Book review - Mind Management, Not Time Management

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Mind Management cover

Top Summary

  • When we are dealing with creativity, time management is not helpful.
  • We need to find the optimal mental state for different types of work, developing routines, and understanding hidden boundaries in thinking

Managing Our Mind is More Crucial Than Managing Our Time

Yet many of us approach productivity today as if it’s the speed of production, not the quality of our thinking, that matters. The conventional approach of time management is limited in its effectiveness.
Mind management involves understanding and controlling our thoughts, emotions, and focus.
By managing our mind effectively, we can achieve higher productivity and overall well-being.

Creativity Requires the Right Mental Conditions and a Balance Between Divergent and Convergent Thinking

Like planting a seed in nutrient-rich soil, and feeding it the water and sunlight it needs in order to grow, today’s productivity is about creating the conditions within your mind to have valuable thoughts. Being productive today isn’t about time management, it’s about mind management.Event-time allows for savouring positive emotions and is beneficial for creativity.
Following the stages of control - Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, Verification - can enhance creativity.
Separate Verification from the creative process to avoid getting caught up in details.
Different types of work require different mental states, such as deep work vs shallow work.
Prioritise, explore, research, generate, polish, and administrate are essential mental states for creative work.
Taking breaks and getting enough sleep are crucial for replenishing energy.

My impression

What I like most was how the author gives an insights about his creativity system, the iteration he has done. I belive this is an inspiration for creators.

My favorite quotes:

Things are not difficult to make; what is difficult is putting ourselves in the state of mind to make them. —Constantin Brancusi

The harder you try to get more out of your time, the less time you have. Even if you did have the time, you wouldn’t have the energy.

We have the gall to refer to unused time as “free” time. Do we call our unused money “free” money? No! Ironic, in a world where “time is money.”

Give yourself adequate time and space for Preparation, and immerse yourself in the subject. You’ll be tempted to try to come up with ideas during this time. Invite the ideas that do come, but don’t burn yourself out pushing through a block. Trust that Illumination will come next time you’re in your Creative Sweet Spot.

Before I started working according to mental state, I switched mental states during my writing sessions. One moment, I tried to come up with an idea to explain something. The next moment, I tried to write some polished prose about it. The moment after that, I looked up a fact. It’s no surprise I didn’t get much writing done. Instead, I got blocked. Switching mental states made the blocks worse in two different ways.

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