Do The Work


I find the study of productivity fascinating. So much so that I’ve made a habit of routinely searching out and testing new ways of getting things done. For some time now I’ve been working off what I’m going to call the “1% Method”, I work on one task for 15 minutes (1% of the day), then switch to the next. My plan being that I can quickly build up progress on multiple tasks in rapid succession. This method had served me well for the 2/3 months I’d been using it, gains were measurable and for the first time in quite a while I felt comfortable with the degree of slack-time I’d accrued on work.

Then a few days ago I saw a clip from one of Jonathan Blow’s streams where he is discussing time management. The clip is less than a minute long yet it offered a much needed reality check:

“You don’t need time management. All you need to do is actually work on the [project].” - Jonathan Blow

Although I’d enjoyed watching multiple tasks head towards completion in tandem, I’d forgotten to just enjoy work, to lose myself for hours in something that felt rewarding. Constantly looking for ways to eke out just that little bit better performance, that sense of structure and control, that feeling of being productive, they can get in the way of actually being productive.

Sometimes the best productivity system is to just do the work.