Output is a Function of a System

How do high performers output so much? 🤔

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Occasionally, I also send out long-form articles on digital fitness and self-improvement.


I. Compulsory consumption of input is an illusion of productivity1. Only through your output do you test the knowledge you’ve acquired. Optimizing your outputs means building systems where one good input creates many outputs.


I. “Productivity means fewer efforts in returns of more output.”
― Sukant Ratnakar, Open the Windows


I. Optimize output by minimizing input, but start by balancing the two.

I am obsessed with productivity.

At times, it’s not a healthy obsession. Often I’ll allow my competitive nature to take over and I begin to compete with those I admire and immediately jump into trying to replicate their level of output. If I keep that up for too long, I burn out.

It’s a big part of the reason I’m on a 30 day digital fast.

Turning off has made me realize I don’t have a system that supports the same level of output as say, James Clear.

My biggest constraint is I write slowly.

So, I’m building a system that allows me to write fast by intentionally balancing my input and output. I’m doing that by creating PACTs2 with myself and establishing daily habits that support my goals. Here’s what I’ve got so far.

Content Buckets3

  • General: Digital fitness, Productivity, Self-improvement

  • Niche: Ansible, PowerShell, Terraform

  • Industry: Technical writing, Remote work

Output Goals

  • Publish 3 tweets per day

  • Write 1 newsletter per week

  • Publish 1 freelance article per month

  • Write 2 essays per month

  • Publish 1 book per year

Daily Habits 👈 (Balance input and output)

  • Write 2 hours per day

  • Read 2 hours per day

Excluding your professional hours, what’s your input to output ratio?

Until next time,

Josh Duffney
Currently Writing ✍️: Reclaim
Favorite thing of the week
🥰: The Little Prince