The 5 Acts model
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The 5 Acts model

The 5 Acts book describes how the fundamental explanations that govern reality can lead us to the most suitable courses of action.

It's not another productivity book with a collection of tips and tricks purely based on empirical results. But it's also not a popular science piece that elegantly explains concepts with little concern for practical follow-up. Instead, the 5 Acts bridges these genres with a reality-tested framework for optimized action with its bearing in our best explanations.

Get notified when the beta version is ready by emailing me at book@edwindoit.com

Expected delivery to start in April

Current book progress:

Follow and comment along with drafts of the chapters:

The 5 Acts cycle of action explained:

Every action we take, both conscious and unconscious, can be represented as a 5-step cycle:

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  1. The first act sets the stage and describes what is real and what can influence reality. It’s about (particle) physics, the reality of abstractions, systems thinking, and the structure of knowledge (epistemology).
  2. The second act is understanding what drives the behavior of the living actors at play on the stage. The most significant factor is the human species and the process of memetic evolution that utilizes us.
  3. The third act is about the internal mechanism humans use to process information and select/decide what we act on. This includes making your intentions explicit in the form of a goal and a plan.
  4. The fourth act is executing your intentions (optimally) through the use of systems, resource management, and techniques for staying on track.
  5. The fifth act is learning from the experience you gained through executing your intentions. Also, it considers optimal strategies to convey information to others.

More about the book:

Focussed and fast actions

Many situations don't permit the required time and effort of the ideal process. This, of course, applies to the acts of execution and learning as well.

In these resource-constrained situations, we have to move fast. We do go through the same steps of the process but with less attention to detail. We quickly scan the situation and evaluate what step we should focus on and then what simple "rules” we can apply to make the most suitable decision. Rules can be expressed as dos (the right way) or don'ts (avoid the wrong way).

In the 5 Acts book, I include the fast-track framework as well as a default universal ruleset deduced from the explanations in the book. Here are some examples of the rules for the step of “Root problem identification.”

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Chapter build-up

The chapters in the 5 Acts are categorized as either explanation- or application-based, but not both. This ensures a clearer and more pure elaboration of a chapter, and it allows me to link explanations from one chapter to applications in another. Here's an example of the current structure:

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The 5 Acts Worksheets

Various application chapters of the 5 Acts book are available in worksheet form. These step-by-step guides and/or products are highly practical and make it simple to apply.

Worksheet📎 LinkApplication chapters covered
Life Goals OS: A guide and template for managing personal goals with Notion.
Goal-setting (Desired outcome specification)Plan creationConstructing and using systems to guide your execution
Beyond First Principle Thinking: A New Framework for Explanation & Systems-based Problem-solving
Root problem identificationSystem analysis of the problem contextSolution generationSolution selectionPlan creation
The KEE Productivity system
Constructing and using systems to guide your executionPlan creation

Further reading:

I've created guides, notion templates and guides to practically apply the 5 acts model. Check it out:

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