Study Hacks – tackling big projects and creating work

I’ve been subscribing to Study Hacks blog for couple months now and over the last few weeks I’ve noticed an interesting trend there. Basically Cal Newport has been focusing on very interesting aspect of creating work, making progress on big projects and tackling huge assignments. What’s different on this blog is that it does not focus on tips and simple techniques. Post are more centered on pondering about the different approaches to work, looking at interesting research and conversations with people all that seem to go against conventional wisdom or so it would appear.

I won’t go into summarizing all of those posts but I would really encourage you to have a look at them and spend some time thinking about the lessons that Cal shares.

Study Hacks » Blog Archive » How to Write Six Important Papers a Year without Breaking a Sweat: The Deep Immersion Approach to Deep Work

Study Hacks » Blog Archive » You Need to Master the Rules Before You Can Reinvent Them 

Study Hacks » Blog Archive » The Single Number that Best Predicts Professor Tenure: A Case Study in Quantitative Career Planning

Study Hacks » Blog Archive » “Write Every Day” is Bad Advice: Hacking the Psychology of Big Projects

Happiness and passion

Happiness is very much related to productivity and one influences other greatly. In this very funny and engaging TED talk Shawn Achor shares  some excellent ideas how to make your work like and beyond better.The secret is not in money or power or status or any other external factor. The real happiness comes from inside and can be very easily cultivated on your own.
Shawn shares few techniques how can you improve your happiness and lead a better life, these include:

  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Random act of kindness
  • 3x gratitude a day

The second link I wanted to share is an recent episode of GTD Virtual Study Group podcast with a guest appearance from Cal Newport. Cal is a professor at Georgetown University and also author of three books about productivity and being successful student. He also runs a blog called Study Hacks where he explores various aspects of productivity, deliberate practice, passion etc.

In this podcast he concludes that passion comes from experience and becoming comfortable with the topic you’re interested in. He doesn’t agree with the advise that you should seek your passion first and than find a job that fits. In his view, overtime as you become more and more experienced and familiar with the area things become easier and easier, you also gain more skills which if rare and in demand can result in bigger salary, more freedom, creativity etc.

We can be passioned about almost anything and it’s simply fact of gaining enough knowledge and sticking with it long enough. In short don’t quit your job after a year as you never get passioned about anything.

Would love to know your view? How do you maintain your happiness? Have you found your passion?