Do the Opposite #75

Your Task List Is Too Long and What to Do about It, Overcoming Procrastination, the True Cost of Things

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“When Your Task List is Overwhelmingly Long” by Leo Babauta

Majority of us are overwhelmed with the amount of stuff on our to-do lists. Once an item lands there, it almost never leaves on its own - only when we get to it & complete it. The problem is that over time we add more tasks than we can realistically complete. So they accumulate & accumulate and just looking at that long list makes us anxious and uncomfortable. Leo, as always, is here to help us manage this madness.

“Keep Working” by Stephen Pressfield

This very short post is incredibly powerful. The example used there is one of a writer, but it’s useful for anyone doing anything creative. The idea is that your work doesn’t have to be popular and well received by the public and/or the critics in order for you to be a professional in a given field. The only thing that matter is: are you doing the work? If you’re writing but no one’s interested in reading your work, you’re still a writer. What matters is: you’re writing. Same goes for playing music, singing, creating your own business, blog or a podcast, etc.

Keep doing the work and as your skill & experience grow, inevitably, success will come. By that time, however, you’ll know that success & popularity are just a side-effect of doing the work and you won’t obsess over them.


8 Keys to Overcoming Your Procrastination | Impact Theory Q&A | Tom Bilyeu

I’ve been watching many episodes of Tom’s Impact Theory, where he interviews remarkable people (like David Goggins, Rich Roll & more). Then I stumbled upon this Q&A session he did where he answered questions from his audience, all centered around beating procrastination. Absolutely amazing stuff.

We Don't Buy Things With Money | Joshua Becker

I love the alternative perspective Joshua takes on assessing the true cost of any purchase: instead of measuring the cost in dollars, he suggests measuring it in time spent at work, earning the money required to buy the thing. As a simple example, if a person earns $30 per hour of work and a latte costs $5, the true cost of that cup of coffee would be 10 minutes of working time. Watch the video for other fascinating examples!

5 Books That Changed My Life | Daniel Titchener

Daniel shares an awesome shortlist of books that changed his life. I have read 4/5 and I can attest to the high quality of this list! I’m currently reading “Early Retirement Extreme”. I first learned about this book from Mr. Money Mustache but was convinced to start reading it after watching this video. Enjoy!

Superfast Beatmaking #4 — Mad Lil Kid | Andrew Huang

This is just for fun. I’ve recently started getting into a new hobby: music production. I’ve played the violin since I was 5 years old and even worked part-time in an orchestra for 5 years before coming to Canada. Since then I didn’t have a chance to continue on this path, and only now starting to warm up to the idea.

Andrew’s channel is great if you’re looking to get into music production - he shares what equipment you might need, how to start, teaches the basics of music theory and more. As I’ve been exploring his channel I’ve found this fun video series called “Superfast Beatmaking” in which Andrew takes one or several short clips from the audience and makes a mix out of these in 1 hour(!).

The other cool thing about this video is that Andrew not only makes the mix in 1 hour, but also creates a whole track out of one short (several seconds) clip. Mind-blowing + fun to watch!

Featured Tweet



“A man on a thousand mile walk has to forget his goal and say to himself every morning, 'Today I'm going to cover twenty-five miles and then rest up and sleep.”
— Leo Tolstoy, “War and Peace”

“You never know what's around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you've climbed a mountain.”
— Tom Hiddleston

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”
— Abraham Lincoln


I’m building an app called ZERNO to help you build & stick to habits ― if you join the waitlist, you’ll be in the limited few to get early access to the app!

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There's also a YouTube channel with weekly videos on the same themes that are covered in this newsletter. Take a look at the channel here and let the ideas influence you into an improved and happier life!

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Do the Opposite has a public Telegram channel. The content there is a little different than in the newsletter: faster to consume, a bit more random ― basically anything weird or interesting that catches my eye: articles, tweets, videos, images, etc. Hope to see you there as well! :)

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Keep doing the opposite,
Alex Kallaway