- Scott H Young - https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog -

The Best Essays of 2021

As the year ends, I thought I’d revisit some of my favorite entries from the past twelve months:

  1. The Productivity Frontier: Can You Get More Done Without Making Sacrifices? [1] – How much more productivity can you squeeze out of your day? Is such a squeeze sustainable? Productivity enthusiasts like me often talk about systems to maximize the amount you can do. But sometimes, it’s more helpful to look at trade-offs and make decisions about what to prioritize.
  2. Is Life Better When You’re Busy? [2] – Research suggests we prefer activity to idleness, sometimes to the point that we busy ourselves unnecessarily. Is there a sweet spot for busyness that keeps up engaged but not overwhelmed?
  3. Is Modernity a Myth? [3] – My review/explainer of Bruno Latour’s fascinating (and confusing) book We Have Never Been Modern. While postmodern philosophy always walks a line between profundity and nonsense, Latour’s writing kept me thinking for weeks—a sign of a good book!
  4. Digging the Well [4] – We spend years digging deep wells of expertise to sustain our professional lives. But what do you do when the water runs dry?
  5. How I Do Research [5] – Some thoughts on the research process from a non-expert researcher. How do you make sense of topics you’re unfamiliar with? How do you reach sound conclusions on issues that matter? Research is a lot of work, but it seems to be a skill worth learning.
  6. My 10 Favorite Free Online Courses [6] – This list proved to be (by far) my most popular work of 2021. If you’re interested in learning something new in 2022, here’s a great place to start.
  7. The Craft is the End [7] – Why do we strive to be successful? What if we never get the respect we feel we’re due? Some meditations on C. S. Lewis’s famous speech, “The Inner Ring,” and the goal of finding work we can be proud of.

I’ll be back next week with new writing. Happy holidays!