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The best productivity books worthy of your time—plus the duds that aren't
September 15, 2021

A regularly updated overview of the best productivity books that have the potential to change your life. Plus, a list of duds to skip so you have more reading time for the great ones.

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Thrive book review and summary
August 29, 2021

In Thrive, Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned and compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today's world.

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Letters From a Stoic book review and summary
August 29, 2021

While not an easy read, this is an invaluable and timeless guide on how to live a virtuous and fulfilling life.

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The Coaching Habit: quick reference guide
August 29, 2021

In Michael Bungay Stanier's The Coaching Habit, coaching becomes a regular, informal part of your day so managers and their teams can work less hard and have more impact.

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BrainChains book review and summary
August 28, 2021

World-class collection of research on what technology is doing to our brains, degraded to amateur level by author’s writing style.

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Flow book review and summary
August 28, 2021

This book is an exploration of happiness. a large part of the book discusses the why: why flow is important for anyone’s life, not just for athletes and other super-performers.

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Smarter Faster Better book review and summary
August 28, 2021

Does not do as advertised; more about management and team collaboration than about (personal) productivity.

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Hamlet’s Blackberry book review and summary
August 21, 2021

if you’ve ever felt technology (especially the internet) is getting the better of you or those around you, this book provides a unique view on the problem and how we might get ourselves out of it.

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Lifeline 1.4.8 release notes
August 19, 2021

Version 1.4.8 of Lifeline is now available and includes an improved planning and review panel, as well as an overheat warning when you stay in a session for longer than 100 minutes.

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Deep Work book summary and review
August 16, 2021

for anyone who has problems focussing on their work or getting the stuff that matters done, look no further; this is the book for you.

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Lifeline 1.4.7 release notes
July 29, 2021

‍Version 1.4.7 of Lifeline is here, giving you the option to adjust the thickness of your Lifeline (head over to "Preferences > Your Lifeline" if you're eager to do so).

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Overheat warning (Lifeline feature)
July 23, 2021

As a Lifeline user, I want to get nudged when I've been in a session for too long without a break. This feature addresses that need.

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Lifeline Sprint Report #1: break launch button and cleaned Preferences
May 30, 2021

Here's what we did for Lifeline in Sprint #1 and what you can expect for the next one.

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Lifeline Sprint Report #0: starting with sprints
May 17, 2021

Here's what we did for Lifeline over the past few weeks and what you can expect for our upcoming Sprint #1.

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Go beyond Pomodoro with Lifeline Pro
April 18, 2021

Today we’ve launched Lifeline Pro, our macOS app that lets you go beyond Pomodoro with visual session progress, session labels, and our Calendar integration.

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Custom session lengths in Lifeline are (almost) here
January 5, 2021

With our app Lifeline, you can work in 25-minute sessions based on the Pomodoro Technique. Unlike many other Pomodoro timer apps, ours provides flexibility, as you don’t have to stop after completing a 25-minute cycle.

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Join our two-week Deep Work Challenge starting January 4th
December 28, 2020

Improving your productivity on your own is hard. That’s why Saent is launching monthly, cohort-based Challenges. Together with a coach and peers, you’ll build profound productivity skills in just two weeks.

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Your top five Saent Button questions answered
October 8, 2020

We still receive questions about Saent Buttons often, even though it’s been more than two years since the latest production run. Below you will find answers to the five most common questions we receive.

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Lifeline now available on the macOS App Store
October 3, 2020

After weeks of tweaking to meet Apple’s submission requirements, Lifeline is now live in the macOS App Store. With this step, you can trust that our application meets Apple’s strict privacy requirements and technical standards.

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Lifeline 1.1 (20200216) release notes
February 25, 2020

A new version of Lifeline is out. Here are the main updates: Keyboard shortcuts are here; check them out in Preferences. You can now disable the auto-timer popup, handy when you’re not using your computer for work.

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What Lifeline can do for you (and what it looks like!)
January 11, 2020

Saent Lifeline is our macOS application that helps you develop an optimal daily working rhythm. The app combines the power of modern software with the best elements of the classic Pomodoro Technique: working in cycles of focused sprints and restorative breaks.

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Living with work-life integration
December 31, 2019

We take work wherever we live and life to where we work. Checking email on vacation has become as common as browsing through Facebook while you’re on the boss’s clock. Whether you like it or not, work and life are integrating.

