How to write a to-do list, Digital Minimalism, & a poem on 'writing'

The High Five - Edition #22

Hi friends,

A warm welcome to all the new subscribers. Thank you for subscribing and I hope ‘The High Five’ is making 20-mins of your weekend interesting!

In this edition, I have:

  1. An article about the method to go about to-do lists

  2. A piece I wrote about digital minimalism

  3. An interesting poem, about writing

  4. A quote about us humans, gods and demons

  5. A question about values

So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Productivity: How to write a to-do list?

A to-do list is pretty straight forward to understand. And almost everyone knows them and uses them. So when I first came across this article that covers some dos and don’ts of to-do lists, I wondered what science or method could be added to something as simple, straight forward, and logical as writing a to-do list. But I was pleasantly surprised to read the tips shared in this article. As someone who is guilty of making some simple mistakes while writing to-do lists, I can now see so much value behind each of the tips provided in this article. I have summarized the key take-aways into this illustration below. But if you’d like to know mechanics behind each of these, do read the article.

Minimalism: Digital Minimalism in an attention-starved world

Last week, I wrote an article on Digital Minimalism (though I haven’t yet read the book with the same title by Cal Newport), after I did some digital declutter exercise in the last week of Dec-2020. In this article, I shared my perspectives about what digital minimalism is, what SNTS (shiny new toy syndrome) is, and some tips to practice digital minimalism. If you are someone, who is curious about minimalism as a philosophy, do check out the article and share your thoughts.

Poem: So you want to be a writer by Charles Bukowski

Yesterday, an acquaintance of mine shared the below poem with me and I found it extremely thought-provoking. This is a poem on ‘writing’ by Charles Bukowski, who is advocating that writing needs to blossom out naturally and effortlessly out of passion, without the turmoils and incentives that drive the inner voice. Read on.

If it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

A quote that got me thinking this week: The devils and demons that unleash in us are born out of our attempts to become gods.

A question that played on my mind this week: Are values taught or tacitly learnt?

Back in the early 2000s, I discovered this beautiful album by Desert Visions by Prem Joshua. Some very good fusion music out there. This week, I revisited this album and enjoyed this composition - aptly titled as Flight of the Swan (and it is in raag Hamsadhwani) - a lot.

If you liked this edition of The High Five, please share it with a friend who might like it too.


Until next week…