Dean's Notes (Mar 2021)

Protect your attention, high performance habits, live webinars, and more

Happy Monday! It's finally March and I can't wait to send you this newsletter.

I like this monthly cadence more than the weekly one because I get to share more in one email. What do you think/feel about it?

Let's dive into what I've created in the past month.

I've also built a new review page to showcase selected testimonials and reviews I've gotten so far. They came from surveys, interviews, email responses, tweets, and more.

Announcement: Live webinars

I'll be hosting two live webinars this month.

  1. How to be less dumb (March 12). You'll learn about how to overcome common cognitive errors, think for yourself, and make better decisions.
  2. Master your time (March 26). I'll share five time management frameworks that will help you focus on what's matter and maximize your output.

Both webinars are free and limited to 100 guests.

I'll do more of these webinars in the future if we have enough traction for these two.

Recommended books

Two books for this month:

High Performance Habits. I've talked a lot about it in these newsletters last year when I was reading it. Check out the book notes first, then give it a read if you want to perform at your peak.

Measure What Matters. This is a book about Objective Key Results (OKRs) with case studies from companies like Google, Gate Foundation, Intuit, and more. I've been using OKRs for years but the case studies and examples in the book gave me new insights into the system.

Articles worth reading

No meetings, no deadlines, no full-time employees by Sahil Lavingia. It's the opposite of how we work at AppSumo. Heck, it could be the direct opposite to most companies out there. It won’t work for most organizations, but it’s an alternative to how work usually gets done.

After minimalism by David Perell. As someone who is into minimalism, it’s interesting to read about another point of view. While the comparison is made from the POV of arts, it got me thinking about how minimalism impacts our work and life in similar ways — that we become less human.

Two worlds: so much prosperity, so much skepticism by Morgan Housel. An event could mean something to me and the total opposite to you. It’s hard to wrap our heads around the idea but the pandemic is a great example. For some, the pandemic was bad but not too bad, and the worst was behind us. But for others, it’s a disaster and the worst has just begun.

Personal leverage: How to truly 10x your productivity by Nat Eliason. In Decision Minimalism, I’ve proposed the idea of making fewer decisions by automating and delegating them. Nat has a similar take focusing on the process of how to do it. I still enjoy and find his article helpful because of how actionable it is.

How Ryan Holiday write 10 books in 10 years. Great tips for anyone who wants to publish a book or write more in general. It’s not an article but a tweetstorm.

Quotes you might need

To make something good, just do it. To make something great, just re-do it, re-do it, re-do it. The secret to making fine things is in remaking them. —Kevin Kelly
How creators get popular—and more importantly, get good at their crafts? One song at a time. One email at a time. One video at a time. One article at a time. One painting at a time. One tweet at a time. —Dean Yeong
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. —Lao Tzu
A brief guide to improvement: 1 - Lots of research. Explore widely and see what is possible. 2 - Lots of iterations. Focus on one thing, but do it in different ways. Refine your method. 3 - Lots of repetitions. Stick with your method until it stops working. Research. Iterate. Repeat. —James Clear
Invest the best hours of your day on the biggest opportunity, not the biggest problem. —Shane Parrish

More interesting finds

The most useful advice usually falls under one of the two groups: 1) concepts that change what you believe and how you think and 2) actionable tips that have a compounding impact on everything you do.

Keyboard shortcuts are one of the latter.

Given the time we all spend on Gmail, it's essential to get familiar with a few Gmail shortcuts.

Want more shortcuts for other tools? Download CheatSheet (for Mac only) and then hold the command key to find all the available shortcuts.

Share the newsletter

That's it for this week! If you enjoy these newsletters and think a colleague, friend, or family member should read them, please get them to sign up on this page. I will be forever grateful for the kind gesture.

While we are at it, there are more ways to support and help me spend more time and energy here. Find out more on this page.

Have feedback and ideas to share? Let's connect via Twitter.

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Dean is a strong voice in the self-mastery space. His newsletter consistently delivers insightful ideas on how to become a better version of yourself and is the only newsletter that I always read.

Sebastian Kade

Head of product and engineering