The “Future of Productivity” Series [Forte]

Tiago Forte of Forte Labs wrote a wonderful 4-part series about the “Future of Productivity”.

Its title doesn’t do it justice, in my opinion at least, as it’s a much deeper treatise on the essence of human behavior, which has applicability well beyond the limited scope of productivity. Though much of this significance body of work (~4,000 words each) is oriented around the overall goal of improving productivity, I’d argue that much of can either be used as-is or slightly generalized to be applicable for an even-bigger goal of living up to one’s full potential.

Part 1: Productivity for Precious Snowflakes — discusses a mindset-driven approach for productive work and mastering it using four core skills: alignment, specialization, workflow and aggregation.

Part 2: Emergent Productivity: A People-Centered Equation for Modern Work — discusses the tensions between an employee and the business under the existing transactional paradigm, and the way they can be resolved under a new paradigm in which rather than viewing work as a common ground between the company and employees, employees are viewed as the common ground between the company and work. This simple switch leads to rather surprising outcomes.

Part 3: The Holy Grail of Self-Improvement — discusses Tiago’s take on habit formation and behavior change. It starts off with a few prominent behavior change framework like “identity-based habits”, but the more interesting part explores the notion of “emergent habits” under the assumption that human behavior is a complex (as opposed to a complicated) system. This leads to some thoughtful insights on the way behavior is shaped and habits can be formed.

Part 4: Meta-Skills, Marco-Laws and the Power of Constraints — discusses the core components of a self-knowledge based productivity improvement framework: meta-skills — skills that allow you to leverage other skills, macro-laws — fundamental axioms about yourself designed to guide the next phase of exploration and learning.