Let There be Light!
Have you ever worked furiously towards a goal only to realize when you were done that you achieved something different than you set out to? What is more important: knowing what direction you're pointed, or getting there fast?
On the quest to find the ultimate app, I believe I have arrived at a sublime truth. Productivity and efficiency are not software problems. If they were, you’d be able to assemble enough code to do a persons job for them, so that they wouldn’t have to do anything. While at first, this seems appealing, Meriam-Webster defines a state of “requiring little attention or thought” as mindlessness. It turns out that humans have a fundamental aversion to mindlessness, and prefer rather to be in a state of mindfulness.
One of the (many) stresses we face in life is feeling overwhelmed with daunting projects that we have not yet started on. A youth pastor once gave me an interesting strategy that he applied when he was in school: whenever he received an assignment, he immediately (that night) began to work on it and did not rest until he felt that he had brought that project up to a B.
I’m always amazed when a waiter takes my order without writing anything down. I’m a vegetarian, and occasionally I ask for substitutions with my order. My wife absolutely loves to make substitutions, and when our order is transformed into food 20 minutes later, I’m blown away when it comes through 100% accurate. It’s most shocking when I’m in a big group, and the waiter can keep a dozen orders straight and remember where everyone was seated at the table. This also shocked Bluma Zeigarnik, a Lithuanian researcher who wrote about it in her Ph.D. thesis in 1927.