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Extending weight training

When I'm at the gym and I want to train harder, I increase the weights I train with. At first, it is incredibly hard to do the same amount of reps with additional weight. But over a few sessions, I get used to it, I learn to deal with it and I get comfortable enough to treat that as the new normal. And then I increase it again.

During weight training, the weights act as a constraint. They are designed to constrain my motion. What movements I can carry out with ease when I'm not carrying weights become harder when I do it with weights.

The same idea is extensible to other areas of my life. All I need to do is identify the equivalents of the weights in these areas. I need to apply the right constraints to guide me to become better at it.

While writing, the constraint can be number of words or the time I take to write. I generally apply both. I write my regular posts in the 500-700 word range, and I write my long posts in the 1500-2500 word range. And in terms of time, I have a cap of thirty minutes in which I have to complete a short post while it is ninety minutes for a long post. And when it comes to writing product feature documents at work, I set myself a two-hour limit on any single iteration of the document and never spend more than three iterations on a document.

When I know that I'm working with these constraints, I channel all my energy and focus it on the task at hand to work with the constraints. Without these, I would not be able to efficiently churn out anything.

Our minds (at least mine does) work well when constrained and given specific instructions. And they wander when they have unbounded time and vague instructions. The wandering is essential in its own right and helps in discovery of new ideas and in exploration. But, if the task at hand is delivery and not exploration, I'd be unwise to deploy a wrong tool for it.

Working with weights is straight-forward. The moment I get comfortable, I crank it up to the next unit. But, discovering the right challenge in terms of constraints in other areas of work has been through trial and error.

But once you start doing it, you'd never go back. 

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