I recently came across an article written by Jared Spool called Good, Bads, and Dailies: Lessons for Conducting Great Critiques which covers the concepts of what makes reviews / critiques good or bad. One thing that stuck out to me in particular was his discussion around Pixar's use of a meeting called "Dailies" and the 25-75 rule that governed the dailies.
When some of you read the title, I'm hoping that it rang off the familiarity of the Pareto principle. For those who have never heard of it before, the 80/20 rule simply states that:
80% of the effects often come from 20% of the causes
So as far as a couple examples of how it might apply:
According to Jared's article, when people are presenting their work at the Dailies, there is a rule:
The presented work should be at least 25% done and no more than 75% completed.
In other words, it should always be a work in progress. And the reason for this is quite straightforward.
As I wrote in my Progress Over Perfection post, I have been trying my best to treat the blog like my sketchbook. In other words, it is a place of brainstorming and trying out new concepts without trying to spend time polishing the content. After all, based on my past experience, none of these posts would ever see the light of day 😅.
If I had to break down my ideal writing process into stages, it would look something like this:
So in other words, if I could make it through every step, that would be the 100% completion of a blog post. From my past experience, I rarely got to the end because I usually got stuck at Step #8. And though I'm not proud to admit it, over time I just got discouraged at Step #3 because I became conditioned to think I would never get past Step #8.
Based on my ideal workflow, I would say that a single blog post would take at minimum 4 hours to go from ideation to completion assuming there are no delays in the process. For anyone who has ever written content before, they are probably laughing because it usually takes much longer than that.
In an effort to try and minimize my self-doubt and perfectionist attitude that led me to never publish anything, I ended up modifying the writing process to look like this:
As you can see, this process is far more streamlined that my ideal workflow for two primary reasons:
If you think about it, without realizing it, I actually stumbled upon the 25/75 rule because my blog posts are usually about 60-70% complete when they are published. And as far as the time invested goes, they have been taking roughly 45 minutes each.
While I have to deal with the occasional face palm of seeing a typo or odd phrasing, using the 25/75 approach has been revolutionary for my productivity and output. In addition to the simple benefit of actually publishing content, I have found that:
Thanks for reading!
I haven't been able to do the research to verify the fact that Pixar used or continues to use this technique in their meetings, but at this time, I'm not terribly worried about it since I think the principle is valid regardless.