The Kaizen Digital

ISSUE № 7 June 3, 2020

From the author

This week I have deliberately taken time to slow down my days—I was reaching a point of addiction on my phone and laptop in a feeble attempt to get more done. I have simplified my workflows and am currently building documentation on the simplest, most effective way to get my weekly tasks completed. The key for me has been to break completely free of digital tools and release all my thoughts on paper every night when I am more lucid. Reviewing my notebook each morning, I have been slowly reducing my cognitive load and ensuring I am focused on completing the essentials, making time for the nice-to-have’s and discarding the remaining thoughts and stressors.

This is not a one-week thing but a gentle reminder that consciously slowing our lives down can have a much greater effect on mood and productivity than simply pushing harder than the previous week.


Mood as Extrapolation Engine Tiago hypothesises that our moods function as ‘extrapolation engines’, putting us in the appropriate state of mind to take advantage of fleeting opportunities, without having to wait for full information. Some second-order reasoning about the definition of ‘psychological capital’ suggests that by designing our work to produce experiential rewards now and completing our work such that it increases the likelihood of benefit in the future, each day represents a kind of compound interest for our moods.

Learning to build conviction Conviction here refers to the confidence that your idea is good enough that it’s worth throwing a lot of effort behind. The author reflects on the difference between making decisions based on a mentor’s advice, compared to theirs as an individual. The key understanding here is that in order to make high-stakes decisions with long-term consequences, you need a conviction that must come from learning from previous mistakes and not from the advice of others—the kind of thing Nassim Taleb calls ‘Skin in the Game’.

Brick by Brick: A free guide to building awesome communities A free guide outlining nine ‘bricks’ that you need to get right to successfully start and grow a community online. A little too wordy for my taste but a great resource for anyone interested in this kind of thing. My advice is to read the ‘homework’ sections at the bottom of the bricks to get a sense of the practical steps you can take to grow your own community or to check whether you have missed any crucial steps.


Obsidian A knowledge base with Roam-style mapping and backlinks. A great alternative for those who are looking for an open-source alternative and never clicked with wiki-style tools like TiddlyWiki. The sync functionality is in development currently but at $4/month I believe this will be a no-brainer for building and maintaining a ‘second brain’ for years to come.

MarkDownload A lightweight tool for converting web pages into markdown files. I have found the Firefox extension to be invaluable in conjunction with Obsidian above for rapidly building a knowledge base from articles online. I am very impressed by how streamlined the output it, it manages to consistently retain the content in a tidy format while ignoring the other junk that is often captured in an HTML scrape.

The craft

Rosanna Dean

Om Malik

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