How to get in the flow: five simple steps

Pick the right task: to achieve a flow state, you need to find the right balance between the challenge of the activity and your own skills levels. The flow state rises from a tension between the two. You won’t be able to get in the zone if the task is too easy or too difficult. Define your goal: you need a clearly defined end goal to get in

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Learning how to learn: science-backed tips to learn better

First, prime your brain by surveying the content, for example by scanning the table of contents of a course. Then, observe an example, such as watching a video of the instructor building an app. Finally, do it yourself. This is a very important step to consolidate your knowledge.

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Getting started with TiddlyWiki: a beginner's tutorial

If you are looking for an open source alternative to Roam Research, TiddlyWiki is your best bet.Because it’s self-hosted—meaning you keep your data private—it may seem a bit more daunting to get started. So here is a guide which will take you from complete beginner to completely in love with TiddlyWiki in three steps.

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Active reading: how to become a better reader

Adjust your reading rate. Instead of using a constant rate, adapt yourself to the content you’re reading. This means slowing down to comprehend better new or more complex information, and speeding up when it’s information you are already familiar with. Annotate the content. Taking notes is a great way to stay engaged with the content.

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Neuroproductivity: how to be more productive using

Neuroproductivity is the neuroscience of productivity. Most of us have goals we would like to achieve. These can be professional or personal. But obstacles get in the way, which we need to overcome to get closer to where we want to be. External obligations such as social events, unforeseen additional work, and demanding customers can drain our

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The science of note-taking: how to take notes to increase

This note-taking system was created by in the 1940s by Walter Pauk, a professor at Cornell University. You need to divide a piece of paper into three sections: notes, cues, and summary. Take notes in the main area, and add cues such as key points and action items in the left-side column. After your meeting, class, event, or when you are done

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30 mental models to add to your thinking toolbox

I may add more in the future, but 30 is plenty to get started. Anchoring: a cognitive bias where an individual relies too heavily on an initial piece of information—the “anchor”—when making decisions. Backward chaining: working backward from your goal. Classical conditioning: you’ve probably heard about Pavlov’s dog.

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From fixed mindset to growth mindset: the complete guide

From fixed mindset to growth mindset: the complete guide. If you ask someone “Do you have a growth mindset?”, most people will say yes. In fact, when I ran a poll asking my followers if they had a growth mindset, only 10% said they didn’t. This is called the “false growth mindset” and it’s a natural consequence of being human.

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10 ways to speed up your Roam Research workflow

Windows: The process is similar, there’s just one more step. Go to More tools > Create shortcut, then name it “Roam”, check the box so it opens in a new window, click “Create” and you will see the shortcut appear on your desktop. Drag the shortcut to your taskbar. 2. Automatically add the source to …

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How to use templates in Roam Research [[roam

Select your trigger, press enter, and voila! Your template is automatically inserted. As you can see, it includes all of the blocks we created in the first step. In this specific example, we have all the metadata we want to add to our Roam database whenever we read an interesting book. Just fill the template as you would any other blocks in Roam.

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How to evaluate the validity and reliability of your

The test-retest method. It consists in measuring the stability of a test over time. For mental models, you would need to keep track of the result of decisions made using a specific mental model. The more similar the results are over time, the more reliable the mental model. This is simple to achieve by adding a section to your daily notes or

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How to choose the right note-taking app: the ultimate

The note-taking tools market is projected to reach $1.35B by 2026. The good thing is: there is a note-taking app for everyone. The not-so-great thing: with a new note-taking app popping up every single week, it can be hard to decide which one is the best for your use case.

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How to practice nuanced thinking and avoid polarized

Make sure your sample size is large enough to draw a conclusion, and consider phrasing your statements in a more nuanced way (“I’m fairly confident that…” or “I think that in some cases…”). While polarised thinking is a common defence mechanism, we can make conscious efforts to practice nuanced thinking, especially around

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How to take notes while reading a book

2. Capture key ideas without interrupting your reading flow. The key challenge when taking notes while reading a book is to find the right balance between reading and capturing content. Many people make the mistake of going overboard with note-taking, and end up losing the …

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The focused mind: get your brain to concentrate on what

Focus is the ability to concentrate on cues inside or outside of you in a deliberate way. When you’re trying to work on something and receive a notification, two parts of the brain are being involved in how you manage your attention. The prefrontal cortex, which is directly behind the forehead, is activated when you start concentrating.

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Ethos, Pathos, Logos: how to persuade people

While they are extremely advantageous skills to master in order to persuade people, they’re also useful in order to understand how you’re being persuaded yourself. While ethos is focused on you, logos is focused on the message, and pathos on the audience. The three modes of persuasion are deeply intertwined and work best when used together.

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Mental wealth: managing your mental health budget

A useful metaphor is to see your mental health as a wallet: money comes in, money comes out. How much money is in there is how many adverse events you can experience while sustaining your mental health. We unfortunately tend to only worry about our mental health during traumatic events, but there are many daily events which empty your mental

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Mindful productivity: a sustainable way to work and think

Mindful productivity is about calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings and thoughts while engaged in work or creative activities. It’s a way to give us new perspectives on work, life, the creation process; helping us enjoy the work and better understand ourselves.

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Overcoming learned helplessness

Learned helplessness is a mental state that occurs after someone has experienced a stressful situation so many times, they believe they are unable to avoid or control the situation, so they don’t even try—even when opportunities for relief arise. This behaviour is found in both humans and animals. It can lead to low self-esteem, low

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How to build intrinsic motivation to achieve your goals

How do you build more intrinsic motivation into your life? According to research, you need two main ingredients to build intrinsic motivation: the first is self-determination (believing that you have the choice and the freedom to act however you want to), and the second is a feeling of increased competence (believing that the task will teach you something new and make you a better, more

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How to bridge the intention-behaviour gap

Reducing the intention-behaviour gap. The intention-behaviour gap is the result of high knowledge and low behaviour. In order to reduce the gap, you need to increase the contextuality of the intention by defining the following: When. Define a time or cue triggering when you should be applying that specific behaviour. Where.

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The hermeneutic circle: a key to critical reading

The hermeneutic circle captures the complex interaction between an interpreter and a text. When we first read a text —whether a book, a research paper, or a blog post—we form an initial understanding. As we progress through the text, we keep on evaluating this initial understanding based on the new knowledge brought by the text as it unfolds.

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Managing risk with the NASA Risk Matrix

The NASA Risk Matrix—also called risk scorecard—helps determine the level of risk associated with a particular situation, and decide how to react. In their own words, the NASA Risk Matrix is “a graphical representation of the likelihood and consequence scores of a risk.”. The Guidelines for Risk Management document outlines how to use

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Constructive criticism: how to give and receive feedback

Offering constructive criticism is a complex exercise, where the goal is keep a balance between delivering feedback and respecting the recipient’s emotions. Before you give feedback to someone, make sure you are doing for the right reason: helping them grow and improve. If you are doing it because you are in a bad mood or trying to make

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The benefits of stretching: why your body needs to move

The benefits of regular stretching. You don’t need to be an athlete to benefit from stretching. There are many advantages to starting a regular stretching routine, including stress relief, increased flexibility, and a better posture:. Stress relief.

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How to better remember what you read

One of them is to help you better remember the stuff you read. You could take notes in the margins, on a separate note-book, on post-it notes—it doesn’t really matter, the act of taking notes is what helps form new pathways in the brain and store the information better in your long-term memory. It’s called the Generation Effect.

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Roam Research: Frequently Asked Questions

No, Roam is not free. It’s currently priced at $15/month, or $165/year, or $500 for five years. The “Believer” plan for five years includes first access to new features, community calls with the team, and priority support. However, Roam runs a Scholars Program, through which you may be eligible for a significant discount if you are a full

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How to use bi-directional links (backlinks) in Notion

Notion finally launched a popular feature request: bi-directional links, which they call backlinks. While it may seem like a simple addition, it may fundamentally change the way Notion users interact with their database, and it makes Notion a valid digital gardening tool.. Bi-directional links are a game changer because they allow for a completely new way to explore ideas, creating space for

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How to build a better writing habit

Sit down and set a timer. Because you have a fixed schedule for creating content, just sit down and open a new document. All of the mental energy you would have used to figure out when and where to work can be saved for the actual writing. Another thing that helps is to set a specific end time for writing.

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JavaScript plugins for Roam Research [[roam/js]]

Every time you want to install a new JavaScript plugin, create a parent block with the following: { { [ [roam/js]]}} – this will add an important warning so you are reminded to be careful with any code (especially third-party code) you add to your Roam database. Nested under the warning, add the JavaScript code for the plugin you wish to add.

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Emotional agility: how to build resilience in times of

The complex interplay between beauty and fragility is at the core of life. Dr Susan David defines emotional agility as our ability to experience our thoughts and emotions in a way that encourages us to reveal the best of ourselves. Emotional agility is not about being positive or …

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SMART goals are not so smart: make a PACT instead

SMART goals are not so smart: make a PACT instead. A system without a goal is like a marathon without a finish line. But a system with a bad goal will result in a bad outcome. Traditional goal-setting methods use the SMART framework. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Sounds great for small, short-term

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Roam Research free, open source, and self-hosted alternatives

Other free, open-source and self-hosted alternatives include Zim, Freeplane, Trillium, and Wikidpad, but they all lack many of the core features of Roam, and tend to be either too close to mind maps or too hierarchical. I haven’t tried any of them. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, there are a few projects on Github.

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Improve your memory with these science-based methods

The Method of Loci. Visualisation. Mentally visualising information can help your remember things better. One of the most effective methods is called the Method of Loci or the Memory Palace—I personally like to call mine the Mind Mansion. This old technique has been used by ancient Greeks and Romans, and is still used to this day.

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Not-to-do list: a conscious way to break bad habits

The good old to-do list is a staple of most productivity systems, used to keep track of tasks and manage your focus throughout the day. While to-do lists are powerful, a complementary method can further increase our productivity: the not-to-do list.

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The three types of burnout and how to cope with them

Personal growth. Positive reinterpretation. Distracting activities. Cognitive avoidance. Seeking social support, deflating the situation with humour, better planning our workload, accepting our emotional and psychological struggle, focusing on solving the problem, and positively reinterpreting our challenges are all constructive coping

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The psychology of revenge bedtime procrastination

Delay. Going to bed late is not necessarily bedtime procrastination if that was your plan all along. Maybe you have some chores to catch up on, maybe you are a night owl, or maybe you know you won’t have to wake up early the day after.

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