While I’ve known about the concept of Eigenzeit for a couple of years, which Oliver Burkeman likens to, “the insight that meaningful productivity often comes not from hurrying things up but from letting them take the time they take,” working full-time at Figma has created an opportunity for me to actually practice it. 

I’ve often heard from multiple sources that it takes 6–12 months to actually know what you’re doing at a company. That has rung very true here. 

This is not an easy job. Conversely, there is no magic insight that makes me good at it; it was constant practice, building a thin layer of understanding each day, and coworkers tacitly understanding and being patient while I bumped around, asked stupid questions, and occasionally thrashed away at tasks. Having good friends, who have gone through a similar experience and I could ask more honest questions around, was also critical to the process.

These types of circumstances aren’t what I found myself in as an entrepreneur, where impatience is not only a virtue but a key survival theme. 6 months could make the difference between staying in business and going out of it.

If someone asked me some version of the question, “What is the most important thing you would do to succeed?” I’d probably point them in the direction of this blog post. There is no important answer that anyone can give you that you don’t probably already know; you just need to put yourself in a position to take risks. Don’t put your back against the wall.

Put yourself, your work, your lifestyle, in a position so that you can be patient and let things take the time they need. Keep a margin of safety when you can. This position enables you to comfortably make bets, both big and small, that can change your life.

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