How I Dealt with my Paralyzingly Long To-do List

Buddha and Focus

Buddhist philosophies hold mindful focus as the centrepiece of a peaceful mind.

  1. Impure intentions disappear & bliss is achieved
  2. Activities of the mind come to an end and only bliss remains
  3. Bliss itself begins to disappear
  4. All sensations, including bliss, disappear, and only complete peace of mind remains.

Reframing focus

I re-oriented my life and reframed my work to be a tool to sharpen my focus.

My goals don’t matter…

That came out wrong.

My goals don’t matter for the reasons I used to think they matter.

Armed with this Buddhist philosophy, I returned to work. Intending to improve my focus, I realized that the following questions derail my productivity every time I ask them:

Is there a way for us all to have a coach to help us achieve our wildest dreams?

This question is the inspiration for Depth.

What is Depth?

Depth is an app that connects with your to-do list (e.g. Todoist, TickTick, Things) and only shows you one task at a time, prioritized by importance and urgency. Depth single goal is to keep you in flow for as long as possible. You never need to think about what to do next.

Depth is your coach. You’re the high-performance athlete.

When you open Depth, it asks you a series of important questions about how you’re feeling.

  • Physical
  • Creative
  • Analytical
  • Planning
  • Problem-solving
  • Reactionary (Emails, etc.)
  • Admin
  • What type of task is this?
  • What’s the smallest increment of this task?
  • How difficult is this task (Fibonacci number rating system)
  • How long might the smallest increment of this task take?
  • Is this task worth your time and aligned with your long-term goals?

Depth is for craftspeople who want to work towards mastery of their discipline through focus.

… But it doesn’t exist (YET). If Depth sounds interesting to you, reach out to me personally with your thoughts (and resume — if you want to work on building it) at If we find enough interest, we’ll assemble a team to make Depth a reality.



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Abhinav Boyed

Abhinav Boyed

21. I like building things. Currently working on Previously engineering @shopify