Goldilocks Rule of Progress

While reading James Clear’s Atomic Habit I came across this idea of the goldilocks rule. This heuristic refers to the idea of working on tasks that are not too hard or too easy. The difficulty level feels just right. These tasks fall within the “Goldilocks Zone”. You might not get it right the first time around. These tasks might be frustrating until you figure out a solution or your optimal way of doing them.

This seems like such a simple idea yet so powerful. I think it’s hard to implement because our goldilocks zone is constantly changing so we have to constantly reassess where it is and try to fall within it. Nevertheless, the benefits of doing this exercise seem to heavily outweigh the trouble.

Constantly working on problems that fall within your goldilocks zone means that you’re constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and that you’re working on A problems and not B problems.

The “Goldilocks Rule of Progress” is just a different approach to a very common problem – how do we know that we’re are working on what matters the most? In this case the “Goldilocks Rule” offers a good method to gauge that.