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A Pattern on the Productivity Radar

Friday June 19, 2020

Howling arctic wind sounds…


Departing helicopter sounds. Arctic clothing rustling sounds.

Sorry for shouting! Let’s get the door closed there…OK, and then we’re just down this hallway. Here we are. This is the presentation room.

Have a seat anywhere you like…

OK, just a couple things and we’ll get the briefing started. First, here’s the briefing outline:

  • What we do
  • How we can help you
  • What we’re noticing lately
  • Takeaways

And, here’s the hot drink you ordered. Believe me, I know how this place can chill a person to the bone! We’ve never been known for our warmth, but we sure get things done to schedule up here. A little joke.

Anyway, on with the briefing.

What we do

First: What we do. We are tasked with Strategic Productivity Implications Research and Monitoring. SPIRM.

[Editor’s note: Rewinding sounds…]

So, first: What we do. We are tasked with Strategic Monitoring and Research for Productivity Applications. SMRPA. [Editor’s note: I’m goin’ with it]

It’s pronounced like “sherpa.” You know, the Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Nepal and parts of India? Anyway. We really love our little facts.

Our purpose is to establish and maintain an outside-in view on your personal productivity. We monitor productivity activities for patterns, and then we perform research and analysis tasks to Catalog, Objectify, Enhance, Link, or Exploit those patterns. A lot of people back in the capitol think we’re only meant to do the last one. To them, productivity is just one Exploit after another. But really, we’re the brains here, more than anything. We find that the other steps are really the key, and with those steps in place, Exploitation is much simpler than you’d think.

How we can help you

And this is how we can help you—we can bring this process to bear on any productivity task or phenomenon that hits our radar screens. Goal fulfillment, detail work, or a plain old, M1-A1 PITA to-do list.

If you have a question, problem, or concern about productivity, you can reach out to us. We can even look back on past events a bit, and extract data. There’s a bit of loss here and there, so we hope you’ll contact us as soon as possible. But we’re always willing to help.

What we’re noticing lately

And that’s why we asked you to come in for a briefing today.

One of those patterns we’re noticing lately looks like this. It starts out kind of deceptively great, but then gets concerning, fast:

  • A particular mental-physical state is reached. Your most recent sleep pattern can impact this significantly—perhaps a little bit less sleep, or a little bit worse sleep, than normal, will sometimes bring you to this state.
  • A mental “productivity opening” then occurs. You feel a sense of “let’s go” energy.
  • The productivity opening starts to unfold like a really active mood—maybe you’re even unstoppable with productivity!
  • It’s often very temporary. But we think this may be a good thing. Because:
  • Under these circumstances, it’s tempting to accelerate one’s productivity across a broad front. You start to think, “I have the energy to do all this stuff? Great! Then I’ll use it before I lose it.”
  • This can also be described as the addictive, or even compulsive property of the productivity opening. (These words are scary, but we think the risk can be mitigated.)
  • When productivity accelerates across a broad front, there’s this moment of total commitment which starts these little disconnects. We find these little disconnects happening. You see these little things here and here?
  • The first one is an emotional-values disconnect. In other words, these tasks are somewhat removed from your values system—maybe they are things just done for other people. The point is, it’s not like you would love nothing more than to work on these, right?
  • The second one, here, is a sensory-conditions disconnect. This means that you have started ignoring your body condition and comfort. These can be little things like hydration, or various beneficial sensory stimuli, or even using the restroom when you need it. This can also start a “swing” effect where you under-eat, and then overeat, for example.
  • And here’s another thing we wanted to point out. Do you see this dark area? This is a mapping-disconnect. It means that your activities just re-scrambled the mental map of your project or activity. And re-scrambling means a re-drawing is needed. It’s kind of like you’ve been completely disconnected from any concept of the big picture.
  • So there are some disconnects. Sometimes they can get pretty bad—which seems weird at first because you’re in such a productive state.
  • Some of the consequences of these disconnects, if they continue, are: Loss of interest in things, exhaustion, gloomy feelings, migraines, and negative perceptions about the future.
  • This is extra dangerous because the disconnects have a lag time! Maybe an hour, but sometimes maybe two, three, or four hours later is when you’re noticing these things. And if it’s a day later—well, that day may just be a complete disaster.
  • We see that when a sort of “frequent reunification” can be managed, these disconnects don’t happen as often.
  • In fact, you can learn to feel those disconnects coming. You can predict them while you’re in the middle of a high-productivity, broad-front state. We think this is pretty cool.
  • Even if it’s too late, you can still plan to set boundaries and re-unify. For example, by taking the rest of the day off, or finding other ways to rebalance.

So that’s what we’ve noticed lately. It’s a lot of bullet points, we realize. We’re information people, and we admit that we love those things. Over time we’ll refine the information. But part of our job is early warning, and that’s why you’re here.


So, what can you do about this? We have some ideas. First, a general tip:

When you use your Journaling Template, you may wish to add a question about where your post-sleep mental state is at. This could help you predict an oncoming pattern of this particular type. And that early awareness is really powerful.

And second, since the Task BATL Command has trained and qualified you as an Operative, here are some Task BATL-specific tips we think can help:

  1. Use the Rebasing module at more frequent intervals when this pattern occurs. This will increase the psychological distance from your hyper-productive state. And that will cause a release of disconnecting energy.
  2. Let the Debriefing module proceed from that point. This will force a big-picture reconnect.
  3. If possible, integrate the See the World module when appropriate. This forces a sensory reconnect. But if you can’t See the World, at least see the couch, bed, anything that’s relaxing and different.
  4. Poll your little-picture values and integrate a bunch of “F” or CIRCLE items into your to-do list. This re-connection with your not-so-productive side will help you free yourself from the grip of various unwanted emotional or sensory processes.


This pattern is a killer! Believe me, we have seen some really unfortunate outcomes in the past, with you and others.

Well, thank you for your time and attention. We will continue to monitor things for you—that’s what we do. Anytime you have a productivity question or concern, be sure to get in touch.

In the meantime, feel free to relax, explore the facility a bit, and we’ve got dinner and a weekend movie prepared for you at 1800.

Filed in: Anxiety /32/ | Te /36/ | Goals /52/ | Planning /17/ | Procrastination /23/ | Feeling /64/ | Publications /44/ | Fi /34/ | Thinking /70/ | Control /110/ | Depression /12/ | Productivity /119/ | Energy /120/

Own your procrastination with Whole Productivity, a new system → Get my free INTJ COVID-19 Guide → Explore your gifts with my INTJ Workbook → Other Publications → ...and the fake word of the hour: "Ed." I think this is related to a lack of discipline.