Today I Learned

By Haikal Kushahrin

A daily newsletter where I share my notes on habits, productivity, and learning

A daily newsletter where I share my notes on habits, productivity, and learning

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Working on fewer things

I've been on a short break recently, not doing much writing aside from publishing weekly. When I wrote daily, I felt like my ideas were stale, and it didn't have that unique touch. It felt like post #292 on productivity, and I didn't like that.So I stopped fo…


Doing a mindful productivity audit: 10 questions to improve your mental health while being productive

I've recently joined Ness Labs' Mindful Productivity Challenge to learn how to be more productive while taking care of my mental health and avoiding burning out.The challenge is simple: Every day, we learn about one new strategy and do a short exercise to put…


The paradox of small changes

One of my favourite quotes from Atomic Habits by James Clear is the power of tiny changes. James writes:“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so d…


Favourite quotes from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is one of the best books I've read, and definitely something I'd recommend anybody to read.It's the journal of a Roman Emperor, his thought process, and his experiences turned into a book for all of us to learn from.Here are my …


Remember anything with the method of loci

According to legend, Greek poet Simonides stepped outside the dining hall of a dinner he attended when the roof collapsed, killing everyone inside. Due to the extent of damage, they could not identify any of the victims.However, Simonides found that he could …


Revenge bedtime procrastination

Picture this:You've had a busy day and didn't have any "me time" throughout your day. Work piles on, and once you're done, it's actually time to sleep. But instead of sleeping, you go on Netflix and browse social media until the wee hours.Like most behaviours…


How long does it take to form a habit?

In 1960, Dr Maxwell Maltz discovered that it took 21 days for patients to get used to the results of an operation and adjust to new routines.He wrote: "These, and many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days …


Time blocking

It's time to ditch our to-do lists.We're bad at estimating how long it takes to complete a task. As a result, we fill our to-do lists to the brim and feel bad for not completing them at the end of the day.To-do lists are great for determining what to do, but …


Intermittent screen fasting

We should treat technology as we treat food. Both are good, but only when consumed in moderation. Too much food and we get obesity, diabetes, and heart problems. Too much technology can distract us and harm our mental health.Maybe it's time for us to take a l…


Think journey before destination

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, along with Roger Federer, are the GOATs of tennis. They've each won 20 Grand Slams, with them missing out on the trophy only 11 times since they started playing.What makes them so successful at hitting a yellow fuzzy ball acro…


Dealing with imposter syndrome

I've been feeling like an imposter lately - and that's not because I've been playing Among Us.I've been writing for quite some time, but I feel like most of my work is garbage. "I'm not that good of a student or writer". "I'm too young, and I haven't lived en…


Stick to your goals with commitment devices

Victor Hugo had a problem finishing "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Instead of writing, he partied. To keep up with the deadline, he did something strange- he locked up all his clothes. Unable to go out, he finished the first draft.The greatest orator of Athen…


How I begin my day

Hey peeps,I've recently added something to my mornings that has changed my perspective when dealing with other people.It's a quote from the last of Ancient Rome's Five Good Emperors - Marcus Aurelius.In Meditations - his journal turned into a book - he wrote …


How many pets do you have?

Hey friends, I just wanted to share an amazing post from Derek Sivers that I read today.I used to have too many pets.Each time I adopted one, I was fully in love. I was enamored with the potential. Each new pet was meant to be my constant companion. So I woul…


Plan your week

Every Sunday, I plan my upcoming week. I use Google Calendar for this so I can refer to it on any device and get notifications.Planning my week might take lots of time, but the time spent has a high return on investment considering how much you get done. It a…


Sleep is good

David's my writing inspiration, so it was really inspiring to know even the greats started out exactly where you are right now.


Habits are like Jenga

Whenever we tell ourselves that we're going to exercise more or read more, we often fail not because we lack motivation or discipline - it's because we forget to do it.To combat that, we can link two habits together to make your desired behaviour obvious. Thi…


Make your work more enjoyable with temptation bundling

Do you struggle to start your tasks?You know you should do it, and you know that there will be consequences if you don't do it, yet you still end up putting it off and going to Netflix instead. The truth is, completing your tasks doesn't feel as good in the s…


Using your downtime to work on your side projects

How do you make time for your side projects?If you were to ask someone why they haven't started working on something they love, most of them would say, "I don't have time". But is that really true?We all have downtimes throughout our day, don't we? Why not us…


Productivity is a function of adequate rest

We're too obsessed with doing more these days that it's doing us more harm than good. We try to squeeze out as many things as possible that we forget to rest in hopes of being productive.The irony is that the more exhausted you are, the more prone you are to …