Twofish's Blog

July 24, 2006

Back at work….

I need ***in***efficiency and structure…… Bureaucracy, structure, and procedures are mind-numbing, plodding, and slow. That is why I need them. My problem isn’t too few ideas. It’s that I have too many, and I need some systems in people to make me shut off or shut down my brain.

I like the corporate world because it is one of the ways that I get anchored. One thing that I have to be careful about is that it is not a good thing when I start having too many ideas. Too much stuff comes out, and nothing gets done. I find that in order to be productive, I need discipline, inefficiency, and structure. Without inefficiency and structure, things very quickly become incoherent.

If you look at the blog, over the last few days, there are dozens of half formed ideas, some good, some bad, most of them interesting. The nice thing is that when I can take one or two of them and start developing them. The process of coming up with an idea takes minutes, and I can come up with a flood of ideas easily. This is what I call “hot” thinking. The important part in getting something useful done is what I call “cold” thinking. It involves taking one or two of the ideas, and spending years slowly and methodically developing it. “Hot thinking” tends push me toward craziness. “Cold thinking” tends to push me away from craziness.

The nice thing about “cold thinking” is that there are usually no firm deadlines. I spend years slowly and methodically learning a skill, and I try not to put myself under any pressure to learn the skill right now. It usually involves very slowly and patiently working with bureaucracies and developing personal relationships, refining and changing a project or product. I really get surprisingly unfrustrated, just as long as I see things slowly improving over time and moving toward a goal, I take a deep breath, and just keep plodding toward it.

In my personal and business relationships, I find that I’m most productive when there is someone who is “cold” around. Someone that counts beans, manages projects, let’s me be creative but keeps the craziness under control. Being next to someone who is “hot” is fun for a short time, and an incredible number of ideas come out, but pretty soon was start screaming at each other, and nothing gets done.

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