Mind Your Bite #18: "I think people sympathize with what I do because I do it from here"

Thoughts on "pleasure activism", note-taking, and first principles mental model,...

Welcome to another issue of Mind Your Bite, a newsletter sharing weekly tips and tools to help creators work with less stress. You can read a web version of it at mindyourbite.substack.com.

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👋 Update

This week I found wonnderful blogging platform The Bear Blog. It’s all about minimalism and tuning out the noise to focus on one thing — writing.

Just what I’ve been looking for year.

So excited to share with you the new landing page.

I was using Wordpress. But it's too much hassle for me with the plugins, theme, and styling. Bear Blog is a true escape.

It reminds of something Seth Godin said in one of his post:

“When we remove the pre (finding the pen, the paper, the notebook, the software) and the post (finding a way to publish it), it turns out that we write more often, and writing more often leads to writing better.”

Can’t tell how much this resonates with me now. Eager to publish a new post, create a pool of linked ideas, and share helpful links for creativity and productivity.

Minimalist who wants to escape the “website obesity crisis” and build a fast, optimized blog at no cost, I urge you to try out this platform.

I haven’t babbled too much, have I?

Now onto this week’s ideas…

🚀 On productivity

1. “Pleasure activism”

"I think people sympathize with what I do because I do it from here ❤"

This quote is from the move trailer “The Science of Sleep” I watched earlier this week.

It makes me think about the job of a creator and productivity.

We like to fit everything in our calendar. Then we forever seek more productivity tips and tools to get things done.

What if we lessen the tools and just do things from love? Would our job be easier, better, more enjoyable?

I stumbled upon this phrase last night while reading Forte Labs blog “Pleasure Activism”. It’s the name of a book by Adrienne Maree Browse who argues that pleasure could replace pain to be an organizing principle of the modern world. Although the term concerns “movement building and social change”, it could also be used as a principle of work:

If you enjoy what you do, you will be more productive.

2. Morning routine can get you in the flow

The past few weeks were dark so I didn’t feel like wake up early. As a result, I woke up when my day has already begin. I got rolled in a circle of busy work.

Occasionally, I started my day with morning yoga or breathing exercise. I can’t tell how good I feel after each session. I could feel all energetic to conquer any task.

I hope to do it more of this as the sun comes up earlier.

Btw, I just found The ultimate morning routine with Notion by Tom Littler which is pretty cool.

🗒️ On note-taking and thinking

1. Don’t remember facts you can look for

“Selection is the very keel on which our mental ship is built. And in this case of memory its utility is obvious. If we remembered everything, we should on most occasions be as ill off as if we remembered nothing. It would take as long for us to recall a space of time as it took the original time to elapse, and we should never get ahead with our thinking.”
— William James

To make space for thinking, you need to free your mind of the unimportant.

Don't remember facts you can easily look for.

Create a system to store the materials for your creation.

Digital note-taking systems like Roam, Remnote, Obsidian, etc. make all that possible.

Now the job is to learn to take more effective notes. Speaking of note-taking, I’m obsessed withthe work of Evergreen notes by Andy Matuschaky.

I’ve spent hours on the website and started making notes on this topic. Hope to write a long-form essay about this soon. Meanwhile, here are my short notes on evergreen note-taking.

2. First principles mental model

This week, I first read about mental model. It simply means a representation of a way of thinking.

For example, game theory in Microeconomics is the representation of competition and trust works.

One effective mental model for thinking is the first principles mental model.

break down complex things down to its most basic components. Essentials, work from the ground work & create … way to solve it.

Shane Parrish writes an in-depth explanation of this here.

I love this example from Tesla founder Elon Musk on building cheaper at SpaceX

“The traditional battery costs $600. That's expensive. What is a battery made of? cobalt, nickel, aluminum, carbon, and some polymers for separation, and a steel can that you can buy from London Metal exchange for $80. Now your job is to combine these materials into the shape of a battery which costs less money.”

The benefit of using the First principles is it allows you to challenge past assumptions and avoid dogma so you can devise a clever way to solve the problem.

✨ On Creativity

How your environment affects creativity?

Seeking Perspective Newsletter is my favorite source for original ideas.

For example, this week, I found this image in the newsletter:

“It's not just what we draw that captures our attention, but also the interaction with the environment surrounding the drawing.”

When you get stuck in the same rut, look around in the environment. Most likely you’ll find the flavors you need to spice up your creativity recipe.

🐦Inspiring tweets

⛏️ Creator’s Toolkit

10 strategies to keep writing

An in-depth guide by Lenny Rachitsky, creators of the Lenny’s Newsletter with 45,000 free subscribers and 3,000 paid subscribers, on how to create a consisten writing strategy.

RSS FeedReader

Just found this free tool to organize all my reading in one place. I started experimenting with Substack newsletters and really loved the undistracted reading view. The app also displays the number of unread articles which I find very helpful to keep track of reading.

I’ve also played around the IMPORTFEED feature of Google Sheet to replicate a RSS-app with Glide. My intention is to have the feed automatically show up to 2 recent posts from each of the reading source, so my reading space is less crowded. I’m pondering applications of this to simplify the newsletter writing process. But right now my head is all about Microeconomic upcoming exams, I’ll save the brainstorming for the next weeks.

That’s it for the week.

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Thanks a lot!

Until next time,