Increment progress matters - Deepstash

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How Writing for One Hour a Day Can Improve The Quality of Your Life

Increment progress matters

We tend to underestimate incremental progress. Successful people have a willingness to set micro goals and focus on the process instead of the end goal. It is natural for many to miss this as they cannot see the immediate progress.

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Rethinking the 8-hour workday
Rethinking the 8-hour workday

Knowledge workers aren't factory workers. There is no direct correlation between how much time they spend on the job and their output.

For knowledge workers, the 8-hour workday doesn’t make sense. It doesn't account for diminishing returns with our productivity and attention spans. To increase efficiency for modern knowledge workers, we have to consider what is not essential priorities.

Quality vs Quantity of Time

The structure of most working environments punishes people for efficiency and rewards them for looking busy. We need to shift our focus from the number of hours spent on something to the quality generated.

Build the Right Environment

To make a 3-hour workday feasible, design the right environment to make it possible.

  • Behavior is the result of environment. If you have many apps open, you’ll be more likely to be distracted.
  • Eliminate the need for willpower. Think of willpower like a bank balance. For every decision you make, you spend a unit. Design the right environment, so you avoid depleting all of your willpower.
Shockingly Unproductive
  • Studies show that employees spend more than five hours per day reading and replying to emailsWhile it may seem like urgent work, email is not the best kind of work.
  • The open office culture in many big and small companies is not conducive to achieving the state of flow, in which we are creative and productive.
Facilitate Deep Work

A few smart strategies that can be deployed:

  1. Installing pods for deep work while having common areas for collaborative work.
  2. Wearing headphones that are easily seen to signal that you are not to be disturbed.
  3. Turning your office into a library, following the same culture of quietness where everyone is hushed and respectful.
Email is not Real Work

Real work, by definition, should be rare, valuable and cognitively demanding.

Email does not check any of these boxes, and is, therefore, a pseudo work.

The Compounding Effect of Habits
The progress we experience from the compounding effect of any habit isn’t immediately visible. As a result, people give up quickly

They don’t realize that every day they show up they’re building momentum. They are moving closer and closer to a breakthrough or inflection point.

Consistency matters more than frequency

We usually make effort unsustainable. For example:

  • We work out like crazy for a few days (usually at the beginning of the year) and never go back to the gym.
  • We try to meditate for 30 mins one day and don’t give it another shot until 10 days later

But when it comes to developing and maintaining a new habit, frequency matters more than intensity.

Identity-based Habits
To build the identity of the person you want to become, ask yourself what the behavior of a person who has the habit you want to develop is. For example:
  • What is the behavior a person who is in shape? They go to the gym consistently
  • What is the behavior of a prolific writer? They crack open a notebook every day.