On Productivity - Deep Work and Essentialism

From Marco's blog:

This is one of the things that really boosted my energy and creativity. Instead of wanting to do everything in a day, I made a list of the things that were really important to me. Then I compared that list to the things that I would do during a day: check my emails every hour, check my site statistics, surfing the web for new creations, answering phone calls, answering emails…. It became clear to me that I was wasting a lot of time on stuff that were not on the list of stuff that I wanted to do. After that I started asking myself questions about all these activities. Did I really need to do them? Did I have to do them instantly? Did I have to do them so frequently?

A variation of the above quote appeared in Cal Newport's book Deep Work where the author argues about quantified self and tries to introduce accounting into the part of life to account for things we usually overlook.

I build my days around a core of carefully chosen deep work, with the shallow activities I absolutely cannot avoid,

this is reciprocated elsewhere in similar works, We can't do multitasking, you can't finish a level of candy-crush while holding a conversation with your friend, the level of participation becomes dry.

Removing friction is helpful in productivity, I get most of my work done during night time when I am alone in home, wife and kids asleep, I am not saying that I am not productive during office hours1; but if you remove that then the constant interruptions and ambient noise bring on by open office plans reduces overall productivity at least by a factor of 2 in work that needs concentration, aka- debugging and implementation.

Essentialists invest the time they have saved into creating a system for removing obstacles and creating execution as simple as possible.

this sums up my decision to move to ghost from pelican, desktop editor removes much of the friction and hopefully this will result in more writing.

PS: This blog post is a reminder for me, all of things mentioned here are common sense however still it needs to be reminded.

  1. Tasks which involve collaboration aren't hurt by these facts for obvious reasons.