Workflow Rules

Day 287 Week 41 Q4 Sunday, October 15, 2023

Creative outliers don’t only create projects; they also create workflows, the set of steps and tools that they use to create projects. Remember, creative outliers are more creative than normal, which means they are even more likely to create workflows that are different than everyone else than a normal person.

This can be a problem when a person is too creative because they may really enjoy creating new workflows all of the time. And the perfect excuse to do so is the accumulation of new tools. Creative outliers are unusually curious and experimental, which brings them to try many tools in many ways. The investigation of new tools and their subsequent acquisition can consume an inordinate amount of time.

The invention of numerous new workflows can consume an even greater amount of time than the appraisal and deployment of new tools within new workflows. Determining an optimal workflow is a kind of holy grail for me. Imagine that once discovered, we will instantly become more productive. We tend to leave out the steps involved in mastering the new workflow. Determining and debugging these steps can take a lot of time. They can take even more time than using your old workflow, even though you know it is sub-optimal.

Sometimes you just have to use the workflow you have already mastered or almost mastered and not invent a new one just because you can. I fall into this black hole often. As a tool maker and bleeding edge to adopt her and user, I frequently find myself operating in inefficient ways. They may be inefficient, but they are awfully exciting, which is why I continue to underestimate how long it will take to do things. It is also why I have accumulated an unbelievably rich set of tools, which, of course, permits me to invent an unbelievably diverse set of workflows.

Is this a good thing, or is it a bad thing? Well, I don’t know, but it is a real thing. At some point in time, I had to stop inventing new workflows and just finish the project I had in mind instead of redefining the project to take advantage of the newly redefined workflows.

Although I hate to admit it, workflow truly does rule. Because until you have a workflow, you have no idea how long your project is going to take, especially if you have a tendency to redefine workflows. Therefore, I would like to recommend that the workflow itself is a product of extremely great value, perhaps greater value than the results of that workflow.  Do not take the workflow for granted because of its mutability. Apply some discipline to freeze the workflow and use it for a while until you get really good at it because putting undefined workflows against each other may be an ingenious form of procrastination, and none of us do that, right?

Workflow Rules!