I've fallen in love with constraints.
By adding certain limitations and restrictions to how I work, I can produce more and often better things.
Give me unlimited time and a blank canvas, and I feel overwhelmed by choice.
But constraints take some of the choices away and free up mental bandwidth to maximize the output within limits.
I know; it's counterintuitive at first. You really have to try it out for yourself to experience the effects.
I like two types of constraints in particular: format and time.
Racket (a new kind of "instant podcast") allows only for 9-minute recordings. TikTok videos are 60 seconds long. And the 250 words of an atomic essay have to fit neatly into a template.
Format constraints are on the rise and reward the creators who can deliver the most value within the limits. Another advantage is that the audience knows what to expect.
So, if you want to start making videos, why not experiment with short, TikTok videos instead of spending ages to produce one 10-min YouTube video?
And if you want to start writing, don't aim for a 2,500-word blog post. Commit to a few atomic essays first.
Parkinson's law states that work will always expand to fill the time you've allotted to it.
When I work with self-imposed deadlines, I know I'll get stuff done quicker. I'll promise someone that I'll deliver the work by a certain date and time. That forces me to act because I don't want to let anybody down.
You can also co-work over Zoom to help you stay focused on your tasks.
Try imposing some constraints on your work, and let me know what you experience!