Friction can help get things done – here’s why

Andrew Speer shares his top productivity tip of the week

There needs to be friction otherwise the barrier to entry is too low.

Shane (from the Farnham Street Blog) talked about friction on a recent episode of their recent Knowledge Project podcast.

They actually removed their email from the website. What they found is that when an email address is available, visitors would just spew information at them with no filter. This then put the impetus on the receiver (them) to spend time, what they are saying, and decide whether it is worth doing anything about it.

This was getting in the way of great work.

They came up with what (in my mind) is an ingenious solution.

They still love for their readers to send in their thoughts, but instead of they insist on a letter. You don’t have to write the letter, you just need to print off what you wrote, put it in an envelope, and send it to the office.


If you care enough to print it off, spend money on the postage, and take it to the post office, then it is received with open arms.

It means something. Effort by the sender results in effort by the receiver.

Very clever.

Where can you create friction in your day-to-day work to keep you focussed and keep distractions out?

Making things easy is not always the way to go. Sometimes great ideas need to be struggled over before they make it out into the world.

Add friction.