Konubinix' opinionated web of thoughts

System 1 and System 2 Succession


When people complain about their unproductive life, they generally complain about the fact that at some point a rule stopped being followed.

For instance, they complain that even though we decided to keep the house clean, at some point, someone started leaving mess behind. Then some mess was added and now the house is totally not clean.

I believe those people tend to make a fallacy of thinking that one can be in analytic brain mode at any time.

Yet, I think we all agree we use a lot the intuitive brain. This is one of the reasons of existence of the cognitive bias.

I think a good productivity system should acknowledge this and accept that in most of the time, we won’t be able to follow the rule by the book. They should provide a fallback time, short enough so that can reasonably commit to be in analytic brain mode, to get back on the wagon.

In gtd, for instance, this is called fall of the wagon and the weekly review is the way to getting back in the wagon. This is an energy consuming task that needs us to be prepared and really committed.

To me, any method that simply says “the rule is this and that and you must stick to it” does not take into account how work the human beings that will apply the rule.

Also, sometimes, the brain shouts to us the things that need to be done. This is often during the system 1 phases, where we are already committed to do something else, or we don’t have time or the context to do it now. In my humble opinion, the good thing to do then is to put that new data in a trusted system that you know you will review during a system 2 phase.