Tag Archives: a learning a day

Diamonds and good work

Here’s a good post from Rohan at A Learning A Day:

“Like diamonds, good work is a result of a prolonged period of continuous pressure.

The continuous pressure does two important things. First, it propels us to take daily action. And, second, it forces us to make sure we’re constantly learning and growing. This learning and growth, in turn, enables us to make the take better action.

Put together, this combination of daily action and continuous learning and growth make for a powerful self reinforcing combination.

Why, then, do people run away from continuous pressure? Perhaps the answer lies in the word “pressure.” It sounds stressful and negative. It can be all of that, of course. But, it can also be the kind of environment in which we thrive.

The difference, I’ve come to realize, come down to just one question – is the pressure imposed by someone else or is it self imposed?

The former creates negativity while the latter lays the foundation for an exciting, learning filled, life.”

Now the question to ask yourself is, whether or not you’re continuing to apply pressure to the different areas of your life. Are you, or have you grown stagnant?

Deliberate and consistent action

I wanted to write something on deliberate and consistent action. Fortunately, Rohan beat me to the punch, as I’m sure it’s better than what I would have said.

This is how you get results in any area of your life. You won’t see a huge difference day to day, but over the year(s) you will notice a massive change. Put in the effort day after day and eventually you will see the significant change towards the direction of your goal. It has worked for many successful people before you, so rest assured that it will work for you.

Here’s what Rohan had to say:

If you spent one hour this weekend on learning something that will be useful to your career, that’s just an hour, right? Can one hour really accomplish all that much?

But, what if you spent an hour every weekend for the next 4 weeks?

Then again, what if you spent one hour every weekend for the full next year?

Suddenly, you would have amassed 52 hours or 3120 minutes. Not bad at all. If you picked up a book about an important but difficult topic – let’s say Statistics – and spent 3120 minutes on the topic, how much impact would that have on your life? If your work involves consuming large amounts of data, the effect is likely size-able. But, this could just as easily be an hour on artificial intelligence or cognitive psychology or selling.

One hour may not be much. But, string it together over time and the combination could be potent.

Definitely worth a shot.

Yes, definitely worth a shot. It’s the only real choice we have.

Investment returns from A Learning A Day

Rohan from A Learning A Day posted a short post the other day regarding investment returns. Instead of regurgitating the same idea, I figured I would just share it here in its entirety. It’s simple but it gets the job done. The last sentence is the one that I really liked and it sums up the entire idea very nicely.

“High investment returns come from believing things others don’t believe in.

While it is tempting to believe that only financial investors and venture capitals should care, in reality, we are all investors. We all invest in people and ideas every single day. And, the bets that result in massive return (financial or otherwise) are those where we saw potential quicker than most other people.

So, it is worth asking ourselves – how do we see the world?

If all we see are what “common knowledge” dictates, it is unlikely we’ll experience anything uncommon.”

5 productivity questions answered by Rohan from A Learning A Day

I recently asked Rohan if he would answer 5 productivity related questions and he generously agreed to do so. Thanks Rohan! If you don’t know Rohan, be sure to check out his website at A Learning A Day dot com. He posts something new everyday. He definitely knows a thing or two about being productive. I hope you extract some valuable information from his answers, since I know I did.

1) How do you maintain a high energy level (Ex. Healthy foods, specific hours of sleep, caffeine, exercise, sugar snacks, meditation, etc)?

  1. Sleep 8 hours
  2. Eat as healthy as I can and stay hydrated with water (don’t do caffeine)
  3. Have a steady morning routine
  4. Exercise most days (typically 5/7) – but stay focused on walking lots and keeping up a healthy lifestyle
  5. Love my work (with love being a work)
  6. Meditate 3-4 days a week for 15 mins via Headspace

Of these, I’ve found sleep to be most critical.


2) What’s your thought process when deciding you’ve done enough for the day? In other words, how do you decide when it’s time to call it a day and go to bed.

Generally routine driven. Try to be in bed by 830 pm- 9 pm so I’m up by 5 am.


3) Some people start their day by checking their email, while others advise against it. Do you think starting your day off by checking email is a good thing? Why or why not?

Hard to say. My main distinction is whether I look at email first thing when I wake up. I think I try to go straight into meditation. But, it doesn’t always happen. I’ve noticed I don’t start with email if I get up before 530am. Maybe it is because I feel more relaxed if I do that vs. feeling behind and wanting to catch up.

Once I’m up and out of bed, I am very relaxed about email. I don’t see it as a bad thing and generally have some very meaningful interactions via email. So, I tend to welcome it.


4) Do you place more emphasis on quality or quantity (in relation to the tasks on your to do list)? Is there ever a time when one should be more important than the other?

Generally quality. Fewer things done better is what I try.

However, when I get started, I often try to knock out a few quick wins. 🙂


5) How do you differentiate between being productive and being busy? A lot of people seem to think both are interchangeable.

Any action that helps make progress towards your goal is productive. So, anything that helps me make progress towards my most important priorities – for the day, the week or for life in general – is what I consider productive.

I’ve written about how I think about “the goal” here.