Yesterday I wrote about creating a digital environment on my MacBook that reminds me to finish. I want to focus on finishing things. There’s a chapter in Work Clean about finishing actions that chefs take. A dish that’s 90% done may as well be 0% done.
I can get things from 0% to 30% consistently. Then I start something else. And another thing. Just a ton of outlines. So I’m going to practice those finishing moves. One element of that is having environments that encourage finishing.
Here’s the current view on my iPad:
Which I’ll try to get into more with the following workflow in Shortcuts.
Here’s the iPad Shortcut I’m using right now. Turns on some noise, turns on some music, and gets me writing in the editor.
I use a few shortcuts just about daily.
I’ve been reading High Output Management by Andy Grove. He opens with a description of making breakfast then expands it to making many of the same breakfast and automating different parts of it. Now you have a system. Things go in. An edible meal comes out. It can be looked at as a black box.
In general, we can represent any activity that resembles a production process in a simple fashion as a black box.
Over the past couple weeks, it could look like I get stuck on the couch, tap twice, and then get unstuck.
Let’s cut a hole in the black box and peek inside.
I initially tried this as a goof in Shortcuts to see if a daily automation would run automatically. (You need to confirm. I think this is because it involves payment. Which is good.) Then I found myself actually just using the shortcut. And now, as a black box, it’s been a way to get unstuck.
It might take a few minutes, but at some point I’ll usually be aware that I’m stuck on the couch in the morning. (The couch’s magnetism is so high first thing in the morning.) With the shortcut, I can get unstuck in about as many taps as it takes to find the next interesting video. (Similar to One-click ordering make it as easy to buy something as it is to leave the product page.)
Anyway, I’ve been looking for more places where I can use Shortcuts. Right now I have three that have been really useful.
Get unstuck — Actually just ordering coffee.
Generate ideas — Opens a series of prompts to create an outline
Start finishing — Music, a timer, and a nudge to write directly in the editor.
Those things together have, at the very least, helped me get off the couch and finish this post.