(Cross-post at MPU) What are your nuclear-option automations? 💥


I just posted in the Mac Power Users forum about a topic discussed on that podcast, but since it’s about automation, I think it’s also relevant here!

I don’t want to duplicate content, so check out that post for the full concept. I am wondering, though, if anyone else uses “destructive” automations to force yourself to engage in good habits (even when you don’t want to).


Quite simple, it’s a no from me.

In my working life, my job simply wouldn’t allow for that sort of thing. I need to maximise my productivity and deliver what needs to be done as quickly and reliably as I can, and to whatever timescales I’ve been assigned.

In my non-working life I try to be realistic with targets and quite honestly time is too precious. I don’t want to risk arbitrarily losing anything from some automation curtailing my efforts, and if I’m in a flow on something I’d rather reap the benefit of that mental state than have an automation kill it for me.

My automations are there to help me get more done in less time. Some days I’m simply more productive. Some days I might get some personal time back. Sometimes I just get a reduced cognitive load and can get a bit of mental R&R … though I’m not really good at that.

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Good points. Conditions matter.

It strikes me that there are (at least) two types of automations: independent ones established to influence the conditions of work (e.g., automatically setting the lights on when you enter a room; shutting down your apps so that you clue up for the day) and those that you initialize to speed up/routinize/simplify a task.

Environmental automations require conditions that the automations can use to infer appropriate behaviour. In your work life, this doesn’t seem feasible—the condition is that you are able to respond to whatever gets thrown at you, and the structure of your work must follow those demands. In my studies (I’m completing a PhD), the work follows the structure, so I might be able to make better use of those things.

The second kind, of course, are run on-demand and can be as flexible as needed.