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Build a Better Daily Work Rhythm With Saent Lifeline
May 4, 2019

Over the past years, we’ve quietly worked on Lifeline, a new Saent application for macOS. The app is now available on the macOS App Store.

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The Virtuous Circle of Saent
April 28, 2019

Most productivity and time-management methodologies help us deal with information overload. How to organize data, which tasks to prioritize, what to work on next, projects to delegate to others, and so on.

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Why You Absolutely Need To Time Your Work (Even When You’re Not a Lawyer)
December 23, 2018

Imagine this: you’re headed for the supermarket to buy groceries. You plan to spend $25 on a bunch of tomatoes, fresh juice, a bottle of wine, and half a loaf of bread.

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The Five Principles of Saent Lifeline
November 2, 2018

Find calm, do great work, and live a fulfilling life. That’s what Saent is all about. Our newest product—a desktop application for macOS called Saent Lifeline—helps you achieve these goals.

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The Magic Power of Breaks: Work Less and Get More Done
June 16, 2018

An important component of our macOS application Lifeline is taking sufficient breaks, and in this article, I’ll explain why.

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Solving Tech’s Problems With... More Tech?!
May 26, 2018

A war for your attention is going on. Some—me included—suggest to solve this problem with… technology!

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The Case Against Scheduling in The Evening
May 20, 2018

Many productivity experts recommend planning your next day the evening before. It allows you to “hit the ground running.” For me this doesn’t work.

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Technical update: Fix for login issue on Windows (beta release)
May 19, 2018

If you’re experiencing issues logging in to the Saent desktop app on Windows, you can download the below update.

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Saent Status Update - May 2018
May 14, 2018

Here’s (finally) a new update on the status of Saent. There’s some good news and some bad news, so let’s get the bad out of the way first.

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Technical update: Saent desktop software server error
May 7, 2018

Some users are experiencing a server error when trying to login to the Saent desktop software. It’s caused by an expired and invalid SSL certificate which we’ve been unable to restore over the past weeks.

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We need a break from our phones
February 23, 2017

Smartphones are pocket-sized computers that allow us to do things that would have seemed like magic just ten years ago.

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The Digital Diet Plan
January 31, 2017

There’s a new form of obesity — one caused by digital junk food. We’re online all the time. We fragment our attention between a million things.

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How to read more, today
January 23, 2017

Picking up a book allows you to connect directly with a great mind (assuming you’re reading a good book, that is). But most of us don’t read all that many books.

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The way we're working is broken, but we can fix it
January 16, 2017

We’re still working in a manner designed for factories at the turn of the 19th century, even as digital technology has completely changed the nature of the work we do.

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Why Saent is a remote company
January 9, 2017

Working from home, a coffee shop, or even a remote tropical island all sound fantastic. Combined with the entrepreneurial dream of owning your own business it might even be heaven. But here’s what building a remote company is really like.

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Consistency is the key to lasting behavior change
January 2, 2017

I often get asked, “what is your number one productivity tip?” The answer is consistency. Arriving at this answer did not come easy.

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Saent's favorite reads of 2016
December 29, 2016

One of the most active Slack channels at Saent is our #reading room, where we share articles, books, and other media we come across each day.

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Are you taking enough breaks?
December 26, 2016

Breaks are important for a number of reasons, and not taking them can lead to stress, burnout, poor productivity, and poor work quality.

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What we learned designing our conversational interface
December 22, 2016

We announced Saent’s first conversational user interface in a blog post in January 2016. Now almost a full year later, we’ve gone through several iterations on that initial design and learned a lot along the way.

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Is digital obesity the health problem of our future?
December 20, 2016

Author William Powers makes a convincing call to disconnect from our devices and the internet more often in his 2010 book “Hamlet’s Blackberry.”

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The 30 Minutes of Focus Challenge: What?
December 16, 2016

In parts I and II of this series on “The 30 Minutes of Focus Challenge” we covered the why and the how. But now that you have that half hour of uninterrupted time per day, what can you do with it?

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What’s new in Saent v1.7: Challenges are here!
December 14, 2016

One of the best ways to combat the modern issues of information overload, work stress, burnout, and poor work-life balance is through effective behavior change.

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The 30 Minutes of Focus Challenge: How?
December 13, 2016

How can you carve out half an hour of completely uninterrupted time when you’re under constant attack from notifications, social media, and email?

