Dev Rangarajan
    An anti-productivity experiment
    Relax for the same result

    I stole that subtitle from Derek Sivers

    For the next week, I’m going on a ‘productivity fast.’ More specifically a productivity content fast.

    I realized that I’m much better at thinking about new tactics and strategies for accomplishing things than actually accomplishing them. Hopefully this is a massive leadership/organizational design advantage, but at my current stage it’s getting in the way.

    This seems like a common problem that occurs after reading x amount of personal development stuff, or absorbing enough information from the right people on the internet. Every successful person has some habits and principles that work really well for them, and it makes sense to adopt them.

    They really work, when I learned about Getting Things Done and the idea of eliminating idea capture from your brain my creativity and capacity easily tripled. I had so much more bandwidth to do new things. One problem was that I now had more time to consume productivity content and think up new personal experiments and ways of better aligning my working methods with myself.

    But there’s a limit on how many new habits you can add at a time. That limit is probably close to 1 or 2 for me. So my list of new things to try and concepts I wanted to play more with grew at an exponential rate while my ability to onboard a new habit remained constant (maybe it went up marginally).

    Then quarantine hit, and all the time I had allocated to being social & unproductive with my friends was gone. All that time could be taken up by more work or new practices and habits. I started reading books for about an hour every day, and probably spent an additional hour per day consuming medium articles from my favorite thinkers, tweetstorms, and youtube videos. My curve of new practices and habits kept scaling up, and snowballed to something huge.

    So I’m cutting it off for a week to hopefully gain some perspective. It’s possible that I’m in a net better state when I can take my time to think about new tactics, or that the 1 in 10 things I implement is the only valuable practice out of the 10. I’m still going to focus on being a producer, and having a high output of work product, but I’m not trying to get better. I’m just gonna do the reps and see what happens.

    I’m also pausing the processes and habits I use to hack creativity, and not making an attempt to focus very hard.

    Maybe a week isn’t long enough to see results, but I want this to be very achievable for me.

    I’m thinking of this as a de-load week, similar to what one might do in the gym. Drop the training weight and eliminate the desire to increase strength. We’ll see what happens.

    © 2021, Dev Rangarajan | Rights reserved
    Some images from