GTD effortlessly, becoming antifragile, before starting your next project

Welcome to Work Less Issue 46!

đź‘‹ from Kuala Lumpur this week. I'm here to celebrate my wife's birthday and meet up with a few online friends who live here.

Also, I've published a new book note this week: Range by David Epstein.

Get things done effortlessly

We spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing. We know what to do, but we don't do it. Steven Pressfield calls that the Resistance. When we stop fighting the Resistance, getting things done feels effortless.

It could become so effortless that you feel like you're being lazy, but it's not. Instead, it's about a combination of:

  • Not negotiating with yourself.
  • Give up trying to be perfect.
  • Knowing that you will be okay at the end of the day.

Becoming antifragile financially

A few of my friends hold more cash than most financial advisors recommend. I don't get it until I learn more about the concept of antifragile.

Quoting Nassim Taleb in his book Antifragile:‍

Anything that has more upside than downside from random events is antifragile; the reverse is fragile.‍

Having a bunch of cash (with some assets and no debt) is antifragile. Cash provides options. When the economy and market are doing good, you are doing good. When the economy and market are doing poorly, you get to tap into the opportunity and do even better later.

Even when things take a turn in your personal life, such as getting sick or job loss, you now have the safety net to rest and recover or explore work on your own. Comparing that to severe ruin with increased stress that takes years to recover financially.

To become more antifragile, develop multiple income streams, spend way below the mean, and build a life outside of the spreadsheets. Focus on doing great work, adding value, and developing meaningful relationships.

A fragile life is having one income stream with no savings, owning no assets, spending more than you earn (getting in debt), and building an identity on top of the money you make.

Before you start your next project

I tend to take on new projects only to realize that I'm spreading myself too thin. Yes, you should always start before you're ready, but it's good to have a few acceptance criteria in place before committing to something new.

Here are some questions I came up with:

  • Do I get to work with intelligent and awesome people? Who are they? Is there synergy where 1+1 equals more than 2?
  • Do I get to learn and practice transferrable skills? What are they?
  • Do I get to be true to myself? What are the virtues and values I stand for? How is the project fuel or against them?
  • What are the desirable outcomes I would like to see? What are the metrics? How do I measure them?
  • How much time and energy do I need to invest? What's the estimated timeline for me to see the desirable outcome? What are the daily, weekly, and monthly commitments?
  • Am I excited about the project? How excited do I feel now? Putting it aside for a week, am I still excited about the project?
  • How much money do I get to make? How much when the project is completed? How much on a weekly or monthly basis? How much on an hourly basis?
  • Do I have existing knowledge, skills, and leverage to make it a success? What are they? If not, how do I acquire them?

It's a long list. But if you're going to spend a few months—or even years—working on a project, it would be good to spend a few hours to make sure it's the right one.

Photo of the week

Here's a really good ramen I had with my wife at Mont Kiara Kuala Lumpur this weekend.

ramen at Mont Kiara

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