Image credit: Mariia Zakatiura
Tuesday 27th October.
Since my post on Saturday, I’ve found that my productivity whilst building my wireframe has taken a nosedive. I’ve been describing my process as having two phases. The first was the ‘ideation’ phase, and the second is the ‘design’ phase.
I didn’t move to any digital medium for the ideation phase. I approached ideation with a clear plan mapped out. I scheduled each activity and ideation method, and I had milestones to work towards.
In the design phase, my approach was to start building. Even after putting the kanban together, I settled back into the same structure of work. In all honesty, I haven’t looked at the kanban since setting it. I’m starting to think that just chunking the workload isn’t sufficient for working effectively.
I don’t think the issue is with the kanban methodology itself, or even with my execution. I’ve worked in sprints in the past, and I’ve successfully used trello for content writing for years.
So here’s my revised theory for the next RI challenge: to be more productive, I should estimate timeframes for my milestones.
I’m not going to be able to timebox work for design tasks like I did with activities in the ideation phase. What I can do is take a leaf from scrum methodology and assign some form of point value to each story. Not with the intention of calculating a sprint velocity, but to manage my own expectations of how long a task should take. If I decide that any tasks are going to take longer than an evening of work, I’ll call it something like an epic and break it down more.
From an operational perspective, milestones are a pretty standard way for team leaders and product owners keeping an eye on the state of play. I think I can use milestones to chemically charge my own productivity. Each milestone should be a celebration. An excuse to have a doot on the kazoo I keep on my desk.
My plan is to list my milestones on paper and pin them to the corkboard in my office. Then I’ll use other pins to check the milestones off the list as I go. Maybe the satisfying resistance of pushing a good quality push-pin into the board will give me the dopamine shot I need to ‘hack’ my own productiveness.
The corkboard idea has come from a popular YouTuber, Mike Boyd, who recently built a ‘dopamine box’.
He claims that the satisfying physical switches and LEDs keep him coming back to the box (Boyd, 2020). The reward of flipping a switch on Boyd’s box likely stimulates the nucleus accumbens region of his brain, delivering a feel-good response – or, rather, doing so alleviates the craving for that reward (Nir Eyal, 2014: p.97)
We’ll see if what I’m proposing holds water over the next few weeks.
BOYD, M. 2020. ‘I built a dopamine box’ [YouTube user-generated content]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJeQIXBdVuk [accessed 22/12/2020].
EYAL, N. 2014. ‘Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products’. New York: Penguin Portfolio.