all posts tagged 'optimization'

The Best Way to Get Things Done

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

That’s why your goal should be to be about 80%-85% utilized. You may have a less productive day here or there, but this slight inefficiency will prevent larger failures when fires inevitably pop up from time to time.

My secret to getting so much done is rarely operating at full capacity. My philosophy on this is simple—if you take care of the days, the years take care of themselves.

We know that this is right intrinsically, but many of us choose to ignore it to our own detriment. If I told a runner to sprint at 100% effort, they might be able to sprint for a minute before they would have to slow down or stop completely. But, if told them to run at 75% of their max effort, they could go on for hours. Same person. Same body. The only difference is what capacity they are operating at.

So instead of trying to get everything done, the better solution is to get the right things done (at the right capacity). But figuring out what the right things are is a challenge all its own.

A few years ago, I heard similar advice, but it used a car’s RPM gauge as the example.

There’s a reason your car can go up to 140 MPH: if you created a car that ran in the red all the time, it would break down all the time.

Most of us drive our cars in an optimally designed range so it can last way longer.

So it goes with our own bodies. We aren’t meant to sprint for :checks calendar: 12 years straight with no breaks.

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Why You Shouldn't Optimize Your Life

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

What I find is that those who lean too much into this logic of optimization are the ones that suffer from a (literal) maddening degree of alienation.

It’s an easy trap to fall into as it is so very sensible: Why would you spend six hours cleaning (doing a chore you hate and doing it badly) if you could just work an additional hour and outsource that? So you hire a cleaner. And a cook, a personal shopper, an interior designer and a nanny. But if you don’t watch out, all your little self worth eggs, so to speak, are kept in the same work basket – and, step by step, you start to live the life of a stranger. You eat the food of someone else, wear the clothes of not-you, in an apartment that might as well be a hotel room, with kids that are more attached to their nanny than to you. Your vacations are glamorous, but there’s little connection to anyone or anything in them.

At this point you might start to feel a little unease. You might start to wonder why you’re unfulfilled and try to treat yourself better – so you double down. You get a PA because dealing with a schedule is annoying, you get a personal trainer because mens sana in corpore sano and while you’re at it, you also start therapy, where you learn techniques that help somewhat and where you analyze childhood events. But what somehow is kept at bay, in a fish-not-having-a-word-for-water-way, is that you identify with your job of optimizing processes to maximum efficiency to a degree that you treat yourself like any work project.

Boy, this pull quote within the bigger article here really struck a nerve.

Fortunately, I’ve been trying hard to not always make the optimaly decision lately. It’s tough to break the habit, but “good enough” often is just that.

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The Sweet Spot

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

On and on this pattern goes. A curve with a sweet spot in the middle. The optimal amount of calories to consume in a day. The volume at which you will enjoy your music most. The right brightness of light to illuminate a room. The number of friends with whom you can have a meaningful relationship.

Great points in here about finding the right balance in many areas of your life. I particularly found the running curve apt.

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