10 things I now know about The Hamptons

Full disclosure: We were only there for a day, and we spent most of that day in the villages of Southampton or East Hampton – or travelling between the two. Boring-but-useful info: lots of little villages make up The Hamptons, and these villages form part of either Southampton Town or East Hampton Town. The confusing thing is that there are also two villages called Southampton (part of Southampton Town) and East Hampton (part of East Hampton Town). Other well-known villages include Bridgehampton, Water Mill and Sagaponack (Southampton Town), and Wainscott,…

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The dark side of getting things done (a productivity addict one year on)

The dark side of getting things done

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a post about my productivity habits. People found it useful, I got to feel smug about how much I achieve…win-win. Now I’m back in Chiang Mai, sitting by the same pool as when I wrote that post a year ago, and thinking about how it’s all worked out. I have got an insane amount done in the last year, but my original post contained an early warning sign too: “It’s addictive, and not always in a good way. I’ve become too rigid, and…

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Our heuristics for work, travel and food

Unfortunately we have yet to create a heuristic for sausage shopping - let us know if you have one

A little while ago Rob wrote a post about how to simplify your life, and the section that provoked the largest number of emails was “Embrace heuristics” – with most of you suggesting your own heuristics, and some of you wondering what on earth is wrong with restaurant menus showing pictures of the food. Why have heuristics? For us, it’s because we’re terrible at making decisions on the fly: we’re always worried about making the wrong decision and regretting it. And as a result, we used to waste a lot of time…

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Neglecting income in favour of curiosity


As you may know, we’re both huge fans of heuristics. And boy have we come up with a blinder for you this week: “If you’ve used up all the standard colours on your Google Calendar, it’s time to take a proper look at what’s taking up your time.” Yes people, we’re now onto “Custom” calendar colours – and have discovered some delightful new turquoise, mustard and purpley hues as a result. We’ve explained before about the method behind our maddening range of side projects – projects we work on in addition to our…

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A complete system for spending drastically less time on email

Cutting down the amount of time you spend on email is the single easiest way you can create extra productive hours every single day. (Unless you play WoW. In which case, y’know, you should probably go work on that instead of reading this post.) In this post, I’m going to run through a system that’s at least halved the amount of time I spend on email. Because the problem isn’t email per se: it’s that most people deal with email in an incredibly inefficient way, for which it was never…

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