The 4 Disciplines of Execution
The Whirlwind (urgent) vs. the Goals (important)
1. Focus on the Wildly Important Goal which is 1 or 2 things. Similar to Gary Keller’s The One Thing. Say no to everything else. JFK NASA goal.
2. Act on Lead Measures – leading indicators/measures (current) can affect the present vs lagging indicators measure accomplishments (past). Define and track them.
3. Keep a compelling scorecard – Simple, Visible, has right measures (lead and lag), results clear.
4. Create a Cadence of Accountability – review last week results, update scorecard, plan for next week, share. Commitments must represent a specific deliverable and influence the lead measure.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney

Cal Newport discusses in his book Deep work: “Deep work” is defined by the author as the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively-demanding task. The more time spent and the more intense you can make your focus, the more productive your deep work will be. The author describes attention residue as the trailing off of your thoughts relating to a previous task. During deep work there is an intense focus. All distractions are prevented. There is no multitasking or being interrupted.

Super Smart Guy Podcast Episode 95, Deep Work.

K Anders Ericsson deliberate practice
Reading Peak: Secrets from the new science of expertise.
“Deliberate practice is a highly structured activity engaged in with the specific goal of improving performance.”
Malcolm Gladwell made deliberate practice famous with his book Outliers, and 10,000 hours
practice makes permanent, perfect practice makes perfect
10K hrs, some take less, some take much more. It doesn’t stop at 10K hrs.
“Height and body size are the only genetically predetermined traits that can’t be altered much through practice and have a meaningful impact on performance”
Plenty of practice activities are completely ineffective
Must give up everything else and focus on the one thing to become world class
I feel there is no sustainable bio-hacks that can improve the ability to learn or perform, save steroids (avoid), caffeine (limit), and sleep/diet/exercise (everyone should practice this).
there’s nothing wrong with being average

Motivation drives the person to persevere in the endeavor of practice. Not willpower, not fun. Habit helps.
“pre-existing knowledge” – the more you know about a subject, the easier it is to learn more. We associate new knowledge with what we already know when understanding it and committing to memory.
Timely and informative feedback of your performance is critical.
Repeat your performance with intense focus and attention to detail.
One must perform outside their comfort zone in order to grow.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi flow
The 8 Characteristics of Flow

Csikszentmihalyi describes 8 characteristics of flow:

Complete concentration on the task
Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback
Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down of time)
The experience is intrinsically rewarding, has an end itself
Effortlessness and ease
There is a balance between challenge and skills
Actions and awareness are merged, losing self-conscious rumination
There is a feeling of control over the task


Previous podcast episodes discussing Brain Rules: