Welcome to this week’s 1% Extra Newsletter. Our latest Podcast guest is bestselling author, lecturer and investor, Nir Eyal. In this fast-paced episode he describes his science-based approaches to building healthy habits and improving productivity, focus and distraction-management. Also included is a selection of writing we are reading related to performance and development plus an ambient album that makes me “indistractable”.

Our book of the week is Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies for Giant Leaps in Work and Life by Ozan Varol.

Have a great weekend,



The 1% Podcast – Nir Eyal


How to Focus and Become Indistractable

Listen to the full Podcast here or if you’re time-poor I’ve selected 3 sound bites I found compelling.

Full Podcast

How to Multitask Effectively


Multitasking can work when it’s done the right way. Nir shares some great plate spinning tips.

2 mins

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How to Delay Gratification


If you feel you don’t have the strength to hold back from temptation this is the sound bite for you.

2 mins

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How to Create an Indistractable Team


Nir highlights 3 crucial elements required to create an “indistractable” team.

3 mins

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Insight of the Week

“Today 100% is not enough. Give 100%, and then go over this border into what is more than you can do. You have to take the unknown journey to where nobody has ever been, because that is how civilisation moves forwards. 100% is not enough. 150% is just good enough.”

Marina Abramović

Book Recommendation

Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies for Giant Leaps in Work and Life by Ozan Varol


Many of the author’s observations in the book are based on his time as part of the team that successfully landed two rovers on Mars, and it is an entertaining and informative guide to the human mind’s various flaws.  The book is full of useful advice on working with teams, testing extensively and embracing failures, all discussed in surprising but sensible ways.

Overall, the book is a good-natured and helpful reminder to readers that everyone has mental blocks that would be useful to remove with the help of others. 

Read Now

Music Recommendation

William Basinski: The Disintegration Loops


William Basinski is an American avant-garde composer based in New York City. He is also a clarinettist, saxophonist, sound artist, and video artist. Basinski was working on these compositions in microscopic detail, literally picking at miniscule fragments of sound to see where they would lead him.

Although better known for other albums / works, this is one of our favourites. 

Listen Now

Article Recommendations

The Value of Defining Your Schedule


This caught my eye with the reference to writer Haruki Murakami who wrote one of my favourite books, “What I talk about when I talk about running”. I didn’t know about his writing schedule which leads into a reflection on how we spend our time. This excellent article highlights how different work demands different schedules – Maker (long periods of time focused on small number of tasks) and Manager (making multiple fast, smart decisions) schedules.

Where it gets useful is when we have to intersect both Maker and Manager. Overall the article encourages us to think about how our days are broken up, about how we choose (or are forced) to segment them.  Highly recommended read.

4 mins

Read Now

The Trouble With Happiness


I came across this article when researching for our Lisa Feldman Barrett podcast. Lisa talks about the tyranny of happiness (the belief that all great things and meaning in life are achieved through happiness). This article, through the lens of a number of acclaimed books, looks at the upsides of sadness and the downsides of happiness. 

In Against Happiness, the value of sadness is obscured by a fixation with happiness “preventing us from embracing life fully”. The Loss of Sadness takes issue with how depression is over-diagnosed with normal sadness being confused for clinical depression. The Geography of Bliss looks at why some cultural groups are happier than others suggesting happiness can be reached by many roads, it concludes “Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude.”  A good read or simply a great summary of some pivotal books on the subject. 

2 mins

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How to Make Better Decisions: Understanding Bias vs. Noise


In this article Peter Attia, who rarely puts a foot wrong in these areas, looks at the bias and noise in decision making. Bias we are all familiar with to some extent, noise is perhaps a concept we know about instinctively but maybe don’t think about how to deal with it. Noise in the context of decision making is where there is “a large variation in decisions pertaining to a given topic”.  

Bias and noise are always present in a decision and act independently of one another. The article describes how to identify noise to improve decision. The steps (which are detailed in the article) involve carrying out a “noise audit” and employing “decision hygiene” practices. In summary, to make sound decisions, we need a system and process in place for navigating bias and noise.

2 mins

Read Now
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