structure / serious focus

I am trying to change up some more or less core components of my structured day. Right now, I basically have no structure to my day. This feels lucky in ways. I am grateful for this. But I feel like I could be a lot more productive. And I have been saying that for a while. So I am going to instead do something about it. I have been thinking about the tension between abundance and scarcity. I have been complaining about having too much abundance. Too little structure. Too much space. I used to do the opposite. I used to wish I had more diversity in my days. Less meetings, etc. Now, I have basically no meetings. And when I have no meetings, one of my instinct feels to go out and set up meetings. So it’s my hammer. A thing I am comfortable doing. A thing that sometimes feels like progress but I know in my heart it’s not. I know it’s motion.

I mean you can lean into things you are good at. But it does not default make them productive or useful. Just because you are good does not mean you should do them. Besides, it’s not what I crave. In my heart. I crave actually sitting down and producing great things. Not just selling them. Producing them. I want to be that person. The thinker. Maybe lowercase still. So not the Thinker, who is capable of sitting for weeks and producing an artifact. But me, the thinker, just someone capable of sitting down for 4 hours a day and getting reasonable things done.

Right now, I have struggled to get the motor started.

Do not get me wrong, I am still doing things. Just not what I would call real work. I am like connecting people and sending emails and doing surface level thought. Not that it does not achieve things or make any money etc. It does. And like I could keep doing it in theory for quite a long while. Like forever, really.

But it’s not going to lead to achieve the outsized things I want to. And I know that. Even though there is like no sign of this approach failing per se, I know it’s not delivering enough meaning or structure for me.

And so, and so I am making changes. Enough complaining.

Similar to my fitness. I used to be like oh wait, wait until I have a better structure and then things will start to come together. Well I made the changes. And now my fitness is on lock. It started with changing structure, though. I live close to a gym now. I got a membership (2 actually so I never have an excuse). I got more serious about running – got better shoes, gloves, etc. And now I am locked in health wise. I live alone and keep my kitchen clean so I can always cook what I need to cook. Again, I am locked in. And there’s no excuse. There’s no way I don’t keep getting healthier and stronger. I am locked in.

I am going to translate this same ethic to being productive at work.

It’s really a simple approach. Make a list of things to do, and then do them.

The problem is that sometimes I – like many perhaps – avoid the hard things. I save them for a later time when I am in flow. When I’m not in flow, I just do the easy things.

But I am avoiding flow. I am not getting into it when I am sitting in sweatpants at home or even with my headphones locked in.

So, I am going to start working at libraries and in public spaces. Most days, I think. For at least a few hours every day during the week. I am committing to this.

I have become too complacent working from home. And that’s fine. I am not mad at myself. I forgive. But it’s time to make changes.

So I am going to go lock in in other places. At least for now, as one approach to getting more done.

I am going to increase how long I can focus for. I need to or want to build that up. So again I have no excuse and I can keep my stamina up. My energy stamina.


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