April 18, 2023

🧱 The new Brick Layer is here

🧱 The new Brick Layer is here

This newsletter just got a whole lot better. Here are the details.

The Brick Layer newsletter banner featuring a hamster with a trowel. The hamster is leaning on a brick wall under construction.
The Brick Layer newsletter banner featuring a hamster with a trowel. The hamster is leaning on a brick wall under construction.
The Brick Layer newsletter banner featuring a hamster with a trowel. The hamster is leaning on a brick wall under construction.
Nikita Kazhin's headshot

Nikita Kazhin

Co-founder at Brick

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Hey friends 👋,

The Brick Layer (TBL) newsletter was my first “product” ever. I launched it in Nov. 2021 knowing next to nothing about newsletters, running a startup, or what’s what in the world of content.

TBL is overdue for an overhaul.

Today, I'm updating both the format and the purpose of this newsletter.

What’s the new format?

II call it “Three bricks.” Every issue has three short blocks:

  1. One down-to-earth study breakdown.
    My team and I spend hours every week reading through the latest productivity science which I put into plain English so you make decisions around your time and productivity based on the cutting edge of research.

  2. One actionable tip.
    I give one quick tip to help you be more focused and enjoy your work. This can be a tool recommendation, a quick how-to, or an observation from my bootstrapping journey as it is, warts and all. No fluff.

  3. One useful link.
    I scour newspapers, socials, newsletters, and forums for the best productivity content there is. You get my top picks.

Why the change? What's the new purpose?

  • We’re tired of general productivity gibberish. "Getting more done" just doesn't cut it anymore. We’re slammed already, thank you very much. We have too much to do, to read, to keep up with. If anything, we want less.

  • The essay format that I’ve used so far is a bad fit. The value is too spread out and the topics easily get too abstract. Instead, we want value upfront and least of all we want a newsletter to turn into another chore.

That’s why I want TBL to:

  • Be super easy to read and understand

  • Pack concentrated practical value

  • Set the bar for the “Less is more” mindset in newsletters

  • Be entertaining

All to help you build your time independence.

Trying to "boost productivity" and do your best work is pointless unless it serves a higher purpose. For me, this purpose is to be in charge of my own time and enjoy it.

If you want it, too, the Brick Layer can help.

Who is TBL for?

I’m focusing on the wonderful folks I call independents. Because it's fitting if you're after time independence. Also because “independent workers” sounds stale, official, and reeks of my dark bureaucratic past.

Independents are freelancers, founders, students, small business owners, and the self-employed. What’s unique about them (or, rather, us)?

We sit for a living.

Kidding, but also not kidding here.

More importantly though, we tend to work for ourselves, and even when we do have a boss, we have to manage our own workflow. We strive to build our own things, set our own goals, have an internal scorecard, and be in charge of our own time.

Also, we often work from home or remotely. That means the pressures of home (chores, kids, pets, distractions and temptations) get stacked on top of work.

We’re among the most overwhelmed people in the world. Our plates are full, our heads — even fuller. There’s too much information, too much to do and the pace of change is only accelerating.

The demands of the age of AI are unrelenting. So, we have to be protean. Evolve fast, innovate faster and transform ourselves almost on a daily basis. All while staying true to our values of financial and time independence.

That’s why we want to learn to enjoy our work and finally reign in incessant overwhelm.

If this clusterfuck sounds familiar, the Brick Layer is for you.

The first updated issue will hit your inbox tomorrow.

P.S. To keep my value promise, I won’t commit to a specific schedule (such as weekly or biweekly) anymore. I’ll aim for a few short emails a month, but I’ll only hit publish when I have something useful to say. You deserve better than hastily-made deadline-fueled nonsense.

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