How to Read More, The Psychology of Money, and Focus Management

The High Five - Edition #29

Hello readers,

Welcome to the 29th edition of ‘The High Five’. If you have subscribed to this newsletter recently, my heartfelt thanks for subscribing. Before I share what I have in store for this week, a word about the irregularity in the editions.

The last few months have been a little difficult for various reasons - the COVID 2nd wave in India, my own backache issues, long work hours etc. All of these haven’t been putting me in the right headspace to consume any interesting content online. My information diet has come down drastically and other than reading a book or two, I have not been finding much time and headspace to read any illuminating article that I can share with you all. And that’s the reason I haven’t been able to send out this newsletter every weekend. In times like these, I have been prioritizing self-care over the discipline of sending a newsletter with stuff I myself didn’t really read or care about. I hope things improve.

So for this week, here is what I wanted to share with you all:

  1. Austin Kleon on ‘How to Read more’

  2. Key takeaways from ‘The Psychology of Money’

  3. My articles on Focus Management

  4. A quote about evolution that resonated with me

  5. A question I dwelled on this week

Reading Habit: How to Read more by Austin Kleon

I admire the posts and books of Austin Kleon a lot. I read his book ‘Show Your Work’ twice, and it is one of the books (alongside Seth Godin’s ‘The Practice’) that made me get back to writing and also build in more consistency in my writing habit. In this post, Austin shares 5 simple tips that will encourage you to read more.

Sounds simple but do read his piece. And I recommend subscribing to his newsletter. His writing is very accessible (thanks to his illustrations) and his posts carry that whiff of authenticity. One of the best bloggers ever.

Book Summary: The Psychology of Money

I am one of those readers who highlight interesting takeaways from books and also make some notes. One of the good books I read recently is ‘The Psychology of Money’ by Morgan House.

The book throws light on some of the less-talked-about aspects of making money – the role of luck, risk, the power of compounding, human behaviour, the difference between rich and wealthy etc. The book is a short read and has some wonderful insights. I have captured the key ideas of the book in this book summary. The book has in a way reframed my thinking about investing. This is a book that I wish I had when I just started out in my job. A must-read.

Career & Productivity: Focus Management

In the last 4-5 months, I have been thinking a lot about productivity and the pitfalls of context switching at work. For most knowledge workers, the job/role involves dealing with multiple spheres, activities and also people. There are days when we feel that we enjoy the variety that our work offers. And there are days when we find it very stressful – to jump from one call to another, discussing things that are diametrically opposite in context, depth, and result-areas. Our feelings towards work fluctuate between ‘enjoying the variety’ and ‘feeling fatigued’. After careful introspection, I understood that there is one key factor that separated the two. It is Focus Management. I wrote two articles about Focus Management:

  1. The 1st one is about how to get better at Focus Management

  2. The 2nd one is about a 2x2 framework that captures the outcomes in situations where we have multiple areas/sphere of work and our Focus Management abilities.

Read them and let me know what you think about the levers to Focus Management and the framework.

A quote that resonated with me this weekend: Carl Sagan on evolution

A question I dwelled on this week: What is one thing about your personality that might likely drop/change in the post-pandemic world?

I have just begun exploring the compositions of Claude Debussy, who is regarded as one of the first impressionist composers. This album has some wonderful Piano based compositions.