Productivity Is Bounded by Decision Making

At a certain point, optimizing productivity becomes optimizing for speed of decision making. After all the tools, shortcuts, and hacks, that build up raw speed to get tasks done, you’re left with the cognitive load of decision making. That email you received? It’s a decision disguised as a reply. That Slack message that remains unread? You’re procrastinating because a decision needs to be made that you don’t want to confront.

So many productivity frameworks and tools rely on cleverly hiding tasks in queues so that you can do them later. Try being more decisive and see what kind of impact that has on your to-do list.

See also:

  • Proportional Decision Making

    The energy spent making a decision should be proportional to the consequences. The larger the consequences, the more energy should go into making the decision. The smaller the consequences, the less energy should go into them.

  • One Pull Request Per Day

    Productive engineers should write one pull request per day. One pull request per day creates forward momentum. Forward momentum leads to progress. Progress is how teams overcomes their biggest challenges.