Simple simple simple

5 ways to do more of the work that matters most to you

1. Shorten transitions

Go straight to the next thing. Keep your momentum.

Transitions get hairy.

There’s nothing settled; everything is up in the air.

It’s wide open, and there are all sorts of options, and no direction, and chaos can erupt pretty fast.

We may know what we’re supposed to do next, or what would be best to do next, but in a transition… things get… Continue reading

Work or not work

What work really is, or 17 things I learned about productivity in 2017

1.  Workflow (as a defined process of tools and methods and routines) is different than work-flow or working in flow or flowing (as a state of mind in which work is focused, fluid, absorbing and fulfilling).

Workflow depends on a lot of things, like apps and your playlist and your tools and updates and wifi speed and battery life and deadlines and email dings and so on. Working in flow… Continue reading

Clutter is not mess


a. Things you have no use for; things which are just there. Mental or physical, psychic or tangible: unnecessary, unhelpful, often harmful though in a slow, creeping, insidious way that you might not notice.

b. Different than mess. Mess is produced by making, creating, exploring, discovering, playing, working, learning… You know, living. Mess is a natural byproduct of life. Mess is the stack of books you’ve read or want… Continue reading


Simple rules, again

There is a pattern in many of my failures, my unsuccessful attempts at… whatever: I got too complicated. I created too many rules. I overwhelmed myself because the mental effort of remembering and following and tinkering with and optimizing and applying the rules was too much. The complication depleted my energy and intellectual capacity. I used up my power managing a complex system rather than doing the thing I wanted… Continue reading

I made this thing

Small version first

Build a small version first.

Whatever it is.

The thing you want to do. That big thing you want to do.

There’s a small version of it, and you can build it right now.

You don’t have to be an expert to build a small version. Think of it as a model. A prototype. It’s just an experiment. Play around with it.


The… Continue reading


The problem with being a hero

Here’s a moment brought to you by 3 preschoolers.

My daughter and son and niece are swimming. Floatie-laden. I’m sitting beside the pool, trying to read. Suddenly: screams. Terror. Flailing arms. Splashing. Lots of splashing.

I jump up and am about to launch into the pool when I realize no one’s drowning.

The waves calm, the screams quiet, and turns out that there was a spider