🔖 The Procrustean Bed of Productivity (archive)

In a complex environment, yearly, quarterly, and even monthly goals are an exercise in fauxductivity. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have goals: you should, but you shouldn’t peg them to our position around the sun. And you definitely shouldn’t plan out week-by-week what you’ll be doing in 2-3 months. Rather, you should have a target (whatever you’re tempted to call a “year goal”), and focus on making the next most important piece of progress on it. 

We try to fit our goals and projects into systems that we’ve created — spreadsheets, todo lists etc. Since real life can be very different from the structure these tools impose, the tools can actually get in our way rather than help. Tools without limitations like paper, or a whiteboard might work better long term.

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