I spent a little too much time on the header image. But I think it was worth it. The book quote I’m trying to illustrate is from“High Output Management” by Andy Grove:
But in both widget manufacturing and administrative work, something else can also increase the productivity of the black box. This is called work simplification. To get leverage this way, you first need to create a flow chart of the production process as it exists. Every single step must be shown on it; no step should be omitted in order to pretty things up on paper. Second, count the number of steps in the flow chart so that you know how many you started with. Third, set a rough target for reduction of the number of steps. In the first round of work simplification, our experience shows that you can reasonably expect a 30 to 50 percent reduction.
I have a current goal of writing 64 posts in 64 days. I’d link to the post where I explain why and what the plan is and all that, but I didn’t write it yet.
The first few days of a challenge are easy because you’re excited, you’re motivated. To successfully keep the pace up, I know I’ll need to simplify the process for when that initial motivation is gone.
With writing, there can be a bunch of steps and it’ll be important to eliminate some or learn to batch single steps ahead of time. Here are some of the steps involved in a post
- Choose a topic
- Grab a relevant quote from a book or a podcast
- Write a draft
- Think of something to draw
- Draw the notecard
- Animate the notecard (optional)
- Put everything on WordPress
Some of the steps have sub-steps. Many of the steps can come in any order (I can draw the notecard right after the topic). There are tradeoffs doing the steps in any order. For example, sometimes a step will need to be repeated depending on how a different step goes.
- If I write the draft then draw the notecard: Then other ideas might come up in the notecard and sometimes I’ll need to re-write with references to the drawing.
- If I draw the notecard before writing the draft: Then other ideas might come up while writing that aren’t captured in the image. I might need to re-draw the notecard.
These are small things that sort of move where the revision has to happen (either revise the writing after drawing or revise the drawing after writing). Or I can just build up more discipline about not adding ideas when working on a step.
No sure answer and it could even depend on the topic.
With that said, it’s probably better to just pick one order and stick to it. Because there’s a thinking tax to always having various open steps to pick from.
My hunch: whichever step is easiest to do in batches should come first.
I’ll choose a topic and aim to always draw the main concept before writing. It’s easier to batch topics and notecard drawings than it is to batch writing. (Unless it’s just outlines, but let’s leave that out for now.)
My next post: A bunch of notecard drawings and the ideas for the posts.