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Vol.21 Time Management

Issue 21 of 2023#

Dear Bodhisattvas, greetings.

The cover image of this issue was created by Midjourney, with the prompt: "a Chinese Musician playing Chinese lute, in the style of stylistic manga, dream, Chinese Classical, clean line work, gigantic scale, low resolution, group material --ar 16:9".

Below is the main content of this issue, with an estimated reading time of about 10 minutes.


1. Learning for Oneself or for Others#

In ancient times, scholars learned for themselves; today, scholars learn for others.

This sentence is from the "Analects of Confucius・Xian Wen". In modern Chinese, it can be simply expressed as: ancient scholars learned for their own growth, while modern scholars learn to gain the attention of others.

This raises a thought-provoking question: Is learning for oneself or for others?

In my opinion, the first and foremost point in this question is that learning should first and foremost be for oneself. This does not mean that we should be selfish, but rather emphasizes that before we attempt to teach or share knowledge with others, we must first understand and master that knowledge ourselves. Otherwise, if we are eager to teach others without fully understanding and mastering a knowledge point, we may mislead them and even cause unforeseen harm.

In addition, self-improvement is the foundation of learning. In this rapidly changing era, we need to constantly learn new knowledge and improve ourselves in order to maintain competitiveness in society. Just as a building without a solid foundation cannot withstand the invasion of wind, frost, rain, and snow, learning without self-improvement cannot steadily advance in the ocean of knowledge.

However, this does not mean that we should only focus on self-improvement during the learning process. Personal perspectives and experiences always have their limitations, and the exchange and sharing of knowledge can bring about powerful synergistic effects. We can learn from others, and at the same time, we can help others by sharing our knowledge. This kind of learning is for others, but not for the purpose of attracting their attention, but for the purpose of achieving common progress.

The idea of learning through knowledge sharing is reflected in the Feynman Learning Method and the Explanation Effect. Both of these methods emphasize the importance of knowledge sharing in self-learning.

Therefore, in the process of learning, we should not only focus on self-improvement but also not forget to share our knowledge with others in order to achieve common progress. As for wanting to attract others with this, it is not necessary.

2. The Trap of "Time Management"#

Wei Chen, the host of "Life's Wonderful Journey," has written an article titled "A Practical Guide to Facing Reality in Time Management", in which he details his understanding of time management and his approach to it.

Out of curiosity about time management, I recently read the book "4000 Weeks". Coincidentally, several friends recommended an article titled "The Trap of 'Time Management'" to me this Monday, which is written by Richie Norton, the author of "The Power of Starting Something Stupid".

He first points out that although the literal meaning of "management" is "control," in the actual implementation of time management, our time is often controlled by others rather than ourselves. This is because the concept of time management was designed by the industrial sector to allow managers to control the working hours and methods of employees. For example, factors such as employees' working hours and vacation time are influenced by time management.

However, despite the attractiveness of time management in theory, it often fails to achieve the desired effect in practice. In actual operation, time management often leads to an increase in workload and a decrease in available time. This is because in the time management model, personal productivity is detrimental to work productivity: the more available time you create, the more work you need to do. This creates a paradox: the more work you complete, the more work is assigned to you. (Efficiency-seeking workers shed tears😭)

In addition, Norton also points out that time management has created an efficiency test between management and workers, which may result in work being unnecessarily divided and prolonged. This phenomenon reflects that efficiency and production are not necessarily equal, and we need to avoid wasting energy on trivial matters.

After criticizing the trap of time management, Norton proposes a new method of time management, called "anti-time management." Anti-time management emphasizes our own control over time, rather than letting time be controlled by others. Our choices have a greater impact on our time management than anyone or any system. Therefore, we need to realize that every decision we make is a choice, and they all have consequences.

Anti-time management encourages us to make proactive decisions, freeing up present and future time instead of being occupied by time management.

In traditional time management, our schedules may be filled to the brim, while anti-time management allows for more openness and flexibility in our schedules. This approach can make us feel more efficient and have more free time during work.

In other words, the goal of anti-time management is to give us more autonomy; this also means that we have more time freedom. Learning and applying time flipping can bring about significant changes with just small adjustments.

So how do we make these adjustments?

