Three-dimensional chess is a Star Trek staple. The board appears in several episodes, and you can buy your own replica courtesy of the Franklin Mint.
One of the novels takes the game a step further into the future with four-dimensional chess. Not only can you move your pieces in three-dimensional space, you can “rest” a piece, removing it from the board for a fixed number of turns, after which it returns to the board on its new square. This lets you set aside a piece that you don’t need now, and bring it back at just the right moment.
You can set up a similar system to reduce clutter, stop losing things, and increase your productivity. Take any piece of paper; set it aside for days, weeks, or months; and relax, confident that it will reappear on the exact day you need it. It’s like a time machine for your trusted system.
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We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.
There is a popular notion that if you can just work a little bit harder, a little bit longer, and a little bit faster, you can achieve anything. You can solve any problem. You can get anything done. Slow is the problem. Fast is the answer.
It’s a shortsighted approach to productivity. Yes, you can usually work a little bit harder, a little bit longer, or a little bit faster and get a little more done. The key there is the little bit. You quickly hit the point of diminishing returns, and you’ll get a lot less done if you push yourself too much.
Instead, take a lesson from Aesop’s tortoise: slow and steady wins the race.
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It’s a funny thing. The more I practice, the luckier I get.
Your calendar is one of the key components of your trusted system. It’s how you track the plan you have for how you’re going to spend your day.
Most people block off their time with a few words, just enough to remind them what they’re going to do. Look at your calendar. It’s probably full of things like “Gym”, “Budgeting with Nicole”, “Errands”, and “Call Mom”.
That worked brilliantly for paper planners, where all you needed was a title and an arrow to indicate how long the event takes. With the rise of digital calendars, there’s on other thing you should enter. A few seconds when creating the event can save you minutes—or even hours—down the road.
Tell your calendar where you need to be.
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Thought is useful when it motivates action and a hindrance when it substitutes for action.
When the Hare and the Tortoise showed up to work, the Hawk was waiting for them.
“I got an email from the Bear,” explained the Hawk. “He needs us to add some new framework calls he can use in the next version of his app. He is on a tight schedule, so he needs us to turn this around today.”
The Hawk forwarded them the email with the details of the request, and the Hare and the Tortoise were off to the races.
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I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for me it is conscious living.
For more and more of us, computers are an integral part of our daily life and a key component of how we get things done.
We send emails. We surf the web. We post to Facebook. We tweet. We write. We code. We chat. We journal. We pay the bills. We send invoices. We learn. We research.
Personal computing took off in 1984, when Apple released the Macintosh and brought the mouse to everyday users. Graphic user interfaces were revolutionary, but if you want to maximize your proficiency with the computer, using the mouse/trackpad isn’t enough.
You need to know how to use the keyboard.
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The Obligation of the Engineer
I am an Engineer.
In my profession I take deep pride. To it I owe solemn obligations.
Since the Stone Age, Human Progress has been spurred by the Engineering Genius. Engineers have made usable Nature’s vast resources of Materials and Energy for Humanity’s Benefit.
Engineers have vitalized and turned to practical use the Principles of Science and the Means of Technology. Were it not for our heritage of accumulated experiences, my efforts would be feeble.
As an engineer, I, (full name), pledge to practice Integrity and Fair Dealing, Tolerance, and Respect, and to uphold devotion to the standards and dignity of my profession, conscious always that my skill carries with it the obligation to serve humanity by making best use of the Earth’s precious wealth.
As an engineer, in humility and with the need for divine guidance, I shall participate in none but honest enterprises. When needed, my skill and knowledge shall be given without reservation for the public good. In the performance of duty, and in fidelity to my profession, I shall give the utmost.