The Theoretical Minimum

Updated: December 10, 2021 Reading Time: 2 minutes stage: complete

In a recent Compound Writing call , author Gemma Milne talked about the Theoretical Minimum , a concept popularized by physics professor Leonard Susskind.

The idea of the Theoretical Minimum is to find the smallest set of knowledge needed to teach Physics.

If we replace knowledge and Physics with anything else, we get ourselves a powerful strategy.

Gemma uses it in her writing to give readers the smallest set of information needed to understand and interact with a topic.

This strategy is so powerful that it exists in other fields with different names.

I've known about the Minimum Effective Dose and have used it daily since Tim Ferriss used it in his book "The 4-Hour Body".

In this case, we're looking for the minimum amount of activity that gives us the most benefit.

We don't need to be gym rats to grow muscle. Doing something like Kettlebell swings a couple of times a week goes a long way.

Once I understood these principles—and that they're all the same—I realized that doing extra work is wasteful.

This is particularly true when building new habits.

As I've experienced for the past 16 days, it only takes 250 words to write something meaningful (like this piece) every morning.

Less and I might lose interest. More and I may struggle to hit the mark.

250 words feel right to keep me going until the point I can start pushing the limits.