DRMacIver's Notebook

If a task is impossible, try making it harder

If a task is impossible, try making it harder

If a lecture is a struggle, try speeding up the video.

If you struggle to read fast enough, try using a speed reader app that just scrolls the words by at 1000wpm.

If a book is too hard, try making it harder by reading it aloud. Maybe do weird balancing acts while doing it.

Often the rate limiting factor on difficult tasks is not actually that they're too hard, it's that we are failing to engage our full attention on them. This is particularly true if you're very smart and/or ADHD or somewhere vaguely in its vicinity. The world is literally moving too slowly for you, which means that you cannot bring your full attention to it, and as a result you never enter flow and the entire thing becomes a painful exercise which you can't help but fail.

This creates the paradoxical solution that impossible seeming tasks are not too hard for you, they're too easy for you. If you make them harder, you might find that they become possible, because they become something that can absorb your full attention.

I feel like this is actually the true secret to success to a lot of productivity methodologies. They don't actually help, but by focusing on the methodology they become something that you can nerd out about and because your nerding task is integrated with your grounding task, the two together can consume your full attention in a way that the mere task on its own could not.