Maximizing Productivity - A Framework

Hi friends,

This week's newsletter is about maximizing our productivity using a new framework I have developed. If you're short on time, skip the background and jump to the key insights section.


I've been a proponent of "consistency" so far, but I've realized I was making a mistake of undervaluing "intensity" at the cost of consistency. In other words, being consistent and doing many things together compromised my productivity and undivided attention in doing those things. For example, if I am recording a podcast, a part of me feels I should be working. Then, when I'm working, a part of me feels I should be doing something creative... My friend recognized this vacillation within me and recommended that I "batch" things, and that's what this newsletter is about, with some bells and whistles as well. :)

To kick things off, I suggest watching this video by Tim Ferriss, where he explains what batching is. If you don't have the time, batching is essentially the idea of clubbing one or two activities for a day and focusing mainly on those, to the exclusion of everything else. For me, today was a "content" day, and so, even though I have an exam tomorrow, I am not worried because I batched producing my podcast, video, and this newsletter today.

Key Insights

If you feel like you're being consistent with your goals but are not able to give your undivided attention to a particular task, consider batching things using the below framework.

Non-Negotiable Invariants: These are the things that you have "batched" and that you have to accomplish no matter what. For me, today was a "content" day, meaning, I had batched content production.

Negotiable Invariants: These are the things that you have to be consistent at in the long-term, so, they are negotiable. For example, missing exercise for 1-2 days in a week is all right, as long as you get back to it next week. Thus, exercise for me is a negotiable invariant.

Non-Negotiable Variants: These are the fires you have to put off. For example, paying the bills on time and handling emergency situations. You know these are variants (meaning they won't happen again), but are still to be attended to.

Negotiable Variants: These are the errands, chores, or administrative tasks, which, even if you forgo, will not affect your life negatively.

So, grouping my goals, aspirations, and taks into this matrix has helped me become consistent, intense, and deliberate with life. Hope it helps you too.

Until next time,


Video of The Week

Here's a little glimpse into how I use Roam Research for deep-diving into a topic. Roam Research ( is a note-taking tool that creates beautiful visualizations, automatic back-links, and references for all notes.

Podcast of The Week

Planning Before Panicking

We talk about why we underestimate risks until they actually hit us, how we can adapt to change and not be resistant to it, and why we should plan things out in peacetime.

Articles of The Week

How to learn absolutely anything online was perhaps the best "root article" that I read this week. For you, a "root article" is something that was central or foundational to my week in many ways. Hope it's "root" for you too. :)  

As always, I'm also linking my Covid-19 research article here, where I try to capture, summarize, and display accurate information and latest research on Coronavirus in an easy-to-understand, digestible manner. I also added some details about whether to wear masks or not. Short answer: Please wear them, irrespective of anything.