August 30, 2022




The Productivity Frontier, Flow States, Write Before Action, & More

At a glance

Welcome to the 300(!) new friends of the Mental Models, Concepts, and Frameworks newsletter who have joined us since last week!

This Week: 7 of the most powerful concepts for having your most successful year yet

The Productivity Frontier

Up to a point—the productivity frontier—productivity is about optimizing the way you work.

When you reach the frontier, higher achievement results from making hard trade-offs about what you work on.

Focus and single-tasking are key.

h/t @ScottHYoung

Flow States

Flow is a heightened state of concentration where time passes without notice and you feel a deep sense of fulfillment in your work.

How to get there?

  • Use deadlines
  • Do tasks you enjoy
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Choose tasks that challenge you

Write Before Action

Write down what you plan to do and how you plan to do it (in detail) before you do it.

How does this help?

  • You can see what to delegate easily
  • Unnecessary tasks become obvious
  • The best approach becomes clearer

h/t @Conaw

Procrastination Equation

To decrease procrastination:

  • Increase the expectancy of success
  • Increase the value and pleasantness of the task
  • Decrease impulsiveness by removing distractions
  • Decrease the delay of reward through deadlines

h/t @pierssteel

2-Minute Rule

“If an action will take less than two minutes, it should be done at the moment it’s defined.”

Don’t let small tasks add up and create a mental overhang.

Do it on the spot if <2-minutes, decline to action it, or schedule it for a specific future date.

Attention Residue

Every time you switch from one task to another, part of your attention remains with one task or your previous task.

This prevents you from concentrating intensely ('deep work') and inhibits overall productivity.

Lesson: Don't multi-task.

Cognitive Switching Penalty

Every time you switch your attention from one subject to another, you incur this penalty.

Your brain spends time and energy thrashing, loading, and reloading contexts.

To avoid unproductive switching, group similar tasks together.

That's it, I hope you enjoyed reading :)

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