My uncle Hans vs. King’s Day


Isn’t it amazing what a pair of glasses can do?

I don’t mean how they can transform someone’s face from clueless to bookish or from boring to mysterious.

I mean how wearing a pair of glasses can change our outlook—the way we see the world.

Some decades ago, my uncle Hans was a bookkeeper.

(These days, he’s retired and studies philosophy.)

My uncle wore glasses such as these:

These are serious glasses. They mean business. They are the kind of glasses that say “I’m reliable” and “I’m on top of things”.

If we put on a pair of glasses such as these, we’re not getting enough done. We could do much better. There exists a version of us that has its shit together—and it’s not this version.

To do better, we need to make some lists, prioritize, and put together a plan. Maybe take some guy’s productivity course or something.

But what if we were to put on a different pair of glasses?

Yesterday it was King’s Day in The Netherlands and that’s got people dressing like this:

Put on your orange glasses and life looks like a party. Are we getting enough done? Who cares!

We have the luxury of going out onto the canals of Amsterdam, so we must be doing something right.

Different glasses, different outlook.

Whether we’re “getting enough done” isn’t a Schrödinger’s-cat situation, exactly, but the answer does depend on how we look at it.

Here’s a question (well, three questions, really):

Can you try to get more done and also feel that this is enough?

Can you focus on your to-do list but also appreciate your done list?

Can you strive to improve while being happy with how things already are?

If you lean too much in one direction, try swapping out your glasses.

Watch: Apple’s productivity apps explained

Your iPhone, iPad, and Mac have lots of great built-in apps to help you get stuff done, such as Notes, Reminders, and Apple Mail. You’re probably familiar with some of these apps, but do you know them all? Let me show you every Apple productivity app—and give you a tip or two about each of them.

Listen: when work is like drinking from a firehose…

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Peter Akkies

Hi, I’m Peter from Amsterdam. I’ll help you get organized and be more productive. Every Sunday, I send a productivity-themed newsletter to 10,000 people. Join us!

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