Failure to manage your time results in a great deal of awful things:

  • You feel like the days fly by
  • You fail to complete tasks
  • You have little time for what you enjoy
  • Tasks may begin to pile up
  • Stress and feelings of overwhelm becomes prominent.

Time management ensures that you get all your tasks done in specific periods of time.

It gives you the control, something many of us lack when it comes to work life.

Theres many ways you can efficiently manage your time to get the most out of your day.

  • Use the pomodoro timer
  • Use a daily journal/planner
  • Plan out your day
  • Harness your biological prime time
  • Use time boxing
  • Use task batching

Focus

No matter if you prioritise your top tasks and set aside a great deal of time, without focus, nothing great will happen.

If you’re easily distracted by facebook or instagram when it comes to work hard, you’ll make little progress and fail to get things done.

Focus is absolutely crucial in regards to productivity.

Without it, a lot of your actions go to waste.

Focus itself is the act of concentrating your energy, time and resources into one specific place for a period of time.

Focus is crucial when it comes to productivity: if you can focus, you’ll be set in no time.

Focus is so very important.

It may be better to outline what happens without focus, to stress the importance.

When you lack focus:

  • You may fail to complete work
  • You may fail to progress
  • You’ll be constantly distracted
  • Your mind will be cluttered, and more often your workspace too

Without focus there’s little progress.

It is your responsibility to train your focus muscle.

With strong focus, you can efficiently work on just a few tasks and get them completed to a high standard! This is true productivity.

There are many ways one can enhance their focus muscle and develop it.

Ways such as:

  • Use a to-do list
  • Turn off notifications
  • Set aside uninterrupted time
  • Don’t check social media or email
  • Use the pomodoro timer (or any other sort of timer)
  • Harness the power of the flow state

Quote of the Week. 🗣

Marcus Aurelius, a great Stoic philosopher, on the simple link between life and death.

“Don’t behave as if you are destined to live forever. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good. Now.”

Tweet of the Week. ✍🏻

Ross Harkness, a writer and avid twitter user, on the key qualities of successful people.

Most people will try something once, fail and give up.

Successful people will try something, fail, adjust, try, and repeat until they find success.

If you really want to be successful, if there’s that burning desire in your stomach to make a change and be influential, you have to persevere.

That is the simple, but not easy, truth. Perseverance is key to success.

When you fail, you have to be willing to get back up and give it another go.

You cannot simply try once. You have to be consistent, and you have to persist.

The mark of a truly successful person is, even when they’ve failed countless times, they will adjust, try and repeat until they find success.

It is your responsibility to channel this powerful energy.

If you fail, it is your responsibility to get back up and give it another shot.

This is what constitutes success.

To end, here’s a question from me! ⚡️

What one thing could you do today to make tomorrow a little easier?

Maybe, more importantly, can you do that thing now?

Thanks for reading!

Until next week.

Sam. 😆

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happiness in all areas of life. student 👨🏻‍🎓. 2 weekly newsletters, daily stoic meditations + occasional articles and book summaries.

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Sam M

Sam M

happiness in all areas of life. student 👨🏻‍🎓. 2 weekly newsletters, daily stoic meditations + occasional articles and book summaries.

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