Improvisational Productivity

Weekly I/O#8

The longer you think about a task without doing it, the less fun it becomes to do.

Article: Improvisational Productivity

This is from Daniel Gross's article. Put things on todo list is effortless. Planning is fun. However, the longer you think about a task, the less fun left for actually doing it. Because you have already gone through all the interesting aspects of the problems, there's only work left.

The way Daniel Gross deals with this is kind of counter-intuitive: not think about the task until he is ready to fully execute it. He saves the fun of thinking to pull himself into flow. Practically, he said:

  • I try and respond to emails the moment I open them. If it’s something that requires desktop work, I quickly close the email.
  • I don’t write down ideas for posts until I’m ready to write the entire post.

He stated that "Living in a state of improvisation is more conducive to flow. I try to make my actual work appear as interesting as a new idea by minimizing the cognitive state buildup I have until I am ready to fully accomplish the task at hand."

To be honest, this Improvisational Productivity concept is unintuitive and sort of mind-blowing to me. But maybe we can try it out by applying it to part of our new year resolution plans. Not planning too much about the new year resolution until we’re fully ready to take the first actions.

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