Friction

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My entire 'productivity system' is super simple. A paper Bullet Journal for planning, Standard Notes for note-taking and project lists, and a recent addition: Toggl for time tracking. As simple as it gets.

One thing that stands out about this system for people acquainted with the modern concept of 'productivity' is friction. There's a lot of friction in the system. Standard Notes doesn't have keyboard shortcuts. I have to manually move overdue tasks from yesterday's list to today's one. I can't link digital notes together. Absurd, isn't it? I'd benefit so much from using something better, would I?

It took me a lot of time, and a lot of systems-switching, to realize that friction is my friend. It helps me be more deliberate, more focused on what I'm doing. Of course, too much friction would prevent me from ever accomplishing anything, but the right amount of friction is truly a superpower. Friction makes me feel what I'm doing.

Friction means work. Friction means progress. Frictionless implies the opposite. A frictionless tool or system of any kind means no obstacle, no challenge, and, in the end, no growth.

Call me counterintuitive, but I'm going to look for friction in my life.


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