Logistics

The older I get, the more it seems like the world runs on mostly logistics. The interplay of information, timing, and operational orders. Things happen at certain times, in certain ways, and if that remains true, then things work out according to plan.

And, the older I get, the more I end up dealing almost exclusively in thinking through and planning with logistics.

Now, I’m a writer by nature, but, apparently, I have a head like a programmer, because this is sort of natural to me. I don’t find an issue with having to think through cause and effect across a long-time span.

Let me break this down, and maybe it will help you, the reader, also try operating within very logistics-oriented thinking. Simply, find something that remains true, observable, or controllable. It can even be behavioral. Something you can predict to a large degree.

Okay, now, accept you cannot change this rule, or figure what the rule is likely to change to, and hold that as a backup plan. These don’t have to be positive things.

And a note on this before I continue: while breaking a habit is a very positive thing in some cases, the one thing I learned when I studied game design is you design for the worst impulses. You plan around the way people mess up; you don’t try to train them not to do the thing. People are much more easily influenced then they are ordered.

So, taking these principles, you can force a situation to work out correctly. Ask yourself, “what could happen that would mess up the plan?” and kneecap that from being possible. Make it uncomfortable or difficult for the unwanted outcome to occur. For instance, people will often post writing goals online: this is because the social shame of failure does its job very well. This is why you don’t keep candy in the house of a person dieting. You’re asking for human error to enter into it, instead of mitigating it at every turn like you should.

And mitigating human error, especially your own, can allow for stable plans and situations to last a lot longer, and result in a way more effective level of production.

Self-control is a great skill to have, but you can always make it easier to enforce.

And that’s working with logistics.

Special thanks to: Melissa Potter

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