The lottery mentality
There are so many ethical considerations when running experiments on human beings. All for good measure, of course. But like in every other scenario, there is a loophole. You are free to run experiments on yourself and hopefully you run the ones that leave you unscathed. I have been running some on myself and I have found some interesting things that apply to me in particular and may as well apply to others.
The lottery syndrome
This one is so good I had to name it and it has been almost singularly responsible for the gap between what I wanted to get done and what I actually got done over the years. The lottery syndrome is the mindset that you will do things in large chunks and get a lot done in a single block of time. You are going to finish it off in one go. Commonly experienced as “I’ll read this amazing book on a beautiful Sunday afternoon” or “I’ll build a prototype over the weekend”. This does not work. Focused periods of hyper productivity is a trap and myth, one I have fallen in to more than I care to admit. The most notable thing is important and meaningful work can be done in small chunks aka incrementally. Herculean effort is possible but not a repeated feat. Your life’s best work can be done half an hour at a time and it is a good thing.
The loose end
This is an advice I picked off of hacker news of all places and is actually a productivity trick that has worked for me. I wanted to stand at a busy intersection and shout about it when I realized how well it works. The advice was to leave your work unfinished at the end of the day. It does not mean don’t deliver; It means leave a loose end you can come back to. It has been an incredible device of getting myself in productive zone in the next session.