Daily Gleanings: Bezae (25 December 2019)

In TC 24, Pasi Hyytiäinen discusses the “Evolving Gamaliel Tradition in Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, Acts 5:38–39.” Hyytiäinen relies on the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM) to

challenge[] the common scholarly conviction that Acts in Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (D05) represents a single cohesive textual tradition [and to] argu[e] instead that D05 should be understood as an evolving text, consisting of multiple textual layers without any trace of unified editorial activity.

For the full article, see TC 24’s webpage.

Daily Gleanings: Working (24 December 2019)

Michael Hyatt and Megan Hyatt Miller reflect on some “reasons you can’t stop working.”

They cite three in particular that I’ll summarize below with some expansion and adaptation for our context:

  1. You haven’t set boundaries for your school or work to ensure it doesn’t engulf more of life than it should.
  2. You haven’t culled your calendar and your task list to remove things (perhaps even good things) that aren’t the best things for you to be spending time on.
  3. You haven’t cultivated other interests for things to engage and enjoy outside school or work.

If any of these resonate with you, there’s no better time than the present to start taking steps in different directions.

For Michael and Megan’s full comments and some helpful other ones besides, see the full discussion.

Daily Gleanings: Finishing (23 December 2019)

In episode 14 of the Focus on This podcast, Courtney Baker and Blake Stratton discuss “how to finish goals that drag on forever.”

Using a quarter-by-quarter framework Courtney and Blake particularly define “dragging on” as a goal rolling from one quarter to another without completion.

In the episode, they primarily discuss different kinds of time keys (e.g., due dates, frequencies) and how clarity about these keys might help with completion.

It wasn’t so much discussed here, but another cause for the dragging on of goals (or the projects they represent) might be simply that the project is too big for the time frame allotted.

In that case, a given goal or project might need to be broken down into several and these several spread throughout the year.

Of course, doing this will use up a yearly goal budget faster. But that’s really just an admission of what it means to have the larger project on your plate in the first place—there’s less room on that plate for something else.

Merry Christmas 2019!

This week, I’m out of the office and celebrating Christmas.

If you’re also celebrating, I hope you’re able to enjoy time with those who matter most to you.

I hope you’re also able to join with “the few among the Niatirbians” in reflecting on and being grateful for the elements of truly lasting value in the season.1For the source of the video rendition below, see C. S. Lewis’s excellent essay “Xmas and Christmas” in God in the Dock, 334–37.

Even if the holiday has sneaked up on you, don’t let it pass by without pausing to look up.

Carve out some time to say “yes” to what’s most important. You won’t regret it.

You can start with the 5 small steps I mentioned a few weeks ago:

  1. Recognize there’s more to life than your current work demands or next upcoming project.
  2. Prepare early if you can or with whatever time you have available to you.
  3. Address others’ needs ahead of time so you can focus on your time away without school or work pulling at your attention.
  4. Use an auto-responder to let others know when you’ll start responding to them again after your time away.
  5. While you’re away, actually unplug.

If you got some good practice with these steps around Thanksgiving, take the opportunity to apply what you learned about how to improve at being away from work.

Besides making that time more enjoyable, it’ll also help you work better when you come back from your time away.

What have you thought of that will help you be more present in your time away than you have been in the past?

If you haven’t done so yet, please take just a couple minutes to complete this year’s reader survey and help shape the content I release next year.

Header image by by Walter Chávez

Daily Gleanings: Benchmarking (20 December 2019)

Scott Young discusses the importance of benchmarking in skill development.

Instead of simply focusing on skill development, Young suggests that “benchmark projects” will tend to be more effective.

He comments,

Benchmark projects are also about improving skills. However, instead of picking a skill and just trying to get better at it, you first pick a clear benchmark accomplishment that defines success.

Some examples of benchmarking might include getting favorable feedback from the discussion after a conference paper, having a journal article accepted and cited multiple times, or committing to write a certain number of words per day.

The aim is to have some metric by which you can judge your progress as you develop whatever skill you choose to work on.

For Young’s full discussion, see his original guest post on Cal Newport’s blog.

Daily Gleanings: Habits (19 December 2019)

Chris Bailey and James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, discuss habit formation.

One of the points Clear stresses is the simplicity of habits. For instance, “writing” as such is too complex an activity to fit Clear’s definition for habit.

Clear instead focuses on habits as they can be performed with mostly unconscious operation. So, to develop a regular writing practice, you might particularly work on habituating something simple that will trigger the start of a writing session (e.g., getting a cup of coffee, leaving open the document you need to work on the day before).

For the full discussion, visit the Life of Productivity podcast.