3.19 – D Equals R Times T

“We needed something to move and fill up the space
We needed something this always is just the case”

Space (I believe in) – Pixies, 1991


I had promised yesterday (if ‘promised’ is the right word… ‘threatened’ perhaps?) to spend five whole days on listing out the various piles of books in the Book Matrix I made two days ago. That would have been six whole days (SIX) on just, well, lists of books.

I like a list as next as the next man. But there are limits. Just because it was something I said I’d do as a reaction to a few people asking for it… It certainly acts as an able demonstration of just how fragile real productivity can be. It’s so, so easy to just fill up the space, as our friends the Pixies point out.

D = R x T.

Distance Equals Rate Times Time.

Distance, how far we get, is subject to the rate we go at, by the time we have.

My time is finite; the 31st of August represents when I must have a summary/idea/thing by. A self-imposed rule, but a rule nonetheless. How far I get, the distance, will be dictated by how quickly I’m going. I’m not going to get the far if I don’t up the work rate. I don’t have time to waste five posts on book lists…

So, here’s the deal. I’m not doing the five separate list posts. But I have listed and linked all the books here, on a separate static page.

Instead, we’re going to get into the SPACE layers that have started to fall into place, evolved over the last few days of dancing in between the books.

As I stood there, it occurred that the basic structure underpinning the matrix is three simple questions to ask yourself as you work on things.

The first question is What Is My Work Here?

As you observe what’s in front of you, listen carefully to others, feeling around with your eyes and your ears. Identify the task, the problem to be solved, the better question to ask. Understanding the brief, the scope of work, the request. I’m thinking out loud here, but I think we can consider this to be Distance; how far from here (not done) to there (done).

The second question refers to the first one; What Do I Mean By ‘My Work’..?

It’s thinking about Work as a Verb again. What are the sorts of things it might take to solve the problem. Use the PEOPLE layers to think about the fast and the slow stuff. Is it a few rapid actions? Playing with the financial model? Talking to customers? Making platforms for others to achieve things? And funnily enough, we always struggle to separate work as a verb from the Time it will take to do.

The third question also refers to the first one; What Do I Mean By ‘Here’..?

This, of course, is Work as a Noun. The space in which the work exists. The office you do it in. The team you sit with. The distractions you have. The comfort of the surroundings. the devices you have to do it on. The global distribution of your offices. I realised yesterday that while of course it’s about the physical space, it’s about the digital space too. The software and servers. The communication tools between. They’re all spaces too. All of these things have the potential to create drag on our work. Space becomes remarkably important when it comes to getting the work done. It fundamentally affects our Rate.

D = R x T

Distance (how far we’ll get)
= Rate (how quickly we can work in a given space)
x Time (how many hours and days we have)

Tomorrow I’ll get into the descriptions of the SPACE layers, but I think the simple expression of D = R x T might offer a nice, quick introduction to The Relativity Matrix. We’ll see, I guess.





4 responses to “3.19 – D Equals R Times T”

  1. […] things that affect us all in different ways, and can increase or decrease drag on our work rate. I talked about rate yesterday, you’ll […]

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  3. […] start by looking at the task at hand; “What is our work here?”. On the edges of the task as it presents itself, though, there are peripheral questions […]