## Sunday, January 8, 2017

### Systems for the new year (and other years too)

In lieu of goals or resolutions for the new year, here are some systems I've found useful over the years:

Less.

Process to zero. For me it started with Inbox Zero. Then I realized the world was full of processing convexities and that processing to zero was generally an efficient and effective way of dealing with those.

Automate, reduce, reuse, delegate, simplify, repurpose; Automate... the real scarce resource for everyone is attention $\times$ time. Solve once, apply often.

Even paranoids have enemies. Consider others' incentive compatibility and individual rationality drivers, particularly as it concerns information that is single-sourced or traceable to a single source.

Robustness beats optimality. Because optimality is never quite optimized for the randomness that can occur.

Show, don't tell. It's not just a gym rule (though it's a good gym rule). Works both as a signaling device (from me to others) and a screening device (from others to me).

Systems, not goals. This compact form comes from Scott Adams's book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life but the idea has been floating around for a while.