Norton mentions that time flipping is a specific practice of anti-time management, which can help us reduce risks, stop waiting, and start taking action. Time flippers establish reliable processes around their goals and integrate dreams into their daily lives.

Therefore, time flipping can be seen as a way of life that encourages us to:

  1. Understand our goals and dreams: Our time should be used to pursue what we truly love, rather than being consumed by things we don't care about. Understanding our goals and dreams is the first step in achieving time flipping.
  2. Develop strategies: We need to develop specific strategies to achieve our goals and dreams. This may include creating schedules, setting priorities, and even finding partners.
  3. Take action: Only through action can we achieve our goals. This includes taking action in work as well as in life. Our time should be used to do meaningful things, not wasted.
  4. Reflect and adjust: Time flipping is not a one-time process but requires ongoing reflection and adjustment. We need to regularly check our progress and see if we need to adjust our strategies.
  5. Enjoy the process: Lastly, but not least, we need to enjoy the process. Time flipping is not just about efficiency, it is also about enjoying our time and finding joy in life.

3. The Dual Threat of the Climate Crisis#

Recently, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) released a report showing that July of this year became the hottest month on record globally. The global average temperature in July exceeded the average temperature for July from 1850 to 1900 by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, marking the first time that the global monthly average temperature has risen above this critical threshold.

Faced with this phenomenon, scientists warn that climate warming not only leads to an increase in extreme heat, floods, droughts, wildfires, and other natural disasters, posing a direct threat to human survival, but also may exacerbate mental health problems and trigger a series of social issues.

Scientists have conducted in-depth discussions on the relationship between climate change and human mental health. Researchers have found a strong correlation between high temperatures and increased suicide rates, violent crimes and offenses, increased emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to mental disorders, and deaths. This phenomenon is particularly evident in groups with schizophrenia, dementia, mental abnormalities, and substance abuse.

It is estimated that for every 1-degree Celsius increase in temperature, the risk of death for patients with mental disorders, dementia, or substance abuse increases by nearly 5%. Suicides related to temperature increases by 0.7%, and interpersonal violence, including homicides, increases by about 4% to 6%. This phenomenon reflects the profound impact of climate change on social and individual mental health.

What is even more concerning is that high temperatures may not only exacerbate emotions such as irritability and anger but also worsen mental illnesses such as anxiety, schizophrenia, and depression. Groups that are particularly vulnerable include the elderly, adolescents, individuals with pre-existing mental illnesses, and those without housing or with lower socioeconomic status.

These findings emphasize the need to take a comprehensive perspective on the impact of global warming. We cannot only focus on the destruction of the natural environment caused by climate change but must also pay attention to its impact on human society and human mental health in order to explore more solutions to address global warming.

4. Miscellaneous#

  • Personal developer Lai Jiawei summarized the process of setting up an overseas company through the internet in China within two weeks. The process includes:
    • Choosing an overseas phone number
    • Choosing an overseas registration location
    • Firstbase registration process (company registration location, renting a private mailbox address, employer identification number, Mercury bank account)
    • Stripe corporate account
    • Wise personal remittance
    • Registration and maintenance costs
      • US phone number: $36 per year
      • Firstbase registration fee: $399
      • Firstbase mailbox address: $350 per year
      • Firstbase company agent (including annual report and tax filing tools): $299 per year
    • Editor's note: This process shared by Lai Jiawei is a legal and legitimate way for independent developers of apps, independent blog authors, newsletter hosts, and self-media creators to have potential overseas payment needs. From the shared process, it appears to be a cost-effective and legitimate option, with maintenance costs even lower than setting up a company in China.
  • Video content: How the Economic Machine Works (Bilibili | YouTube)
    • Editor's note: The current economic situation in China is not optimistic. Based on the economic data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on August 15th, the economic performance in July was significantly lower than expected. Especially during such times, it is easy to be misled by true and false information without a basic understanding of economics. This video by Ray Dalio discusses how the economy operates like a simple machine, driven by three main forces: productivity, short-term debt cycles, and long-term debt cycles. Understanding these forces and their interactions can help track economic trends and events. The video also emphasizes the importance of credit in the economy and how it drives consumption and debt cycles.
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