RadReads​ - How to avoid shiny new toy syndrome

Sorry, the "quick fix" never works  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

$10 Tim rushes to open the Amazon box.

(Here’s part 1 in case you missed the build up behind this special delivery.)

Tim has been fighting an uphill battle.

A battle to get fit.

A battle to step off the corporate hamster wheel.

A battle to be a present and attentive husband.

And a battle to answer life’s most vexing question, “Is this it?”

Thankfully, everything he needs to stem the tide is contained in this brown Amazon box.

Tim rips it open, like a raccoon ravaging a trash bin after a Sunday BBQ.

Books and electronics come careening out of the box onto the floor.

Tim rips through the packaging of his newly acquired Levels patch.

It’s a continuous glucose monitor that will help him regain his college physique.

Obviously, Tim doesn't think that this tool alone will turn his life around.

Oh no.

For his get-my-life-back-on-track plan, he's called in some heavy reinforcements.

There’s the Clear Habits Journal that will enable him to finally tame his compulsive iPhone addiction.

And then there’s a stash of new books:

  • Getting Things Done (to organize his to-do list)
  • Deep Work (to actually focus)
  • How to Take Smart Notes (to build his Personal Knowledge Vault)
  • The One Thing (to make progress on his goals)
  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (to fix his most important relationship).

With an ear-to-ear grin, $10 Tim is stoked.

Real changes are finally coming.

Then he remembers he’s 5 minutes late to his next Zoom meeting, drops everything on the floor and grabs his headset.

$10K Tina also gets an Amazon package during lunch.

With an hour lull in her schedule, she excitedly unpacks her five new books:

  • Debt (by David Graeber),
  • The Sovereign Individual (James Davidson)
  • Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)
  • When Genius Failed (Roger Lowenstein)
  • Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson)

She quickly updates her Web3 Dashboard.

Tina loves going on learning sprints. During these three month sprints, she gets hyper-focused on a new topic that can have a leveraged impact on her life. After seeing the tweets and blog posts about Web3, she’s made a serious commitment to understanding this new technology - primarily DeFi & NFTs.

The challenge though is that she’s an Art History major who sells design services for a living.

So she’s really forcing herself to go deep on the first principles.

So she's collecting resources like the original Bitcoin and Ethereum White Papers and Nat Eliason’s DeFi course - while concurrently poking around specific Discord and Telegram groups (even Tina knows that Twitter’s a little too normie for Web3).

Tina “accidentally” got into crypto in 2016, dollar-cost-averaging $200 a month and sees the potential of Web3.

With crypto holdings worth more than the family house, she knows that having “skin in the game” helps her stay committed. Tina’s looking to use some of those gains ($30,000) to try her hand at DeFi and NFTs.

One thing’s for sure, whether it’s a new skill, hobby or habit - $10K Tina is meticulous, patient and always plays the long game.

Most importantly, she’s resolute in her dedication to staying out of her own way (which is why she only logs into her MetaMask account once a quarter).

By 3 pm, $10 Tim’s finished half of the day’s Zoom calls. He’s set up his “GTD Capture Inbox” in Obsidian and thanks to a small prick in his shoulder from his Continuous Glucose Monitor, the results are streaming onto his iPhone.

(Spoiler alert: Replacing breakfast and lunch with an RxBar sends your glucose levels through the roof.)

He’s flipped open the Clear Habits Journal and confidently writes in 3 new habits:

Tim’s wife then walks by and bursts out laughing.

His face is beet red, as Cathy picks up and inspects each book - and the unfulfilled promise that undoubtedly awaits Tim.

She then sees the giant patch on Tim’s arm and starts laughing so hard that tears start streaming from her eyes.

“Oh Tim, I love you. But you crack me up. You’re the king of Tsundoku.”

(Cathy loves ribbing her husband about Tsudonku, the act of buying books and never reading them.)

As she left the room, she walks back to their bedroom.

Passing by their bookshelf (dubbed The Tsudonku Hall of Fame) with the unread copies of Infinite Jest, Thinking Fast and Slow and Piketty’s Capital.

Then their unused Peloton (now a prop for their daughter’s makeshift tent).

And on their nightstand, a lonely, uncharged Oura ring.

With 20 minutes until her next meeting, Tina fires up a new Notion page to create her Web3 learning plan.

When Tina’s in, she’s all-in.

She takes Friday off to kick-off her sprint and then blocks 3 hours on the next 6 Thursday afternoons to maintain a healthy pace.

Tina knows that with two young kids, a challenging job and some non-negotiables (like her Alexia Clark workouts and 8.5 hours of sleep) - she’s got to be methodical in undertaking any new project.

She relies on her own time-tested framework as a litmus test to ensure that this Web3 project is really worth the steep time commitment.

Inspired by the Toyota Production System’s Five Whys, she always strives to be crystal clear about the root causes behind her motivation.

Next, she’s sanguine about the Behavior Changes she’ll need to make to be successful in her learning and investment endeavor.

And at the end, she’ll list an inventory of Tools that need to be purchased. She’s fallen into the Shiny New Toy Syndrome trap and the (categorically false) belief that a purchase - any purchase - can deliver a quick fix.

Here’s her resulting dashboard:

$10 Tim emerges from his office at 6:30 PM.

He’s 40 minutes late to dinner and grabs two cold slices of pepperoni pizza. His daughter’s watching Vivo and when she sees the patch on his arm goes, “Eww, why do you have a blob tattoo on your arm? Take that off, it’s weird.” He goes in for a hug, but she shoves him away.

“Only once you take off the blob.”

As he savors the greasy slices, he reluctantly checks his glucose readings.

They’ve redlined.

He strolls up to his bedroom clutching his copy of Deep Work.

Disenchanted, he tosses the patch on the nightstand. (Right next to the Oura ring.)

Tim plunks down on his bed exhausted. He’s committed to turning tomorrow around.

As he opens up Deep Work, he's distracted by a shiny object on the floor.

His iPad!

Tim gets a second wind.

After all, he's got two episodes left of Squid Game.


Stay tuned for tomorrow, when Tina enters a Dopamine War Zone.

We've all had our encounters with Shiny New Toy Syndrome (aka SNTS). Maybe it's...

  • The Superhuman email app, thinking it will solve the deluge of email
  • Starting and put down (for the 5th time) David Allen’s Getting Things Done
  • An Oura Ring in pursuit of 8.5 hours of restful sleep
  • A fancy Moleskine notebook, thinking that a nice-looking agenda will help you check off more tasks

You know how to nip SNTS in the bud?

By re-focusing your efforts on $10K Work and injecting leverage into all of your activities.

Join us on October 26th for the 8th cohort of Supercharge Your Productivity where we'll design your customized system for $10K Work.

Plus, students who enroll by 3pm EDT on 10/21 will get lifetime access to our two other courses: The GTD Power-Pack and The Fulfilling Path to Financial Independence (a $498 value).

👉🏼 Enroll in Supercharge Your Productivity today (and get $498 in bonuses)

If you have any questions, just hit reply - our team is standing by.

See you tomorrow, in the dopamine war zones.

With gratitude,

Khe

PS Do you want to skip the launch emails, but still receive the Saturday email? Click here, and we'll make that happen.



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