The non-optimized life

When you measure an activity, you can improve it. Computers make it easy to optimize just about every portion of your life.

Surely, you can optimize a website or a blog for traffic. You can optimize ads to make them yield more results. You can optimize your presentation style to close more sales or change more minds. You can optimize your workout to get faster and stronger. You can optimize your diet to lose weight and gain muscle. You can optimize your sleeping patterns to get more rest in less time. Cosmo even says you can optimize your sex life…

And then, at some point, you realize you're spending your best energy on optimization, not on creation.

This is a fine line to walk, because of course you can optimize your creation time as well! You can develop habits to amplify your best thoughts and make it likely you'll ship work that matters. I get that. But I also worry that a never-ending cycle of optimization can become a crutch, a place to hide when you really should be confronting the endless unknown, not the banal stair step of incremental optimization. While Yahoo was optimizing their home page in 2001, the guys at Google were inventing something totally new.

That's one reason I resist the temptation to optimize this blog for traffic and yield. I'd rather force myself to improve it by having the guts to write better posts instead.