Maker Mind

Make the most of your mind

#042 | April 30th, 2020
Current mood: anyone missing the office? Artist: Lumzag.

Worrying well.


Hi friends!

First, I wanted to say thank you. You are now more than 10,000 curious minds reading this weekly newsletter. Thank you! I feel fortunate to be able to connect with so many interesting people from all around the world, especially during these weird times.

Worrying well may sound like an antinomy. Worrying is bad, right? Well, the current situation made me want to look a bit more into it. I'm worried, you're probably worried, and most people are worried to some extent.

I already wrote about why we worry. However this week I want to ask: how can we worry well? It may sound counterintuitive, but worry can actually be helpful when it's managed properly.

We'll also talk about busyness, and in particular excessive busyness—the one that prevents us from actually enjoying life.

In personal news, the first part of my research proposal about neuroeducation has been accepted and I received really good feedback. I'm very excited to share more with you later this year.

Enjoy this edition, and hit reply if you have any questions, feedback, or want to say hello!

Virtual chat: Don't forget to sign up to "Learning in public", a virtual meetup for Ness Labs members taking place on May 6th. Register »

Brain food


Worrying well: how to bring wisdom to your worries
Worry is traditionally seen as a negative emotion. But is it possible worry has a positive function, and that we just don’t tend to use it well? Dr Martin L. Rossman argues that worry is actually an adaptive function to better solve problems and imagine creative solutions.

Are we too busy to enjoy life?
“How are things?” asked a friend. “It’s busy, but I’ll take some time to relax when things ease up,” I replied. I recently caught myself giving a variation of this answer every time I was asked how I was doing. Being busy all the time can give us an illusion of productivity which may feel reassuring, but isn’t there a risk we are too busy to enjoy life?

10 ways to speed up your Roam Research workflow
Since I started using it a few months ago, Roam has become an integral part of my workflow. I use it for interstitial journaling, to outline articles, and in general to seed my mind garden. If, like me, you spend a lot of time inside of Roam, you may want to add some productivity shortcuts to your workflow.


Brain candy

As we may think (The Atlantic)
A beautiful essay written in 1945 by Vannevar Bush. “Consider a future device …  in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.”

The current web landscape (Maggie Appleton)
A beautiful illustration showing the relationship between various web spaces, from dark web to social media, email newsletters, and... Digital gardens.

Why the pandemic warps your sense of time (The Christian Monitor)
“Days blur together, and the hours alternatively fly by and slow to a crawl, depending on how anxious or bored we’re feeling and how many new memories we are generating.”


Brain trust

Here's what's going on in the members area this week:

  • Workshop. I've been giving quite a few workshops lately, and will give one of them to members of the community in May. Vote here to choose the topic (so far the winner is metacognition).
  • Learn in public. Our next meetup will be about learning in public. How to go about it? How to kill your inner critic? Sign up here.
  • Cognitive biases report. Thanks everyone for the great feedback. In case you missed it, the "Cognitive biases in entrepreneurship" research report is available here.
  • Mind Match. And, as always, fill this form to get matched with a fellow member for a virtual coffee chat!

Until next week,
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