How to build a better work routine: Embrace radical incrementalism

The most productive and successful made [the activity] a smaller part of their daily routine than the others, so that it was much more feasible to keep going with it day after day.

Oliver Burkeman

No matter what your “work” is you can build a better work routine by practicing patience.

In Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, Oliver Burkeman shares how facing our finitude, our understanding our limitations, can help us to use our time more wisely.

What I found most interesting was how he connected our impatience and our tendency to avoid uncomfortable feelings with our desire to speed things up. He suggests instead radical incrementalism, or the notion that we should make small progress more frequently.

Part of this also requires stopping:

Stopping helps strengthen the muscle of paitnece that will permit you to return to the project again and again.

This helps to explain why my motto “baby steps are better than leaps not taken” works! Making small increments helps us to have the patience to keep going! And when we have that patience, we can build better routines.

Gardening notes

I love growing dahlias. To encourage more growth, they say you should cut the blooms. This allows my family and me to enjoy them indoors. The dahlia pictured here is a decorative David Howard.

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