This is a Mindf*ck Monthly newsletter from August 9, 2021. Every month, I send out big ideas I’ve been chewing on and stuff I’ve enjoyed reading that month in the hopes that it makes you less of a shitty person.
Let’s dive right in.
The Benefits of Time
After a month off, I’m back. Thank you to those of you who reached out wondering where I was or whether I was okay. I’m doing great. The time off was just what I needed.
I’ve long written about the importance of taking time away from something to improve its outcome. It’s one of those counterintuitive truths that we rarely consider — that doing less of something can create more results — but it’s always been a secret weapon in my work life.
Think about it, sometimes you need to spend a week or two away from your partner to reignite your appreciation for them. Sometimes you need to leave your hometown to gain perspective on where you came from. Sometimes you need to take a break from a project to see how to move it forward.
Time away from something or someone gives us perspective on that something or someone.
I started this newsletter in the fall of 2019. Over many years, I had accumulated tons of clever little ideas and interesting factoids that had never found their way into a book or justified their own article. But with the newsletter, I found an outlet for them. I could venture into subjects that I normally wouldn’t write much about — science and technology, politics, history, etc. — talk about funny little psychology studies that were interesting, and generally just be a fucking weirdo. And I could do all this while having that immediate interactivity and feedback with my audience, directly through email.
It was great. I had a blast. But after a year, a couple things happened.
The first was that my reservoir of clever ideas and interesting factoids began to run dry. In some cases, I found myself relegated to repeating something I had written in a newsletter months prior. In others, I scrambled to find something interesting to write about the afternoon before, desperate to find something interesting to publish.
Not only was this not fun, but it had the unfortunate side effect of causing me to…