Why to-do lists don’t work (Wired.com)

from wired.com


Ah, yes, the eternal search for more productivity by downloading apps and other tools that “promise to boost your productivity!” How could you not? These (mostly) free apps and click-bait make it sound super-easy!


Use our checklist app! This is just like “Getting things done, but modern!” Try our technique; just $14.99 for the book that explains our system! Never be unproductive again!


Read the article. Yes, it is on the longer side, and it will be 10 minutes you won’t be getting something done.

But, you’re already here wasting time reading my blog. Whatever you were trying to get done, you were already unproductive. Sorry.

Here’s the crux of the article…

Clive Thompson says it much better than I will, so go read his article above in Wired.com. I’ll just say: apps won’t create more time, and our present selves overpromise what our future selves might be willing to do. You are your own worst enemy.

Every to-do list is a midlife crisis of unfulfilled promise. Winnowing away things you’ll never do in a weekly review is crucial, yet we dread it for what it says about the boundaries of existence. Our fragile psyches find it easier to build up a list of shame, freak out, and flee.

Clive Thompson in wired.com


Here’s my take: pomodoro or nothing

My take on the whole productivity thing? Pomodoro technique. I wrote about it in a this blog in 2017 and I still use it as my primary productivity tool. Any time I have protected time in my schedule, as little as 30 minutes, but better if it is a 2 hours or longer, I break out my Focus Keeper app, a pencil and yellow pad to park distracting ideas, and get down to serious business.

CMIO’s take? Here! Try my app! Here’s my idea, behind my paywall! Kidding. Pomodoro technique guys. Let’s get to work. (ironic – see what I just did there?)

What do sharks have to do with Tesla (valves)?

from wired.com


I only know Nikola Tesla from his competition with Edison over electrification. However, Tesla, like Edison was an inveterate inventor. In this article, scientists recently deconstructed the gastrointestinal system of sharks, and found that they resemble Tesla valves.

What is that, you say? It has nothing to do with anything you think you know about Tesla. And it is a fascinating read. Here is a taste (video) of a Tesla valve system, illustrated with flames.

CMIO’s take? Super cool! But, what does this have to do with informatics, you say? I leave that for you to puzzle out. 🙂

Sepsis, Machine Learning and the Centaur (my SMILE conference talk)

Find out: What is a centaur and what does it have to do with healthcare? What are the criteria for a good machine learning project? What is the role of a virtual health center with predictive models? And most importantly: What ukulele song goes with machine learning?

Here are the slides for my talk given at SMILE (Symposium for Machine learning, ImpLementation and Evaluation). The slides are mostly self-explanatory. You can also watch my talk at YouTube. Here is a PDF of the entire deck.

Information Transparency with patients (Open Notes, Financial estimates) @UCHealth (EpicShare news)

“…at the end of the year, you will know exactly how bad an idea this was”
-physician naysayer


Thanks to Epic for writing about us! This briefly encapsulates our information transparency journey at UCHealth over the past couple decades, including our clinical and financial projects to show more to our patients, and the leadership lessons we learned on the way. Happy new year!