The most productive week of my life
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“How can you measure progress?”
“There are many metrics you can use. One of them is Productivity.
How productive are you in the things that matter most?
In my case for instance, this was the most productive week of my life.
Granted, I’m between jobs, so I have more time to dedicate my work than I would otherwise. What’s important however is the persistent structures I have set in place, which will stay with me for the rest of my life. They’ve become part of who I am.”
“What’s your secret?”
“There is none.
I like to think of Productivity as a system. I’ve been optimizing it for a long time now, and I will continue to do so indefinitely. The system has four components:
I call the capacity to maintain Attention on ONE thing Deep-Focus. This essentially means the capacity to deal with distractions, both internal and external.
You can train to deal with internal distractions through Meditation.
As for external distractions, you can deal with them in two ways: eliminating distractions, and building resilience to them.
The heroic level here is being able to maintain Deep-Focus despite distractions.
The Energy system is one of the most important systems of your life. It’s an enabler, which impacts EVERY area of your life. The system has four components:
Energy management is the reason why I track my work/rest oscillation every day [<link; medium length].
Effectiveness means being productive in what matters. This is a matter of gaining clarity on what matters, prioritization, and sequencing [<link; short].
Efficiency measures your actual productive-output. Optimizing productive output with the goal of maximizing productive-density [<link; short] is what I’m focusing on at the moment.
Then there’s also wasted-time minimization. We might think of wasted time as dead time, to use Robert Greene’s vivid terminology, which he contrasts with alive time. Dead time has a hidden opportunity cost because it steals time away from alive time. Although you may not see it in the moment, dead time compounds, and over the course of a lifetime, it amounts to a LOT of time.
The heroic level here is eliminating wasted time entirely.”
“Don’t you take any days off?”
If you manage your energy properly, you don’t need to.
If you work on what’s most meaningful, why would you want to?”