Every day, in today's fast-paced world, many of us must deal with unrealistically large to-do lists that seem impossible to complete. It is possible to come at work resolved to complete the first job on the list as soon as possible, only to discover that two other chores have emerged in the meantime. In a similar vein, businesses find themselves swamped by complexity as they attempt to service multiple markets with vast arrays of diverse goods, juggling them all like a clown at a circus. Given the current state of the world, it is more vital than ever to understand what is really necessary. That is why it is critical to comprehend the 80/20 Principle, which seems to be deceptively simple yet is very effective. Taking advantage of this apparently ubiquitous mismatch between effort and reward can allow you to make better use of your time at work.
Consider the following scenario: you are holding a stopwatch in your hand. Start the watch and then stop it after precisely ten seconds, all without glancing at the time. If you repeat this process many times in a row, you will find that reaching 10 seconds on the dot is almost difficult. Sometimes you'll be a bit short, and other times you'll be a little longer. You may be off by a few milliseconds at times. Other times, you're off by a fraction of a second, or even more than that. In any case, you will wind up with a collection of mistakes that have no obvious pattern and no discernible origin as a result of this small experiment. This is an example of noise, or a series of unpredictably bad decisions. And although your mistakes in this small stopwatch experiment seem harmless enough, as you will soon discover, differences in judgment such as these may have much more severe ramifications. Please accept my invitation to the weird realm of noise.
In our thoughts, there is a fascinating drama unfolding, a film-like storyline with two major characters that is full of twists, turns, drama, and suspense. System 1 is the impulsive, automatic, intuitive System 1, and System 2 is the thinking, methodical, and calculating System 2 are the two characteristics. As they compete against one another, their interactions influence the way we think, make judgements and choices, and behave as a result of our experiences. System 1 is the portion of our brain that works instinctively and abruptly, and which often operates without our conscious knowledge or permission. It is possible to encounter this system at work if you are exposed to an extremely loud and unexpected sound. What are you going to do? You most likely transfer your attention to the sound very quickly and instinctively after hearing it. System 1 is comprised of the following components:
Have you ever read a biography of a famous person in which the individual's success is ascribed to sheer dumb luck? If you have, you are not alone. Most likely not. Instead, when it comes to success tales, we like to believe that the individuals in question have achieved their position by their own abilities and hard work. This is the myth of the "self-made man," and these notes will demonstrate that it is based on sand rather than rock. You'll see how many invisible variables affect a person's success, and how many of those factors are outside the control of the individual in question. You will discover why Bill Gates and The Beatles were so successful; why your birthdate may have ruined your chances of being an ice hockey great; and what rice farming has to do with arithmetic abilities in these notes.
Do you even recall a period when you had a sustained attention span that lasted more than a few minutes? Was there a time when you could glide through work without being sidetracked, and take hours to do something that would now take you days to complete? Realistically, you probably recall a period when things were like that - but it was most likely before cellphones were developed and before Facebook was created. To put it another way, it's been a while. The purpose of this document is to assist you in this process. The capacity to focus may be improved by the use of a few basic concepts and simple methods. This will also help you to be more creative as a result. This set of notes will explain why setting an hourly alarm may be beneficial for your concentration, how daydreaming might aid in planning, and what scatterfocus is.