The Building a Second Brain Podcast - Tiago Forte

Źródło: https://fortelabs.co/blog/basbpodcast/

Borrowed Creativity

  • Don’t start from scratch.
  • Collect and digest.
  • Everything is a remix.
  • When you know you’re going to produce, everything changes.

    • Consume through the lens of producing.
    • The input affects the quality of the output.
  • There is a lot of information but there is not much quality information.
  • Rule: If something isn’t collected, it means I know nothing about it.
  • Take existing ideas and look at them in a new way.
  • Borrowing creativity is like skipping steps.

The Capture Habit

  • Outsource remembering to your devices.
  • Comes from GTD.
  • It’s simple: write it down. Before you know you are going to use it.
  • Working memory is limited. You need to unload it constantly.
  • No distinction between my ideas and someone’s ideas.
  • If you don’t act, it’s work nothing.
  • Don’t analyze, capture, listen to your guts.
  • You have no idea when it goes to end up.
  • Good ideas will find their way.
  • Leave to computers what can be done by them.
  • Leave what’s human to humans - offload mundane details and focus on creativity.

Idea Recycling

  • Reuse ideas, make them more valuable each time you access them.
  • If you take some time to do some hard thinking and produce some asset, deliverable treat them like an intellectual asset.
  • It can be valuable later.

  • The ideas don’t degrade, they get better. There is no entropy.
  • You as an expert have no idea which of your ideas is good because your are immersed in them. To find that out you need to constantly be outputting. As much as you can, diverse range of thoughts.
  • Things might be obvious to you, but amazing for the others.
  • Never do the same work twice.
  • You probably created something like agenda, or some other checklist. You can use it as a template.
  • You can find it in everything you do.
  • This will make you work less.

Projects Over Categories

  • Don’t silo knowledge to categories.
  • Put it into projects you are working right now.
  • One of the biggest mindset shifts.
  • People think of knowledge like a library.
  • But it’s more like a factory.
  • Factory has one useful quality - it’s linear.
  • Things come in and there is an output.
  • Everything you value is there because of the output you created.
  • Library approach is great but not on a personal level.
  • At personal level the amount of data grows and grows.
  • The more notes you have, the less valuable they become.
  • You can’t even find what you are looking for.
  • Project = discrete , concrete and a small thing.
  • Why projects then?

    • Goals are great, but we need someone in between, medium term, that you can check off. And say “I did this!“. And remove it.
    • Projects are linear, output oriented. Categories are abstract, consumption oriented.
    • As you are capturing things and writing them down ask yourself: how this can help me with my project?
    • If some piece of information has something to do with current project add it directly to this project.
    • Don’t save that for later. Do some extra work and add it to the projects.
    • What is it about projects that make it easier to sort through your information?
    • You can’t start the research when you need the research. That has to be done sooner.
    • When you want to sit down and start deep work on your project, everything should be already there.
    • To do that, you need to open one folder/notebook in which you already have things that you decided are useful, preselected and curated.
    • It’s like creating a room designed for a project. A cognitive environment.

Slow Burns

  • Slowly build materials and examples.
  • Eventually you’ll have something great ready, that doesn’t require much work to publish.
  • Slow burn is a type of working that is possible only when you have a second brain.
  • Sometimes, for some projects, you need to have a heavy-lift - blocked time, like a weekend or a week to do the project.
  • But time becomes scarce.
  • Slow burn - slowly gathering and collecting, even a year before, and then work. This reduces stress and makes things easy.

    • Note: My wedding example. I knew how it’s going to look like a year before. I just needed to connect it.
  • Instead of scavenging right now you can be an editor.
  • Instead of being hunter you can be a scavenger.
  • We are living in a creative explosion, you don’t need to do much extra work.
  • Widen the lens of your attention.

Start With Abundance

  • Gather as much materials and examples as you can and then distill to make something great.
  • Opposite what most people do and that is starting from scarcity, starting from scratch.
  • Starting with abundance is a way of life.
  • If you don’t have abundance in a certain area - you wait.
  • You refuse to start something until the ideas and resources are plentiful.
  • Opportunity often arises when you are overloaded in your life. And you need to decide if you gonna make that leap. This will always be a risk, but with a second break it’s less risky.
  • You can decide to be wealthy in the world of ideas.

Intermediate Packets

  • Break everything you do into tiny pockets. Like lego pieces.
  • Even the biggest, most ambitious goals.
  • Intermediate packets = parts of your work.
  • Most people think about their work in terms of tasks, activities and blocks of time.
  • They don’t think in parts.
  • But it changes if you think about concrete output.
  • A part can be something like an outline, an email.
  • But not “I spend 1h doing x”.
  • Writing a book = Mount Olympus of knowledge work.
  • Tiago thinks about work in one intermediate packet at a given time.
  • Think about individual legos. Break everything down.
  • Tiago breaks everything into those small packets, groups them, makes them smaller.
  • Break it to the level it can’t possibly be intimidating and can’t fail.
  • It’s hard to fail writing an outline.
  • One brick at a time.
  • The hardest thing for creative people is their psychology.
  • You need to hack your own motivation.
  • You need regular series of wins.
  • You need to have something to celebrate.
  • One packet at time so you can go to sleep happy.
  • So much about whether the idea is useful is timing. Timing is everything.
  • Book recommendation example.
  • At a certain point the book will be useful.

You Only Know What You Make

  • Taking action is the best way to learn and to discover what’s the best and what’s important.
  • People think about learning and working as a two separate steps.
  • But it doesn’t work this way.
  • You can learn by working. You learn when you deal with practical difficulties.
  • Note: Tiago used to brag about quantity of read books. But when he looked at a book a year later, he remembered it was valuable, but didn’t remember what it was about. Same as me.
  • This is an illussion.
  • Do you care about impressive stats or engaging at the deepest level on those areas?
  • Instead of reading 30 books a year. Read 5.
  • And summarize, put down your thoughts, become an expert. Give your opinions. Think deeply.
  • Side effect: you are making favor to the author, you connect with him.
  • Those summaries are intermediate packets, they are starting with abundance, idea recycling.
  • This is where are the ideas merge together.

Make It Easier For Your Future Self

  • Package up and preserve the most interesting theories and breakthroughs and paradigm shifts.
  • You’ll use it one day, when you’ll be ready.
  • Big picture thing.
  • Leverage

    • Over time some people are working more and more, and some people are working less and produce more things with less effort.
    • The difference is leverage.
    • Either, day by day, you are building leverage as power, like an investing account.
    • Like a blog, every blog post adds a leverage.
    • It’s exponential value.
    • The best leverage is an idea leverage, a knowledge base.
    • Things you’ve learn over time build on themselves over time. They make each day’s work easier.
    • With second brain your future self is real and you care about him.
    • Delayed gratification - either this or that - but with writing something down, you get the instant gratification and you’ll also get a delayed gratification. Instant and future benefits. Future benefits are icing on the cake.

Always Keep Your Ideas Moving

  • Always iterate.
  • If you are stuck with one idea, try another one, come back to that one later.
  • Have many different ideas in progress.
  • Sleep on something if you are stuck.
  • Purposefully unblock yourself by purposefully switching tasks.
  • If you use the Second Brain as a way to “save the game”, you can, should and must multitask.
  • The most important thing is to keep the flow, stay in the flow.

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