Narath Carlile

All Posts by Narath Carlile

Flowing with vs fighting your day

I’ve been really good this week at practicing time blocking. Less easy was “clearing the decks” so I could find time for some deep work blocks every day. I was however able to batch my meetings and was able to reschedule most of them into only 2 (very busy) days - Tuesday and Thursday.

Narath Carlile Mar 31, 2022

The surprising gifts of planning well

This week I tried really hard to plan well, driven by the very stressful week that had just passed. I wanted to see if the solid/stretch goal method could help make my next week better.

Narath Carlile Mar 12, 2022

Better, simpler estimation with the X-factor

This is not really a piece about doing things faster. There are certainly things that can help you work more efficiently (such as Deep Work, or better planning or collaboration that we discuss in the video content in the app). This is instead about being better able to estimate how long things will take you, so that you can more reliably complete things on time.

Narath Carlile Mar 3, 2022

The remarkable value of the shutdown ritual

I was struggling to stop working, to not take my work home with me, to not feel constantly ‘on’. Residency and being on call for so many years had not helped. Working in startups, with technology, working from home and the Covid pandemic did not help either.

In exploring productivity and thriving, I had tried out Cal Newport’s Time Blocking Diary and found a lot of it very helpful such as using the time blocks to help create a visual queue for the amount of time available during the day. This paper plan also doubles as an easy way to track changes to that day (almost always required), and as a place to quickly jot down ideas and (potential) tasks, and get them out of my head so that I could just keep flowing.

Something that was quickly mentioned in the book’s introduction to the journal was the shutdown ritual. Cal talked about the power of this in his own life. It was one of those jolting ideas, where somebody shares with you something simple that has worked for them, that is easy to do, that could also really work for you.

And so I tried it, and it has been remarkably effective. It basically gives you your personal time back, your evenings, your time with your family, your time to read before bed, to go for evening walks.  It was quickly adopted by the whole family, including our children. We could easily ask each other if they had “shut down” for the day, and also playfully nag those who weren’t shutting down, encouraging them to do so.

This is what my shutdown ritual currently looks like:

Narath Carlile Feb 15, 2022