Super productivity’s kryptonite
When the highly productive specialist affects the founder-generalist being
I confess that I am constantly searching for the generic key that can unlock me from problems in life and open doors to great opportunities. A few months ago I found it, at least one of them. The moment of realization came out like this:
The freaking party is the problem!
The party would be, for example, a 4h engineering activity that when started was supposed to be done in 1h. But this one was different — it didn’t take more time because things were not working. On the contrary, this 4h event was a perfect digging. Although I knew that it was affecting the time of other activities, this one deserved space.
The benefit was so great that a sort of specialized mindset took me over. I was not conscious and I would normally not judge that as a potential evil act. Well, how could it be? The very greatness, supposedly my creative engine, the productive engine:
This is flow! One shall not mess up with the flow! This rarely happens.
So the general brain command was — please continue Mr. Brain. You can fix other things later with the profits of such a move. That is it, the end of the party. The party was amazing!
… Back to reality
Although the flow mode was nice it brought me to face a major challenge ahead of time — I found a major bug the next day. Or it may come like noticing that the whole strategy was incorrect. Or that the customer persona wasn’t right. It was flow but the context was wrong. Now I feel tired, after that party. And worse, some other routines activities are now behind.
Now, the challenge
The founder operating system needs to be able to rotate tasks and maintain strategy and general awareness. But beyond that, it needs to evaluate all activities against higher goals. This is a process that can’t be left to chance.
No one is saying that you or your teammates can’t enjoy high-performance moments.
What is important is to keep awareness about how you and your team are using the available resources, such as time and energy, against goals.
This idea applies to the individual level and to teams. In this regard, I recommend the bottom-up and top-down exercise pointed by professor Michael Dearing from Harrison Metal in his OKR course / General Management part 2.