Reduce friction for things you want to accomplish | Hackletter #24

Sent on October 12th, 2021

Friction is a necessary evil. It is both a boon and a bane. If there is zero friction in this world, you wouldn’t walk, couldn’t move stuff around, etc. If there is too much friction, things wear out and get damaged.

That’s from your 8th standard Physics lecture. Snapping back to reality, having a sweet spot with the friction is crucial. You tend to do a task or a habit when there is less friction associated with it.

And when you have or create more friction to do a task, you are less likely to do it.

Whether a response occurs depends on how motivated you are and how much friction is associated with the behavior.

– Atomic Habits

Reducing friction for the things you want to do

Let’s take the case of a making videos. You want to make few videos for YouTube. Out of excitement in the beginning, you manage to record a video and publish.

But as time goes by, that excitement fades off. Setting up the camera, mic, lights etc feels like a chore now. That’s friction right at your face.

You still like the act of recording the video but because there is a friction to set things up before you actually record, makes you not want to record.

What would help? How can you reduce that friction? Maybe spending some time building a fixed setup where you fix the position of the camera, connect the mic, take care of the lighting etc, and leave the setup like that.

So next time when you want to record, rather than taking the pain of setting things up, you just turn on a switch and start.

Can you apply this concept to the friction in your life? I’d love to know what you think.

Want to know where I did that recently?

This newsletter!

I had a custom setup to send this newsletter. I was very excited to build that system which let me send the emails the way I like.

I talked about it in a previous letter, and even tweeted about it -

But I’ve observed that it adds up a lot of friction to the process which is making me not that motivated to send the letters.

What have I done?

This newsletter is now powered by Buttondown πŸŽ‰

I can now just write in markdown and hit send. And the best part, I can do this from iPad as well. I will also enjoy some cool Buttondown features like sending a welcome email, asking for confirmation but subscribing a user etc.

I took a lot of pride in the previous setup but when I know it is limiting me, I should be able to discard and adapt. The things I learn’t building that system won’t be useless, and I’m sure I will connect them somewhere in life. Where? I can only know that looking back.

So yeah, happy for the switch I made. Don’t know when and to what I will switch next. But hopefully, you will be in the ride all along.

That’s all I have for the week.

See you next Tuesday πŸ‘‹

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