An important lesson I learned this week


Hey friends,

My team and I recently had a whole 2-day planning session. We bounced ideas around, and everyone had their say on the long-term business strategy.

Taking time off from ‘business as usual’ reminded me of this great point (roughly paraphrased from Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People):When it comes to Things, effectiveness and efficiency are usually broadly similar. But when it comes to People, effectiveness often looks like inefficiency.

As you probably know, I focus a lot on efficiency. I like to get things done ASAP, using the bare minimum of resources.

And that approach works great when I’m dealing with inanimate Things like studying, coding, cleaning the house.

But human relationships don’t work like that.

For example, I used to think that the faster we could get through a team meeting, the better. If a 1-hour meeting took 20 minutes I’d say ‘great, that was super efficient. Let’s get back to work.’

But what I realised during our planning session is that people need time and space to speak their mind. With two whole days set aside, everyone loosened up and a whole bunch of minor (and occasionally major) issues came to light that we’d have missed under normal circumstances.

Potentially mission-critical stuff.

And if you want to run a happy, profitable, effective business (rather than one that just looks efficient) you have to make time for that to happen.

In short: human beings aren’t machines. If you want to be effective in your collaborations and relationships, you can’t focus exclusively on ‘getting things done ASAP’. You need to account for the human factor, even if it feels inefficient.

Have a great week!

Ali xx

PS If you haven’t subscribed yet, I highly recommend my friend Sahil Bloom’s amazing x2 weekly newsletter Curiosity Chronicle. It’s fantastically written, and useful for virtually anyone who wants to lead a happy, healthy life.

🖊️ The New Paperlike

If you own an iPad, I can’t recommend Paperlike screen protectors enough. I have them on all my iPads, and they make the surface feel like paper when I use an Apple Pencil. The slight stroke resistance makes writing and drawing feel precise + tactile.

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Getting a Paperlike screen protector might just make you use your Apple Pencil more. Check out the Paperlike 2.1 here.

Thanks to Paperlike for sponsoring this issue of Sunday Snippets 🙏

♥️ My Favourite Things

🎙️ Deep Dive Podcast – Cal Newport: Lifestyle Design, Slow Productivity and Contrarian Writing. Cal’s a computer science professor and bestselling author of seven books including Digital Minimalism and Deep Work. We discussed how to design a career that’s fulfilling to you, the creator business model and how to take control of your productivity.

📚 Book – Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat. I’ve been binge-reading this book and cooking multiple recipes over the weekend – so good. It basically teaches you the meta-skills of cooking, focusing on the 4 elements in the title.

🔪 Cooking Equipment – Santoku I bought a chef’s knife from a local Japanese knife company. It’s so sharp and easy to use – cooking feels like a meditative routine now.

🚶‍♂️Desk Treadmill – Walking Pad P1. I’m trying to hit 8k-10k steps each day. So I keep this foldable treadmill under my desk, ready to whack out in the evening in case I’m playing WoW or something and want to top up my step count.

✍️ Quote of the Week

Roasted carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli—or anything that’s developed sweetness from browning—will always appreciate a squeeze of lemon or touch of vinegar. A little will go a long way.

From Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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