#9 Knowns & unknowns
One with Japanese wisdom
‘There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns—there are things we do not know, we don’t know.’
This Feb'02 quote from Donald Rumsfeld has triggered so many interpretations & debates. It misses one critical quadrant - 'unknown knowns'. But even without it, it gives a lot to think about. We need high self-awareness and acceptance to recognize these 'knowns' and 'unknowns'. Once we get to the 'knowing', our observations & curiosity can help overcome any gaps that exist.
And on that note, let’s dive in with this week’s recommendations:
How to manage our work?
In this article, Tiago Forte takes inspiration from Mise-en-Place practice of the culinary world to share 6 useful lessons for us - the knowledge workers.
Sequence: The first thing we do at the start of our workday sets the tone for everything that follows. Our TODOs and planning rhythms should enable us to get a great start every day.
Placeholders: Create an environment that helps us 'remember' things for us. Our notes, checklists, task lists help ease the mental overload and let us focus on the important.
Immersive vs Processing time: Create leverage by smartly investing in your processing time. The small actions we take to kick off process time unlock the efforts of others on our behalf.
Finishing mindset: Free up your mental & physical space by tieing up all open threads. Don't leave 'orphaned tasks'. Context switching is expensive, even more so when you don't enable an easy re-start later.
Small, precise movements: Break down the repeated, habitual actions we take every day. This will enable consistent output & make the work more enjoyable.
Arrangement: Create a “start up” and “wind down” routine to begin and end your day predictably. This will help define the balance between work & life.
If you want to know more about Mise-en-place, below is a quick snapshot from the article. Do read the original article to enjoy the beauty of this system.
What does it take to build a stellar customer experience? Disney shows us so many ways. This 6 min video talks about how they solve for a tiny customer pain point - mosquitos. It’s so fascinating to see the depth at which they go to keep the mosquitos at bay.
Another gem from the Japanese way of working - Shisa Kanko.
Some random goodness from the internet:
Twitter: @TechEmails for archives of some interesting email exchanges from tech & business leaders. I love the ones from Steve Jobs here. Even his threats carried a style.
Podcast: 99% invisible tells amazing stories about the unseen and overlooked aspects of design, architecture, and infrastructure all around us. We’re among these things, but fail to notice them. I love the topic, the narrator’s style and the background story. Such a beautiful company for a long drive or a lonely walk in the night.
Quote: "A surprisingly effective way to get what you want is to not settle for less than what you want. It doesn't always work—you can't force the world to be a certain way—and you may need healthy doses of patience and doggedness, but your life bends toward what you accept."
- James Clear in the latest post on 3-2-1 newsletter.
That's all, folks! Thanks Abha for some really useful inputs on how to make this mailer better. Please keep those feedback & comments coming.