What On This Page

 Spencer Productivity Principles

  1. Working 40 hours a week is is not wise.

  2. Having a clear list set before Spencer sits down to work is key.

  3. Working until the work is done not until the clock is up.

  4. Travel less <> Work More

  5. Pateto Principal

Spencer's Modes Of Productivity


Grazing Mode is what what most people spend most of their time doing when they are trying to be productive. This is the distracted jogging of productivity.

Way That Spencer Grazes

  • Social Media

  • Puttering Around The Kitchen

  • Dating Apps

  • Jumping around the to do list

Productivity Research

Better With Others

Spencer works better with an assistant in the room. Spencer finds he can focus can control a group project much better than Spencer can control himself.

Productivity Tools And System System

I'v learned that there is no perfect productivity system, "The" system to end all systems is not in my grasp. I can however work to understand where I am now and make adjustments to accommodate that.

See my Tools page to see all of the tech tools that I have used to become more (or sometimes less) effective.

How Spencer Leverages ToDoIst

  • If I am not going to take action in the next 30 days (unless i'ts a reminder for a specific date) I do not add it to ToDoIst

  • Try to keep the total number of items in ToDoist under 100.

  • Reference information goes in Wikifieldia not in ToDoIst.


Spencer is most productive and burns energy most efficiently when in a flow state.

The majority of this flow state seems to be purity of focuses in the conscious and subconscious.

The Flow 5

A 5 point checklist to increase the odds Spencer get into a flow state:

  1. Mind dump before, during and after to clear excuses thoughts out of my brain.

  2. Have a clear "smash list".

  3. Have a clear time limit.

  4. Put on bug spray to keep the bugs way: Turn off notifications, pick the playlist you are going to listen to, go to the restroom first, fix any thing that is bugging you.

  5. Create a bit of ritual around this flow time. Make this special time and get Hamen onboard.

Optimal Conditions For Flow


  • Diffuse Natural Light


  • Seated with both feet firmly on the ground.


  • Firm chair with straight back

  • Empty adjustable high desk


  • Written list of action steps

    • Not outcomes but a rather detailed step by step guide of specific actions to take. Process decisions are made in flow prep not in flow state. Flow state is about execution not contemplation.


  • Ambient sound not in headphones


  • Stable unchanging area to work in.

Light Dissertations:

  • Background Music


  • Getting to a state of pure intention to produce seems to be the hardest part for me. Once I am able to say my sole reason for existence in this moment is to produce I am golden.

  • Primary Motivation To Get Things Done

  • Doing what I know to be right.

  • Evoking The Muse


Like a pastry bag needs firm consistent pressure to produce smoothly Spencer also needs firm (3.5/5 on the pressure scale) pressure to produce smoothly.

  • Too much pressure and the flow will no longer be smooth.

    • Spencer does not break under pressure (or hasn't yet) but his effective is reduced when too much pressure (context depended) is applied.

  • Positive pressure is often self imposed through time bound goals

Ballmer Peak

Ballmer Peak is the point that blood alcohol level and maximum productivity cross. For most people that is 0.138. I find this to be true for me. Especially if the task is being held back by myself editing (such as when I am writing). Who knows.. I might be using the Ballmer Peak effect even now.

Barriers To Flow

Conflicting Intentions

It's standard operating process for me to operate from a space of deficits which leads me to have conflicting intentions such as wanting to "unwind" as I am working. I'm finding that a flow state is restorative while "puttering" or "grazing" gushes energy out of me in a way I don't notice at the time.

Lack of Clarity Or Direction

Micro Distractions

  • Picking at my skin

  • Adjusting my hair

  • Rubbing my eyes

  • Stretching

  • Rocking back in my chair.

  • Looking around my environment or out the window.

  • Changing the music.

Negative Fear

Mental Fatigue

Mental Bugs

Roaming Thoughts

  • Have a distraction list.

Changing Plan Mid Flow

- Conditions to be meet before changing the plan mid flow


- Off Ramps

- Notifications

- Other

  • Physical movements like drinking.

Reverse Flow Destroyers And Jams

Avoiding not eating the frog.

The Leach Frog / Ought List

When there is something that I should be doing but am not it's like a curse in a game that just continually saps energy

Projects Are Like Fruit

Commonalities of tasks/project/ideas and fruit:

  1. Both need time to ripen sometimes.

  2. Both can rot if they are left on the vine too long.

  3. Both create off-gas when they rote. The off-gas of tasks when they rote is personal guilt for not doing them fast enough or a feeling of not being responsible.

Productivity In The Car

Audio Learning

Phone Calls


Productivity ROI Tracking

  • What do I give for membership vs. what do I get from membership

How To Run An Effective Meeting

  • Define what is going to make a successful meeting

  • Have an agenda Have a timeline in agenda Deep respect everyonse time Be quick to take it off line.

  • Be Open to ending early

  • Consider doing actions in the meeting and making it more then just talking.

Productivity Automations and Systems Spencer Should Be Using


Week Planning

Day Review

Morning Routine

Diet Automation


Anti Productivity

Vogon From Gardians of the galaxy

Roz from Monster Inc

Unsorted Productiviety Items

Creativity He is a genius vs. he has a genius with him. Genius (or creativity) as an external entity.

This task might just take more time then I want. So I am going to turn it into a meditation and view the time I am spending as not lost but spent in meditation. Examples: Rambling conversations with people, Typing on my smartphone, Answering an email.

I'm stuck on a task and just won't let it go I might walk away and understand that on a deeper level there is something happening. Knowing that I am not trying to game the system and solve the task I was working on but rather to engage in this deeper level.

Fully devoting my mental space to observing how I feel without reducing it to pictures or words.

Power of predesion