Most people’s working days are spent focused on a number of different projects.
This means their days often consist of switching between different tasks.
It’s well known that switching between tasks results in a loss of productivity. Re-orientating yourself to the next task takes time and effort that wouldn’t be required if you stayed with the same task.
But there is something else to be aware of.
When your projects are additive, that is, progress in one project helps with another project, then your work is supercharged. Each task you do builds upon the previous, accelerating the gains.
For instance, imagine that one of your projects is writing a book and another project is giving talks. It’s clear that writing a book will sharpen your thinking, that can then help with giving talks. Similarly, questions that you are asked by the audience during a talk may then be material you can use in the book.
Each project helps build up the other one instead of subtracting from it.
What this means is, two people might be working the same hours a day, and have the same levels of performance. But if one has additive projects and the other has subtractive or neutral projects, the one with the additive projects will very quickly outperform their rival.
Now I understand that this is not always possible. But you can see that where you do have the freedom, structuring your projects in this manner is a fantastic way of speeding up your progress.