This is part of a series where I publish a post every week in order to exercise my writing muscle. I welcome any feedback!

Anything worth doing takes time. More specifically, it requires two different kinds of time - immersive time and process time.

Immersive time is active and serial. You can only do one immersive task at a time - it requires your direct attention for the entire duration.

Process time is passive and parallel. Once a task is kicked off, it can take place in the background. It does so at its own pace - even with active involvement, it can’t be sped up much.

As an example, cooking involves both. Chopping is an immersive task - you can’t do anything else during. Boiling is a process task - once you turn on the stove, it boils on its own.

To plan well, you need to account for both kinds of time and sequence your actions intelligently. Process time is especially important to consider, given that it is often slow and out of your control. If not started on time, it can lead to bottlenecks. For example, running the dishwasher overnight vs having to wait for clean dishes in the morning.

Here’s my strategy: plant the seeds now that will result in future progress. In other words, kick off process tasks early and often. Do multiple, they are stackable! You can take on the immersive tasks while they process. This allows you to advance on several fronts in parallel and without added effort or waiting. Though the results take time to incubate, they do so on their own. Why not make that time work for you?