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The 30 Minutes of Focus Challenge: Why?
December 7, 2016

Can you focus for half an hour on one thing? If research by Gloria Mark is correct, there’s a good chance the answer is “no.”

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Waking up early and getting to work isn't just for workaholics
December 5, 2016

There is a substantial group of elite achievers who wake up at ungodly hours: Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice used to get up at 4:30 am. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson at 5 am.

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Why multitasking isn't a feature
November 30, 2016

I’m working on a report while keeping an eye on my Twitter stream. I send out a few messages while having dinner with my girlfriend. I’m reading an article on my phone while queuing at Starbucks.

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Here’s what happened when the Saent team met in person for the first time
November 28, 2016

Earlier this month we did something we’ve never done before at Saent: we met in person. Saent is a fully remote team, operating from half a dozen countries and even more time zones.

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Help Saent get on stage at The Next Web: Momentum
November 1, 2016

We have some exciting news: almost the entire core Saent team will be descending on New York in a couple of weeks for The Next Web: Momentum conference!

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The secret to getting your goals right
September 12, 2016

While it was a tall feat, President Kennedy’s moonshot challenge was potentially achievable. As we’ll see later, this is one of the hallmarks of sound goal-setting.

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Are you asking yourself these seven questions when planning your day?
August 25, 2016

Your day starts. A blank sheet, full of opportunity. What will it bring? What wonderful work will you get done? Then, on the way to work, you check your email on your mobile…

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The power of letting go
August 15, 2016

The holy grail of productivity usually involves getting to the bottom of things; your inbox should be empty. All your tasks completed. No more paperwork to file. All red badge alerts on your mobile gone.

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Ready for your break? Crafting a vacation email message
July 17, 2016

It’s that time of the year again: summer has officially started, so hopefully you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to enjoy a few weeks of vacation! But… I can already feel your dread for that inbox upon return.

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Build a daily routine that sticks, even during big change
June 22, 2016

When Michael Phelps woke up at 6:30 am on August 13th of 2008, he wasn’t in his own home. In fact, he was far from it, as he was rising to a new day in the Olympic Village in Beijing.

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Remember everything and improve creative thinking
June 15, 2016

In August of 2014, as I was walking from my home in Beijing to the gym, I can clearly remember a thought firing off in my head. My creative thinking was in overdrive and several dots connected to form the basis for a software tool called SANE.

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Bimonthly Productivity Top 5: Travel Companions
July 19, 2015

In the Bimonthly Productivity Top 5, I look back at the most important productivity hacks I’ve implemented in the past two months. This one covers May and June of 2015.

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The Secret to Doing What's Important in Life and Work
May 10, 2015

When I was running an online marketing company in Beijing in 2009, my coach introduced me to this classic time-management question: “How do you handle each type of task in the below table?” This model is also known as the Eisenhower Method.

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Bimonthly Productivity Top 5: Slack and Tomatoes
May 2, 2015

In the Bimonthly Productivity Top 5, I look back at the most important productivity hacks I’ve implemented in the past two months. This one covers March and April of 2015.

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How to Be as Unproductive as Possible
April 24, 2015

For most of us, the challenge is to get more productive. But there are some folks out there wondering how to be less productive.

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Building a Productive Tech Startup Using Evernote Business
April 17, 2015

In a normal office situation, you usually know whom to go to for which information. Perhaps you have a short chat at the water cooler, or you plan a face-to-face meeting to have a more difficult question answered.

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Calm Your Mind and Overcome Almost Any Challenge
April 12, 2015

What is the most important thing you’ve ever learned? Walking? Reading? Counting? Or perhaps how to take care of yourself? Managing money? Do your job? Recognize emotions? Human psychology? Loving someone else? Loving yourself? It’s a simple question, yet not an easy one.

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Managing Creativity AND Productivity: 5 Tips for Founders and Leaders
April 5, 2015

Creativity and productivity usually don’t go hand in hand. Designers tend to procrastinate. Musicians like to party like rockstars. Flashes of genius don’t happen between 9 am and 5 pm.

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The Best Meetings of My Life
March 27, 2015

What do meetings have in common with the following conversation topics? Banks. The weather. Pollution in Beijing (for those living in China). Facebook. Taxes. Politicians. Your football team’s coach after a lost match.

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20 Easy Things You Can Do This Weekend, to Improve Productivity Next Week
March 19, 2015

Let’s not waste your time with a fluffy intro about why you should improve productivity. I’m sure the title of this article caught your eye for a reason, else you wouldn’t be here.

