Precisely what I am doing here. I feel compelled to briefly reflect on this 2-day creativeLIVE course that I’ve recently attended — ‘The Art of Less Doing‘ presented by Ari Meisel. The above quote resonated with me once he said it, and it sums up the course so well. Throughout the course, the recurring theme was to “optimize, automate, and outsource both personal and professional tasks” leveraging the tools of today — namely apps and services, of which there are many. As he introduced and subsequently discussed each tool, I couldn’t help but note the parallels to software development. The apps and services that perform automated tasks to increase productivity in life are analogous to background threads that work together to achieve the goal of a computer program.
More apps began to emerge as the course continued. Viewers began to express a bit of anxiety. There were just so many new tools and they didn’t know how they would incorporate them into their lives. Ari’s advice was to just start. That immediately reminded me of something I’d heard somewhere about not knowing whether a certain technology will work for you unless you try it. This, along with Ari’s advice, is quite similar to the agile methodology of software development:
Agile development methodology provides opportunities to assess the direction of a project throughout the development lifecycle. This is achieved through regular cadences of work, known as sprints or iterations, at the end of which teams must present a potentially shippable product increment. By focusing on the repetition of abbreviated work cycles as well as the functional product they yield, agile methodology is described as “iterative” and “incremental.” In waterfall, development teams only have one chance to get each aspect of a project right. In an agile paradigm, every aspect of development — requirements, design, etc. — is continually revisited throughout the lifecycle. When a team stops and re-evaluates the direction of a project every two weeks, there’s always time to steer it in another direction.
Applying the above methodology to real life, you can add tools to your to productivity flow at your own pace and determine what works and doesn’t work as you continue your journey to a more productive you.