Actually Difficult vs Seemingly Difficult

Not all difficulties are made equal.

Hey friends,

How many tasks or projects do you have in your "I really need to do this" list that you've been postponing because you didn't have time yet, or had other priorities crop up, or because they feel a little too difficult? A few? Dozens? More? How many of them are actually important? And how many are actually difficult?

I like getting shit done fast. And I can get a lot of stuff done when it's something I can do fairly quickly because I know exactly how it needs to be done. I enjoy being surrounded by things that I know exactly how to get done. It makes me feel productive.

But life would be too easy if we only had to do what we're good at. In fact, the main way you get good at something is by being kinda bad at it repeatedly until you improve. And once you've become good at something it's easy to forget how bad you were at it initially.

My "I really need to do this" list is full of stuff I keep putting off because it feels difficult. Like, I'm not great at creating presentations, recording videos of myself, teaching, public speaking, so I tend to keep postponing these kinds of tasks until the very last moment. But then once I've done it I often realize it wasn't difficult at all. It just felt difficult because I'm not good at it.

If I had to estimate, I'd say over 90% of things that I keep putting off because they seem difficult aren't actually difficult. They're seemingly difficult, but not actually difficult. And yet a lot of them are important! So the highest leverage activity I can do here is to become really good at telling apart the seemingly difficult tasks from the actually difficult ones.

Have an actually good week,


A few thoughts

Attachment theory vs prioritization framework. Is it still considered dismissive avoidant attachment if the reasons for avoiding closeness are purely rational and prioritization-driven, not emotional?

Timeless birthday gifts. When someone asks me what I want as a gift I tell them I'm good with nothing, well wishes, a handshake, a hug, a card, or money. A few other timeless options are socks, coffee, or personal care products. Everything else is too nuanced for anyone other than me to be able to get right.

Enjoyed this

Don’t let grim headlines obscure the progress on climate change "The main thing that makes me optimistic is all the innovation I’m seeing. As someone who has been funding climate solutions for years, I get to learn from ingenious scientists who are working on ideas that will help the world solve climate change. And their work makes me confident that innovation will help the world get on track to meet its climate goals."

On Writing Product Roadmaps Quarterly roadmap planning is a difficult and imperfect process: it requires time and investment to do right; collective buy-in from leadership and stakeholders; and constant vigilance to improve the process while making sure that you don’t become a slave to it. But for most organizations, it’s still far superior to not doing any sort of long-term planning at all. As Winston Churchill said of Democracy “[it] is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time” — I feel like the same can be said of quarterly roadmaps.

The fun part

Don't worry, she doesn't bite. She doesn't, right?