Reverse Yak Shaving

We all know the classical yak shaving—it’s when you need to do something, but something else must be done first.

I would like to introduce you to the light side: that yak shaving can be the only way to get something done.

Let’s say you want to write more and need some time for that. So you decide to wake up earlier every day. I’m sure you tried this, waking up earlier sucks.

If we embrace yak shaving mindset, it’s obvious that to wake up earlier you can’t just set the alarm clock for 6am. You need to fall asleep earlier. I’m sure you tried this, but going to bed earlier sucks.

And so we go deeper. To fall asleep earlier we need to change our evening routine, limit the screen time, adjust light, etc. All that biology stuff. I’m sure you tried this, but not having Twitter and Netflix in the evening sucks.

You guessed it. The next step is to find entertainment for yourself that doesn’t involve OLED, LCD and other types of screens. I zeroed in on books, the physical kind.

Since I started reading, I have no problem falling asleep earlier, waking up earlier, having more time to write and, well, actually writing. The results are shit, but what can you do but try.


Yak shaving is amazing once you break from the dogma that it’s a useless spending of time. If something is hard to do, follow the yak shaving path and find a way to make it easy.

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