A curated mix on life, work and travel.

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Wednesday, Jun 26, 2019

The science behind why some of us are shy

To certain people, mingling at a party or talking to a crowded room is the stuff of nightmares. Why are some of us hardwired to be shy?

One day of paid work a week is all we need to get mental health benefits of employment

“We know unemployment is often detrimental to people’s wellbeing, negatively affecting identity, status, time use, and sense of collective purpose. We now have some idea of just how much paid work is needed to get the psychosocial benefits of employment – and it’s not that much at all.”

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2019

No, Night Owls Aren’t Doomed to Die Early

Despite alarmist headlines and a study that suggested morning people live longer, the truth is more complicated.

How modern life is transforming the human skeleton

From the emergence of a spiky growth at the back of some people’s skulls to the enigmatic finding that our elbows are getting narrower, our bones are changing in surprising ways.

Monday, Jun 24, 2019

How to Email a Busy Person & Get a Reply

If you want to email a busy person and get a response, you’d better write a good email. And after sending and receiving thousands of emails over the years, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.

California is cracking down on the gig economy

California just took a major step in rewriting the rules of the gig economy. The state Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that would make it harder for companies to label workers as independent contractors instead of employees, a common practice that has allowed businesses to skirt state and federal labor laws. The bill will now go to the state Senate.

Friday, Jun 21, 2019

When Ignoring a Text Is the Polite Thing to Do

We don’t communicate the same way we used to, so why should the old rules of etiquette apply? In the era of social media and texting, here’s a thought: Not replying to a request should be an implied “polite no.”

Remember the ‘10,000 Hours’ Rule for Success? Forget About It

Folk wisdom holds the trade-off between breadth and depth to be a cruel one: “jack-of-all-trades, master of none,” and so forth. And a lot of thinking in current pop-psychology agrees. To attain genuine excellence in any area — sports, music, science, whatever — you have to specialize, and specialize early: That’s the message. … But this message is perversely wrong — so David Epstein seeks to persuade us in “Range.”

Thursday, Jun 20, 2019

Leading Remote and Distributed Engineering Teams – Top Takeaways from the Panel

We held a panel discussion with three of today’s top engineering leaders to discuss approaches and lessons learned in building, growing, and maintaining remote and distributed teams.

Burnout is Now an Official Medical Condition

Burnout is real, and it now has its own distinction with the World Health Organization (WHO) as a legitimate medical syndrome.

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019

Presence-based vs output-based work systems

Why I believe that the output-based system leads to better results than the traditional 9 to 5 based on a deeper dive into the different types of operational systems that we use to make our own team’s remote work, work.

Prepare for Another Summer of Overtourism

The accessible price of travel in Europe has become a problem for locals and visitors alike.

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2019

The Freedom Ladder

Have you ever seen a painter use a scaffold? It’s a ladder you construct to get from ground level up to the elevation you want to be. Getting freedom from your job is similar. You figure out how to build a scaffold, and get yourself closer and closer to your goal.

Is remote work ‘Bull***t’?

We believe that distributed work is great for many reasons, and will eventually replace most traditional office environments. But an important part of treating distributed work seriously is discussing its downsides and the hurdles it presents to teams and individuals. To better understand the concerns around the distributed work model, Matt recently spoke with venture capitalist Arianna Simpson, a vocal skeptic of remote work.

Monday, Jun 17, 2019

The big problem with the so-called ‘digital nomad’ life in Bali

Beyond the questionable financial viability of working remotely in Bali are a raft of ethical and legal dilemmas. “What I’m seeing more and more of is people simply designing their lives as cheaply as possible, avoiding income tax and not putting back anything into the community,” says Craig. “It’s basically a form of narcissism – choosing the path of least resistance – and they’re flying around the world non-stop so they’re environmentally unfriendly.

A Wake-Up Call for Grads: Entry-Level Jobs Aren’t So Entry Level Any More

Dear college graduate: Welcome to the working world! The good news: You’re entering the hottest job market in half a century. The bad news: Your first step onto the corporate ladder could still be a tough one.

Friday, Jun 14, 2019

What’s an unexpectedly well-paid job?

What’s an unexpectedly well-paid job?

On the Pleasures and Sorrows of Life Without Screens

When people contemplate the declutter process I suggest in my book, in which you spend 30 days away from optional technology as a prelude to simplifying your digital life, they often predict that the main challenge will be compensating for the benefits and features they’ll miss out on. But this prediction is almost always wrong. … The real problem — and this surprised me — is figuring out how to deal with all the free time this move toward minimalism suddenly injects into your life.

Thursday, Jun 13, 2019

The “future of work” is here… so why aren’t more companies remote-first?

Maybe part of our collective problem with remote work is that we’re always talking about it in the future tense. But the so-called “future of work” is here and available to all of us, right now.

If Seeing the World Helps Ruin It, Should We Stay Home?

In the age of global warming, traveling — by plane, boat or car — is a fraught choice. And yet the world beckons.