Research and Day-to-Day

I begin each day by selecting some action-oriented goals which I hope will advance some broader achievement-oriented goal. For example, if I'm working towards an in-classroom prototype around a set of ideas, I might aim to spend three focused hours fleshing those ideas out in sketches.

This is a natural spot for brief deliberation, but once the day begins, I focus on the actions I've chosen and suppress planning. The rest of the day's work becomes roughly deontological. I give myself permission to be satisfied with the day if I spent three focused hours sketching like I'd planned.

https://blog.andymatuschak.org/post/159979927467/satisfaction-and-progress-in-open-ended-work

  • it's easier to be satisfied with day of implementation work vs a day of open-ended research work, especially since feedback loops in research are long
  • on the scale of months and years this changes though - being able to compress achievements into a todo-list leads to a question if actually that much was done
  • Andy organises his days in action-oriented goals (like "spend 3 hours on researching X"), which move him closer to his achievement-oriented goals (like "finish writing first chapter of Y")
    • I'm again really interested in Andy's meta-thoughts and amount of self-awareness that he brings into his work (metacognition)
  • how can I use this?
    • be more deliberate about my achievement-oriented goals (something I still play with year-to-year)
    • allow myself to be satisfied with research days, where not that much gets made

Time and Experimentation

Szymon Kaliski © 2020
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