The 90 percent rule

3 tips to pick the right project from Greg Mckeown's book "Essentialism"

Hey there, it’s Naomi.

Welcome to another issue of Mind Your Bite. A weekly newsletter sharing resources & tools to help creators de-stress, stay mindful, and more productive with their creations.

In this issue:

💡 3 tips to help you pick the right project to work on.

📰 Inspiring reads:

  • Sacred tips for the creative.

  • Reading is better than writing.

  • How to write like a human.

  • The meaning of life.

🎙️ Podcast Spotlight: Creative Elements.

🔨 A tool for creators.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

💡 Idea of the week

3 tips to help you pick the right project | Essentialism

Do you feel scattered and lost in a mountain of things to do? As a creative, it's easy to jump into any exciting project and get yourself burned out.

One way to get out of this mess and stay sane is to work on projects which bring the sweetest fruit.

Here are 3 tips I learned this week from Greg Mckeown's book "Essentialism" on picking the perfect project:

Tip 1: If it's not a HELL YEAH, it should be no!

"No more yes. It's either HELL YEAH! Or No"

— Derek Sivers

We tend to jump right into a project that excites us without careful assessment. This leaves us with many choices to choose from.

One way to declutter is to pause whenever an opportunity comes and ask yourself:

"Do I absolutely love this?"

If it's a "Hell, yeah", give it a go. If you're not sure, pass it over. 9 out of 10 times, you don't miss anything.

Tip 2: Create a criteria

"Making our criteria both selective and explicit criteria affords us a systematic tool for discerning what is essential and filtering out the things that are not."

— Greg Mckeown

How to be sure you're absolutely in love with a project?

Create a set of criteria to evaluate your options.

But don't make the criteria too broad. Go specific.

One example for the book Essentialism is to create "minimum pass" (3 criteria for the options to be considered) and "Extreme pass" (3 ideal criteria for it to be approved).

With specific criteria, you can turn down the SEEMINGLY GOOD option and go for the PERFECT option.

Tip 2: Apply the 90 percent rule

"Say yes to only 10 % of the opportunities"

— Greg Mckeown

Based on the criteria, score each of the options you’re presented with from 0 to 100.

If you rate anything less than 90, erase it from your agenda (for example, a project score of 89 should be chopped off).

This will leave you with the top 10% which bring the most value.

Final thought:

Everything is a trade-off. You can't give all the projects the green light. Create riteria and apply the 90 percent rule so that you can choose the highest-impact projects to work on.

📰 Inspiring reads

1. Everything I know: Sacred Tips for The Restless and Creative

I found this post by Paul Lecrone in the Rational Creatives newsletter early this week.

One of the most inspiring reads for the creative I've ever read.

If you're feeling down in your creative journey, check out this essay. You'll be motivated to get back to work.

I also made a summary of the main ideas here.

Side note: Paul is a very nice person to chat to. If you like to surround yourself with creative people, check out his daily blog and say "Hi" to him on Twitter.

2. Reading is better than Writing

"Reading is the yin, and writing is the yang. They compliment each other and work together."

Reading is the gateway to ideas.

You don't have to rely on memories to keep all the ideas.

In this short post, Paolo introduces you to a cool tool where you can take notes, make observations, and articulate on ideas while reading.

If you're a book and tech nerd, you'll like this one.

3. How to Write Like a Human (And Let Readers Fall in Love With Your Work)

Your audience gets inspired by your success story.

But they also love to see the vulnerable side of you

They want you to be more real!

“Less shiny perfection. More flaws. Less lecturing. More compassion.”

Check out this post by Henneke on how to connect more deeply with your readers.

4. The meaning of life

Life is made of wonders but it’s short.

Sometimes you focus too much on your goal that you forget to live.

The key to happiness is to forget achievement-based goals and live your life intentionally.

In this short post, I share my thoughts on the true meaningful life.

If you read it and find something resonating, let me know!

🎙️ Podcast Spotlight

Creative Elements | Jay Clouse

Watch this podcast if you’re passionate about living a creative life.

Each week, Jay interviewed a high-profile creator about how they build their creative career.

One of the recent episodes features David Perrell — “the writing guy” as he called himself on Twitter. David talked about how to create your own game, use Twitter, and many tips on writing.

Here’s my summary Tweet:

If you like to receive updates on the latest episode, subscribe to the podcast here.

(This is an affiliate link, I earn little money when you subscribe.

Feel free to ignore this and check it out yourself. It's awesome!)

🐦 Best in Tweets

Embrace your imperfections | Rose Sherry

I was feeling bad the other day. Then this tweet lifted me out of my misery.

How to earn true fan for your work? | Rob Hardy

I like these mini-essays answering a specific question. I did 2 in a row before Christmas, then the holiday broke the chain. Hope to pick it up sometime soon.

Ten ways to benefit from Twitter | Scott

If you like an example of good tweets, check out Scott's account. See how he creates a slippery slide to make you hooked from start to end.

✍️ For creators

Notion websites

Do you know that Notion can also be turned into a blog?

With hosting services like Super or Fruition, you can do it within minutes.

A few cool things you can do with Notion blog:

  • Embed comment session using Apption.

  • Add an email opt-in form with Chilipepper.

  • Make columns like in a normal blog.

  • Add illustrations with Blush.

For example, I set up this blog post with Notion.

That's it for the week.

How do you like this issue? Help me answer a short survey! (Only 3 questions).

Did you create an awesome blog, newsletter, product, or guide for creators?

Send me a message in the reply or DM me on Twitter. I'd love to share it with Mind Your Bite subscribers in future issues!

Until next time,


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