Most unhappy people are unhappy for the exact same reason

Research shows that how you spend your free time matters a great deal.

every activity that didn’t involve a screen was linked to more happiness, and every activity that involved a screen was linked to less happiness. The differences were considerable: Teens who spent more than five hours a day online were twice as likely to be unhappy as those who spent less than an hour a day.

In one experiment, people who were randomly assigned to give up Facebook for a week ended that time happier, less lonely and less depressed than those who continued to use Facebook. In another study, young adults required to give up Facebook for their jobs were happier than those who kept their accounts. In addition, several longitudinal studies show that screen time leads to unhappiness but unhappiness doesn’t lead to more screen time.

Somewhat surprisingly, we found that teens who didn’t use digital media at all were actually a little less happy than those who used digital media a little bit (less than an hour a day). Happiness was then steadily lower with more hours of use. Thus, the happiest teens were those who used digital media, but for a limited amount of time.

[Doing] Manifesto of a Doer

2. Avoid easy deadlines. Deadlines serve you best when they are short, hard and, at first glance, impossible. Urgency gets things done.

10. The energy available to get this done is directly proportional to how much it matters to you. Only commit to things that matter.

18. Making things happen is fun. Making things happen that matter with a team as crazy as you are, is the best fun of all.

23. If you are going to make change happen, make it a good one. This planet needs as many friends as it can get.

You Are Not Late – Kevin Kelly

Written in 2014.

There has never been a better time in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, greater upside, than now. Right now, this minute. This is the time that folks in the future will look back at and say, “Oh to have been alive and well back then!”

Does he believe that this is always applicable? Does he believe that there is always ‘no time like the present’, or that we are involved in some sort of eternal progression towards perfection, or is ‘now’ simply a technological moment of opportunity? It’s actually a deeper philosophical question than he addresses.

[Trees] When You Give a Tree an Email Address

When the city of Melbourne linked email accounts to trees so people could report problems, they wrote love letters to the trees instead.

The city of Melbourne assigned trees email addresses so citizens could report problems. Instead, people wrote thousands of love letters to their favorite trees.

I hope you like living at St. Mary’s. Most of the time I like it too. I have exams coming up and I should be busy studying. You do not have exams because you are a tree. I don’t think that there is much more to talk about as we don’t have a lot in common, you being a tree and such. But I’m glad we’re in this together.

This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

Brilliant book that is essential reading for anyone disillusioned or dismissive of the NHS and the work that hospital doctors do.

Not only is it a masterclass in funny, but it’s also a reminder that writing can sometimes matter deeply, if not Make A Difference. It is a highly empathic book that follows Adam’s 10 year career as a Junior Doctor, ending as his career did: suddenly and tramatically. He now makes a living as a comedian and script writer.

Recommended to me by Beth as one of the two best books she read in 2017. Incidentally, it was represented by Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown.