Daily Gleanings (5 July 2019)

Chris Clearfield, Andras Tilcsik, and Brett McKay discuss complex systems, their failures, and what we can learn from these failures to apply in other fields.

This discussion has a number of good takeaways. One of these relates to the concept of “tight coupling.” If you have a tightly coupled writing queue, you have one project stacked up against another with minimal buffer between or within them. Then, when something takes longer than you’ve estimated—as such things inevitably do—the tightly coupled timeline can cause you to miss or be pressed on several successive deadlines rather than being an annoyance fairly well contained to just one project.

The Rocketbook blog offers three brief suggestions for “how to refuel your motivation” for knowledge work.

Of these, I’ve found the first two especially helpful. Even a short walk can be helpful, and it’s arguably quite a bit less taxing on attention than the sometimes readier “break” mechanism offered by social media. On this, see also Cal Newport’s Deep Work, pp. 146ff.

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