I’m an independent researcher. I don’t have a boss and basically receive one big grant every year based on my output and future research ideas. I’ve been tracking how many deep work hours I put into my work. This is a great proxy for productivity, but I don’t think it’s optimal. For example, I can 10 hours of deep work on the wrong objective can be magnitudes worse than the right objective. On top of that, I could be tracking my time and making progress, but not being hyper-efficient about how I’m executing on the right objective.
I’d like to have something that provides me with extra pressure to 1) pick the correct objective rather than the one that maybe feels best 2) force me to be more efficient with my time (for example, a deadline that I’m way more likely to meet if I’m efficient with my time). I’d like to get papers, experiments, etc done a lot faster. I feel like I will not be hyper-efficient if I’m only tracking deep work time.
Basically, I want to figure out how to force myself to produce more output beyond a proxy deep work hours monitoring and paper deadlines.
I’m a little nervous about attaching monetary consequences to this in some way, but then again, the consequence is potentially a necessary component and artificial deadlines don’t seem at all optimal in general.
So, I’m curious if anyone here has anything they’ve tried to make this work.