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5 Tips to Read More and Forget Less
March 14, 2015

Reading. A skill we all possess, yet not all readers are created equal. Most of us struggle to read a 3,000+ word article, let alone a book. We’re too busy and too distracted.

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Bimonthly Productivity Top 5: Sunrise and The Rise of Superman
March 5, 2015

In the Bimonthly Productivity Top 5, I look back at the most important productivity hacks I’ve implemented in the past two months. This one covers January and February of 2015.

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Simply Use Your Calendar and Turbocharge Your Day
March 3, 2015

You’ve probably heard this time-management advice before: don’t just use your calendar for meetings with other people. Also schedule appointments with yourself and treat them as holy. If you’re like me, that trick somehow never seems to work.

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How to Use More of Your Brain
February 14, 2015

A blacksmith is useless without his hammer. The factory is nothing without a conveyor belt. A jockey gets nowhere without his horse. Jimi Hendrix is lost without a guitar. What is thunder without lightning… OK, that last one was a joke.

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You Say Yes, I Say No – 7 Tips to Help Minimize Commitments
February 1, 2015

Saying yes is easy: We want to please others. We don’t want to disappoint. We want to be able to do everything. We don’t want to miss any opportunities. Saying no, on the other hand, is hard.

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A Deadly Wandering book summary
January 30, 2015

There are many things we can all learn from the story of Regie Shaw. The one that stands out most is probably this: each one of us could have easily been him, and still any one of us can easily become him.

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Stay Flexible and Feel Good with this Powerful Asana Feature
January 21, 2015

What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of productivity? Probably not “flexible“. Most tools, systems and methods require you to follow a rigid procedure.

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Pomodoro Technique and Other Work Rhythms - Which One Suits You?
January 15, 2015

Many productivity tools and systems are difficult to implement and maintain. You need to read books, memorize all kinds of rules and then invest an hour each day to make it all work.

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A book review and summary of Essentialism by Greg McKeown
January 15, 2015

In Greg McKeown's 2014 book, Essentialism, he explains the way of the Essentialist—the disciplined pursuit of less but better. "It's about making the trade-off between pursuing lots of good things OR a few really great things."

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How To Stay Focused and Withstand Unlimited Distraction
January 11, 2015

Chances are you shouldn’t be reading this right now. You set off to do something else, yet somehow you ended up here. Welcome to the Age of Unlimited Distraction.

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How to Improve at Work (and Life) With This Simple Solution
January 4, 2015

Do you know which shoelace you tied first this morning? Left or right? Did you give much thought to what you did first when you started up your computer? Do you recall how you ended up on this page?

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Understanding Your Inner Autopilot: Do You Know These 4 Common Habits of Habits?
January 2, 2015

Have you ever seen someone show up in the most professional snowboarding gear on the planet, on his first lesson? Had an intern who insists he needs a MacBook Pro to properly write his graduation report?

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Annual Kaizen review: my self improvement in 2014
December 31, 2014

What have you changed about yourself in the past 12 months? It’s one of my favorite questions when doing job interviews. It tells you quite a few things about the candidate.

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The One Habit to Rule Them All: Eat the Frog
December 26, 2014

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

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Getting Your Priorities Right is Hard. Here’s the Real Reason.
December 19, 2014

When everything becomes a priority, nothing is a priority. In fact, until around 1950, people hardly ever used the plural “priorities”. They seemed content to only have one “priority."

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Here’s Why You Shouldn't Be More Productive in 2015
December 11, 2014

Do you plan to go to the gym more often in the new year? Smoke and drink less? Get more engaged at work? Or maybe quit your job and go on that travel adventure you’ve always dreamed of?

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Get More Done by Taking Your Time
December 3, 2014

"Having a lot to do isn’t the same as actually getting a lot done. Most of the time, people who have a lot to do end up doing a lot of unimportant, unnecessary things.” Leo Babauta

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9 Things You Can Learn From BuzzFeed’s CEO and Founder
November 6, 2014

Jonah Peretti is to BuzzFeed what Howard Schultz is to Starbucks. And since BuzzFeed is to media what Starbucks is to coffee, the analogy runs deeper than them just sharing the same job titles.

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Learning the Hard Way: Management
November 4, 2014

In a matter of minutes, hours or days, you can sometimes learn something which initially took others weeks, months, years or even lives to figure out.

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