Rewrite or self-edit? How to decide without bias

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It’s time to revise a previous draft — of a blog post, a report, a book chapter, or any factual content. You’re dealing with feedback from others, or maybe just your own better insights into what you wanted to say. Should you tinker with words — self-editing — or rewrite from scratch? How cognitive biases … Continued

5 reasons why kaizen continuous improvement is bullshit

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This graphic sums up a popular meme. The supposed idea is that if you improve 1% every day, then you will be 37.7 times better by the end of the year. What a win! After all, that’s how compound growth works! This idea comes from the Japanese concept of kaizen, which is a management philosophy … Continued

Old fears and failures

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I’d like you to do me a favor today. It may not be easy. But bear with me. I want you to think about something you’ve been afraid of for a long time. Maybe you were embarrassed while speaking in front of your class at school, and you’ve always been afraid of public speaking. Maybe … Continued

Is it worth it to study math?

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I was a math major and had ambitions to be a mathematician. That didn’t happen. Instead, I found myself in the business world. In contrast to writing, which I consider an essential skill for almost any job, advanced mathematical ability is not clearly necessary for most jobs. But as I look back at my career, … Continued

What are you bad at? Strategies for your weaknesses.

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What are your weaknesses? And what are you going to do about them? For example, you might be bad at: Writing. Teamwork. Confidence. Math and spreadsheets. Graphic design. Concentrating. Meeting deadlines. Treating others with respect. Planning. Public speaking. Running meetings. And so on . . . Avoid or improve? The first step is to identify … Continued

How to cure 22 annoying and repetitive writing tics

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Everyone has writing habits. Some of them are even endearing. But when repeated, they draw attention to themselves, and that’s a distraction from whatever you’re trying to communicate. Every manuscript I edit has a problem like this. They’re all different. But they all need fixing. They’re often invisible to the writer, even if when they’re … Continued

Don’t watch me edit: some advice for Google Docs users

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I like Google Docs. I’m happy to edit your documents in it. Just don’t watch me work, okay? I edit documents in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. If you’re the client, you get to choose. What you can expect from me is not just word edits, but comments explaining why I made the choices I … Continued