Chunking Helps

Chunking, or taking a piece of the whole, focusing on it can help us get more done. Initially, chunking was developed to help with memory (see this post on how it helps some studying ). Chunking this the process of grouping related bits of information together, which reduces the number of “things” to manage. Let me explain it also helps us get more done.

We all want more time to do what we desire. Being a time multiplier, such that we get things done today that also makes tomorrow more efficient, helps (see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…). Language has enabled us to save time by being more efficient. Language allows us to express our thoughts and share ideas succinctly.

The Value of Measurements

The 2023 book Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement from Cubits to Quantum Constants by Vincent James has helped me understand that measurements are a language. The language of measurement allows us to cooperate, collaborate and get more done. Katie Hafner remarks in the Washington Post Review of this book:

…Sometimes a book happens along whose central question is at once so profound yet so utterly simple it takes your breath away. Such is the case with James Vincent’s deeply engrossing “Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement From Cubits to Quantum Constants…”

Review by Katie Hafner, Washington Post, November 30, 2022

While measurements help us organize life, chunking makes life even more manageable. In essence, it is taking part of the whole and focusing on that part. One could think of how a calendar chunks time measurement to make it more manageable Calendars are a human creation to derive structure from the natural world.

Checklists Chunks

Another example of chunking is making a list. As I learned in Atul Gawande’s “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” (see my review on good reads here or below), although creating a list (checklist) takes time to set up initially, it saves time and improves our ability to get things done.

MY REVIEW of “Checklist Manifesto”: This was a good book. It was a reminder that having a checklist is good for making the basics more effortless. Using a checklist frees our minds to do so much more. Despite their documented significant benefits to pilots, surgeons, financial investors, and all involved, he highlighted much hesitancy in professional areas to use checklists. Gawande was also able to integrate how to use checklists while also using successful leadership and management strategies. It is a good read and a great reminder of how simple checklists can help us function better as we avoid easy mistakes from inattention, absent-mindedness, or overconfidence.

Craig Becker’s review of Gawande’s “Checklist Manifesto” on GoodReads

Measurement Concerns

While highlighting the benefits of measures, we must remember economist Charles Goodhart’s Law, as paraphrased by Marily Straythern, “When a measure becomes a target, it fails to be a good measure.” In other words, measures are only guides and assistants. Also, although I am encouraging chunking, it is vital to remember how each chunk contributes to the whole. As a reminder, Russ Ackoff explains in this powerful 10-minute presentation below how we must focus on the whole, not just the parts, to make things better.

Helpful Measurement Chunks with Caveats

Although measures are not perfect, they can help. As I learned, the language of measurement helps us become time multipliers while enabling us to communicate, collaborate and work better. In other words, using measurements can help us generate comprehensive improvements. Measures help because they help us understand how to create net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Please share how your use of measurements helps you practice paneugenesis or create all good.


Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!


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