Remove friction for long term productivity

Published 2 months ago • 2 min read


I'm reading How to Build a Second Brain for the second time now, and one concept, that I also saw on another book ("7 Habits of Highly Effective People") and many other places, struck a chord with me.

It goes like this:

"Forcing yourself to make decisions every time you capture something adds friction to the process. This makes the experience mentally taxing and thus less likely to happen in the first place."
- Tiago Forte

The word "capture" is in bold as this quote addresses the way we capture knowledge by taking notes and how to do it "better".

Naturally, removing friction, makes the process easier and increases the chances you'll repeat the process, effectively creating a habit.

That said, this concept is true for coding, eating habits, working out, taking notes, and basically any habit I could thing of!

Removing friction is a task in and of itself. By doing that, all other things will form on their own. So I'm taking this concept to all areas that are difficult in professional life as well;

  • Security is difficult because using a VPN is a hassle to manage and run locally? Maybe the process can be improved with a zero trust that will auto-authenticate you by a local cookie?
  • Maintaining infra-as-code as difficult because no body wants to recreate templates, and have different flavors / versions of local tooling? How about integrating CI pipelines dedicated for the task?
  • Monitoring is hard for developers because it requires searching through hard-to-read / hard-to-find logs and systems? How about bringing it to them with alerting and graphs sent to their favorite messaging app?

These are very DevOps specific but can be easily translatable everywhere.

“Motivation is a short term game”

Nobody stays motivated forever, make it easier for yourself and others to keep the flow, rhythm, policy, by removing friction.
As always, feel free to reply directly to this email and we can further discuss.

Have a great weekend!

My favorite discoveries this week:

  • are always releasing incredible projects powering beautiful CLI utilities with Golang libraries. This time they release "huh" a CLI based form lib with really cool features:
  • Mitchel Hashimoto, Hashicorp's founder, is leaving the company and sharing his reflections. Mitchel, in my eyes is one of these superstar developers; not only he founded one of the best known companies in the DevOps sphere, he was the CEO, then CTO, then top contributor, while still maintaining the company's and his own incredibely popular open source repositories. He also built the HCL language used by so many HC's products, and sometimes it's kind of hard to believe how one person can create so many amazing products, and such a large code base, while reviewing and providing feedback. Oh yeah, he also recently got an air pilot's license and became a dad! Mind blowing really 🤯.
    I'm just wondering whether his departure has anything to do with Hashicorp's recent announcement of change in open source policy which feels so detached from Mitchel's work and approach. I guess we'll never know.
    Surely I'm going to keep following and see what he's up to, it's going to be interesting...

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