Intro to and outline of a sequence on a productivity system

[Note: this is an unedited ramble]

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to publish at least a post a week on a my productivity system.

I’ve been writing occasional posts in a series that I’ve been calling the Psychological Principles of Productivity. The idea of these essays is less to present productivity tricks, and more to use those tricks as a starting point for exploring what that must mean about the human mind.

I’ll be doing that a little bit, over the next few posts, but mainly, this is a full practical system for efficiently converting one’s time and mental energy into productive labor. If I were to sum it up, I would say this is a system for increasing the quantity and quality of one’s focused Deep Work time, up to sustainable human limits.

(This series is the successor to my SAAH model of productivity from 2016, and is similar to Leverage / Paradigm’s AVADI framework.)

Of course, what a person choses to work on is a much bigger factor in their impact than how efficiently they utilize their mental/emotional resources, but that’s not what this series is about.

Basically, this is a way for me to get a bunch of rough drafts written down, so that I have fodder to organize into a book or a Less Wrong sequence, down the line.

I’m also going to be implementing and testing a few pieces as I go: almost all of the content to come will be things that I already do, are already crucial pieces of sustaining my high productivity. But there will be some places that are still theoretical: pieces that I have reason to think are crucial, but which I haven’t gotten work, practically, yet. I’ll note these explicitly.

With that in mind, here’s an outline of the pieces to come. Note that these are strongly NOT ordered by importance (the most important factor, in my experience, is antagonistic aversions, which is all the way at the end).

  1. Prerequisites / preliminaries
    1. Healthy state
      1. Sleep
        1. Naps
      2. Exercise
      3. Meditation?
      4. Rest
    2. Mental / emotional state clear – everything is handled
      1. Other open loops in a system
      2. All emotional considerations are handled or meta-handled [1]
        1. Overwell
        2. Urge-y-ness / reactivity
      3. Outlet policies
        1. Explicit priority without an implicit 
          1. Scheduling rest and breaks 
  2. Positive factors
    1. Set up
      1. Having the item in your attention
      2. Scheduling: immediacy, urgency, etc. 
        1. TAPs
        2. Schedule blocks
          1. Murphyjitsu
        3. Habits
      3. Motivation – how it works
        1. Time horizon is overweighted
          1. But it should be propagated back from something good.
        2. Only reaching for achievable lists
          1. Committing to not adding more
      4. Momentum
    2. Hyperfocus
      1. State modulation – calm, focused, alert, energized
        1. Pumping up
        2. Bleeding off
      2. Committing to focus
        1. Distraction catching system
          1. Especially web surfing
      3. Breaks
  3. Negative factors
    1. Aversion
      1. Antagonistic aversions
        1. Focusing [1]
          1. How to make it work
        2. Watching TV is a flag that some part of the system is broken
      2. Ambiguity aversion 
        1. Operationalizing
        2. Committed engagement


See you soon.

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