In This Episode…

The mind is a wonderful thing with many quirks and oddities amongst the vast array of staggering abilities it has. Today I encountered two of those strange things that make us human and fallible and thought it would be interesting to share them today. They remind me that I still have to keep on my toes if I am going to get this productivity thing nailed!

Episode Show Notes…

Closing The Loop

When I did my engineering training back in the Navy I learnt all about open and closed loop systems. Open loop systems are inherently unstable because there is nothing coming back to moderate the output.

To give you an example. In a missile system, the missile gets fired at the target. The booster rocket sends it flying from the launcher in the direction of the target. Unless the missile gets an update of the position of the intended target (which will keep changing) then it will fly completely off course.

It only heads towards it’s target when it gets a correcting signal that represents the difference between where it is going and where it should be going.

That error signal closes the loop and as long as the difference between it’s intended track and actual track is continually fed back to the missile, it should stay on target.

I tell you that because I realise in the march towards developing my own productivity, I have a tendency to NOT close the loop.

I’ll fire off an idea or an intention that sometimes actually has merit. But then two or three days later, I am off on another tangent with another idea or intention that equally has merit.

From a creativity perspective, that’s probably not a bad thing.

However I am not striving to develop my creativity. I am striving to become more productive.

The most recent example of me not closing the loop is the time I have spent mulling over the importance of my identity to my productive (or not) behaviours.

I have looped around this topic a number of times in the recent weeks. That it keeps circling back into the forefront of my attention should be an indication to me of its importance.

But I do keep finding myself ignoring the clues my mind and my environment keeps giving me.

That’s probably because I’ve not closed the loop on this idea of my identity.

I’ve poked at it with the proverbial mental stick a few times and nudged it along a bit.

But perhaps it’s time I started to take it a little more seriously and put some concerted effort into developing the theme.

Who knows where it might go.

Suffering From The Curse Of Knowledge

I think I’ve been infected with the curse of knowledge.

If you don’t know what the curse of knowledge is, here is a brief definition.

“… a cognitive bias that occurs when an individual, communicating with other individuals, unknowingly assumes that the others have the background to understand .”

When you have a deep understanding and knowledge about something, it is quite easy to forget the journey you’ve taken when sharing that knowledge with others.

It is so very easy to lose someone if you make too many big mental leaps when trying to share something with them. It might make sense to you now, but to them it probably is confusing because they’ve not joined the dots like you have.

I had an example of the curse of knowledge, or at least a variant of it this morning.

It was me trying to explain something to me.

Yesterday I wrote a friends name on a post it note and added that to today’s list of things to achieve.

I looked at the note today as I was finishing the day and I had absolutely no idea what the note was meant to tell me to do. It was someone’s name.

Clearly when I wrote it, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do with it. But I made the foolish assumption that I’d remember.

I didn’t.

Curse of knowledge… or just a bad memory?

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