David Perell

David Perell quotes on time management

"The Writing Guy". He tweet about business, online learning, and Internet writing.

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Law of the Internet: If somebody recommends an article that’s more than 10 years old, chances are it’s gonna be outstanding


90% of running a business is making a bunch of tiny improvements that nobody notices, but end up being transformative over time. It’s not sexy, but it works.


I’ve yet to meet an original thinker who doesn’t spend a lot of time alone


It takes the entire day to finish 3 hours of creative work


Most adults can’t focus for more than 3-5 hours per day but try to make kids sit in class for so long.


My philosophy of writing: • Write every day. • Write in public to improve the quality of your thinking. • Write for clarity, not to impress people. • Write about your curiosities. You don’t need to be an expert. • Write for the most intelligent person you know.


Book clubs are a cheat code. Every time I do one, I remember the book 5x better. It takes 20 hours to read a book, but only 2 extra hours to talk about it with friends. Better friendships. Faster learning.


Books: A lifetime of wisdom for ten bucks and 20 hours of your time


Mirrors and clocks transformed society, but they’re so old that nobody questions them. Clocks created a culture of anxiety. Mirrors created a culture of narcissism.


Your grandchildren will wish you’d kept a diary during these crazy times. Write down your thoughts.


The Internet makes you focus on the urgent at the expense of the important


If you want to build deep friendships, you need extended time with people. Unfortunately, western culture makes this hard. Here’s my heuristic: Aim for at least three hours of conversation whenever you’re with a friend. Anything shorter leaves no room for the soul.


Writing a lot won’t make you a better writer. If it did everybody who answers 100 emails per day would write like Hemmingway. If you want to improve your writing, listen to critical feedback, read great books, and spend a lot of time *re-writing* your sentences.


Build a business that gives you more free time as you grow


We keep inventing things that save us time, but it feels like we have less time than ever before


Doing work you don't like doing is way more exhausting than working long hours


A lesson from sales: "Time kills deals." Jump on good opportunities as fast as possible.


Conventional wisdom says that more education is better. But I think we need less. People should be able to find their first jobs with 12-18 months of vocational training. Then, once they're financially stable, we should encourage them to continue their education.


One simple change has made a HUGE difference in my life. Old: I used to hang with people for 60 minutes at a time. New: Now I spend 3-6 hours with friends at a time. The laughs are louder, the relationships are stronger, and the conversations are deeper. Strong recommend.


If you want to improve your writing, start taking notes. Here’s why: Note-taking isn’t about saving ideas. It’s about having conversations with your past and future self — so you can develop ideas over time.


Every great entrepreneur is tormented by the scarcity of time.


Three steps to improve your writing: 1) Write for 60 minutes every day. 2) Publish one article every week. 3) Listen to feedback. Do it for a year and you'll be an excellent writer.


By the end of this decade, it will be normal to be “best friends” with someone you’ve never met before.


The best productivity tips are the simple ones: - Eliminate distractions - Create a routine and stick to it - Make a checklist at the start of the day - Break big tasks down into small parts - Set firm deadlines Fancy apps are a distraction. Nail the basics first.


A big percentage of your success as a knowledge worker depends on one variable. How long it takes you to get into a flow state.


College in 2000: Take notes in class, use them to pass the test, then throw them away at the end of the semester. College in 2030: Students graduate with a note-taking system, so they never lose their best ideas.


Facts about writing on the internet: 1. It takes time to build an audience. That’s why it’s so valuable. 2. The most interesting people you meet will find you online. 3. People over estimate the short-term benefits of writing but under-estimate the long-term benefits.


My ideal schedule: Nothing on my calendar so I can spend my time following my creative intuition


One hour of focused writing per day, and you'll publish more than you ever thought possible.


Take the energy you put into group chats and spend that time writing in public instead.


I've been practicing my observation skills for years. Here's what I've learned about becoming a better observer: Write every day. The writing habit makes the world come to life. Every moment, from the mundane to the miraculous, becomes a potential future sentence.


Writing prompt: If you want to write, but don’t know what to write about, publish an in-depth book summary. The best book summaries are better than the actual book. Teach people and save them time, and they’ll share your work. You have the information you need. Start writing.


My beliefs about work: 1) If you want to be prolific, you need to creative time as sacred. 2) If you count learning, I work way more than 40 hours per week. If you don’t, I work way less. 3) The economy is way, way bigger than you think. There’s opportunity everywhere.


I wonder how much time we lose because 30-minute meetings are the default. The vast majority of meetings should be 5 minutes long, and the rest shouldn’t have a time limit.


2010s: Every company is a tech company. 2020s: Every company is a media company.


Knowledge Work 101: People over-estimate what they can accomplish with ten hours of distracted work and under-estimate what they can accomplish with two hours of undistracted work. Focus is everything.


20th century: Cities were oriented around production, so people moved to cities for work. 21st century: Cities will be oriented around consumption, so people will move to cities for entertainment.


Writing should save you time. Every article is an artifact of your best thinking on a subject, which you can remix and re-use for the rest of your life. The longer the shelf life of an idea, the longer you can spend writing.


Two things: 1) People under-estimate what they can achieve with TWO hours of focused writing. 2) People over-estimate what they can achieve with TEN hours of distracted writing.


Write an FAQ section for your website. Don't answer the same emails over and over again. Instead, write down the most common questions and answer them in depth. Then publish your answers on your site. You'll save yourself time, build your audience, and help everybody learn.


Email and meetings are the entropy of work. The more people you meet, the more they take over — and eventually, they want to occupy 100% of your productive time. But if you want to make things, you need free time. Make space for creative work.


Sharing your ideas in public is the best way to leverage your thinking. Once you create something, your ideas take on a life of their own. People can build upon them and access your best thinking 24/7, 365 days per year.


Literacy rates may be rising, but people are worse at understanding the Classics than they were 100 years ago


Spending an extended amount of time with someone — in an unfamiliar setting — is forever under-rated. Best way to build relationships.


The longer your essay topic will stay relevant, the more you can justify the time it takes to write something exceptional. Pick timeless topics.


For colleges, the next decade will be defined by the death of a liberal arts education


Old: You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. New: You’re the average of the 5 social media accounts you read the most.


The daytime isn’t structured to write because there are so many pings and rings, so I wait for the quiet stillness of the night whenever I need to write with soul


Most people can only write for 90 minutes per day. Those minutes are sacred — hide your phone, cut the distractions, and turn off the Internet if you need to. If you want to write more, you don’t need to spend more time writing. You need to be more focused when you write.


Easy way to make life more interesting: spend more time making things. I call this "Production Mode." Some ideas: 1. Write a story 2. Record a song 3. Paint a painting By activating the mind, production makes the world pop.

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