Daily Entropy Reduction 

Day 144 Week 21 Q2 Thursday, May 25, 2023

Creative projects make a mess. They always do, and they always will. The only way to not descend into chaos is to reduce the entropy you create while in the throes of your creative project. Examples of this would be putting all the tools back in the places where they belong so that the next time you look for them, you can find them. Other examples would have to do with documenting progress made and having a filing system so that you can actually find the documentation because projects sometimes stop and start with a lot of space in between. There’s plenty of room to forget where you were up to.

It seems like the only way not to get overwhelmed with chaos and randomness created by inventing and creating is to build into that process a period of time post the throes of creativity to put things back to where you found them.  Unless you have come up with a superior way to store and organize them, which can also be the case, but if you spend 90% of your time creating and none of your time organizing, you will eventually grind to a halt because you will not be able to work on your projects.

And since you only get paid for completing projects, not restarting them, the ability to get organized enough to finish is critical. One way some people get organized is by inviting other people over.  Whether for a work session, a jam session, or a party, it’s very difficult for other people to enter into chaos.

Most of us have a large number of tools,  which may include a large number of computers, storage media and projects. This can be a pretty major effort to keep all these things straight, and it will take a lot of time, just like the IT work you didn’t volunteer for, but you need to complete to proceed. Updating operating systems, updating filing systems, updating passwords, updating apps, and even keeping your desktops clear, both the physical and the digital ones, take a lot of time.

Over time it has become clear every time I drift away from it, that you need to clean up the mess you created before you consider having completed that phase of the project. This is like reviewing results, which is also usually neglected, but the place with the most learning occurs. It is not as emotionally satisfying for most creative people to clean up. It is very satisfying for some groups of people like accounts and bookkeepers, and finance, people in general. This is why teams often have different people to sort, organize, clean up, create, and disrupt.

Life is generally simpler if you reduce your entropy daily.