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All I Ever Needed to Know in Life, I Learned from Cloud Storage

This entry is part 3 of 26 in the series Timeboxing Trilogy

Dropbox is lazy. In several ways. It has to be in order to get anything meaningful done. It avoids busywork like eye-contact with a panhandler. If it can avoid uploading a file, it will. If it can use LAN transfer instead of burdening the WAN and its own servers, it will. And most importantly (for our purposes today), Dropbox uploads smaller files first.

Which makes perfect sense. Why should thousands of 100KB files be kept waiting for hours — days, weeks, perhaps — just for a single 1GB file? That would make no sense-lah. 九唔搭八

Well, human psychology works just like Dropbox.
Bigs things get put off. Tomorrow. “Someday”. “When I have more time”.

Minutiae get done.

Even stupid minutiae. Nobody ever puts off checking their email, text messages or social media. Why? Not because social media is awesome. Indeed, social media is in many ways the exact opposite of awesome. Most of the time, it sucks. It’s invariably boring or stupid or anger-inducing or all of the above. Not to mention the permanent loss of privacy.

Why, then? Why don’t we put off minutiae? It’s not the content (what); it’s the delivery (how). You see, social media and texts and email come sliced into pieces so small, so thin, that you can’t help but eat one. And then another. And another. It’s like Pringles. It’s like the toothpick finger food at cocktail parties. It’s like in-app purchases. So small. And, in general, small ≒ easy ≒ fun. If it seems small but it’s not fun, that’s because it’s not small enough. Slice smaller.

The trick with timeboxing (RanTim 1 included) is that turns everything into minutiae. If everything’s a game, you’re just playing. If everything is only going to take 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 minutes to do (depending on how you roll the die), then you’re gonna do it now. And if you want to play just one more round, then roll the die again.

Just do one. Turn your most important projects into minutiae and watch them whizz through the express checkout lane of the supermarket of life 🙂 .

Series Navigation<< OMG: A Public Service Announcement from Captain ObviousMore Timeboxing Insights: Ramp Scaling and Polar Switching >>


  1. randomized timeboxing

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