, 29 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1/ I'm increasingly convinced that THE most important thing in productivity is to end every cycle with a clear milestone or deliverable
2/ Both "deep work" (large batch) and "multitasking" (small batch) miss the point in this regard
3/ The absolute size of your work batches doesn't matter, and a wide range of sizes is probably best
4/ But if u don't end your cycle with a clear deliverable, you're de-optimizing the next cycle before it's even begun
5/ You'll either have to spend the entire next cycle tying up loose ends of previous one, OR remembering what you started in previous one
6/ Latter is not as innocuous as it seems. Its difficult to pick back up smthg that was begun, but not brought far enough 2 reduce ambiguity
7/ You're left with the constraints of previous work session, but w/out benefits of clearly defined next steps
8/ But it goes deeper. By finishing w/ an artifact, physical or conceptual or visual, you have something to ponder between sessions
9/ The mind cannot creatively ponder messy work-in-process. Occurs as a morass of open loops, no anchor to push back on
10/ A deliverable is a thingified idea - it provides distinctions, decisions, constraints, affordances that can be embraced, or rejected
11/ Thingified ideas provide another benefit in rapidly changing, networked world: u can get feedback on them, improving orientation
12/ Key skill in matching cycle time to delivery pace is acceleration (and deceleration)
13/ Simple level: be able to cram in that last bit of work to finish it in this work session, instead of pushing it to next one
14/ or deceleration: know when to slow down and really do the most thorough job, instead of maintaining speed and starting smthg new
15/ Complex level: know how to align life rhythms so that cycle time and deliverables fluctuate in sync, to the same rhythm
16/ This involves multiple skills: next-level calendaring/scheduling, rapidly creating conditions for flow, setting/enforcing blackout times
17/ abruptly changing states of mind, self-awareness to know limits, defining tasks/deliverables and their interfaces, distraction mgmt...
18/ It also means spending more time planning (all aspects of life), relative to doing, which feels to many like lowered productivity
19/ But it's necessary, because planning has way more leverage available to it than doing. Doing is base, planning is exponent
20/ Also shows why very healthy body and mind is critical. It limits sprint/stamina at most fundamental, hardware level
21/ Thus a tiny constraint at hardware level magnifies into massive constraint at mind (software) level. Ceiling on cycle time limits range
22/ Also shows why maintaining relationships/hobbies is important. These cannot be pulled on demand, operate on much longer cycles
23/ And the reserves they fill (love, connection, acceptance, humor) cannot effectively be filled any other way
24/ Ability to quickly and thoroughly relax is probably key capability required. Middle ground of low level stress shortens next cycle...
25/ W/out producing clear deliverable, or even planning of next deliverable, which is hard to do when stressed
26/ But walking away when a deliverable is finished is very hard, bec all biomarkers are attuned to immediate gratification & stimulation
27/ Dopamine provides anticipation + pleasure, whereas serotonin lacks anticipation, making it hard to pursue in presence of former
28/ After yrs of time-tracking I almost never work more than 30 hrs/wk, bec there's no point in working if I can't produce a deliverable
29/ Better to spend that time creating the conditions for massive acceleration, which brings exponential rewards
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