Atomic Workflows

Clear's insight with Atomic Habits also offers a solution to orchestrating collections of habits in workflows. Let's call this approach "atomic workflows".

The process looks something like this:

  1. Enumerate all the habits that compose a workflow.
  2. Identify the overarching purpose of that workflow.
  3. Reduce to the minimum set of habits that achieves that purpose.
  4. Reduce those habits to the minimum set of actions that accomplish each habit's subgoal.
  5. Progressively expand these habits. (I.e.: Atomic Habits).
  6. Introduce new habits iteratively until you've reached the full workflow.



If tasks are about "doing things", reviews are about "doing the right things." They're a basic element of any Time Management System.

One of the fundamental difficulties in life is the tension between our interests at different timescales. Sometimes these interests directly compete: short-term, I might love browsing Reddit, even if centenarian Jesse wishes he had never heard of it. Most of the time, it's a more innocent matter of miscommunication: it's just hard to translate long-term goals into short-term actions.

The best tool to remediate these conflicts is the review. It's a dedicated moment in which all your variously opposed time-scales can hash it out. For the most effective review structure, you should conduct specific reviews on every possible timescale: