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My 2009 In Review

I've given up on doing my yearly or bi-yearly goals. Why? I don't actually do them, and I don't actually care. I like having a somewhat chaotic life, changing my priorities and focus as I go along. Most of the time when I look back at my previous incomplete goals I'm glad I didn't complete them, or at least I'm glad I sacrificed them for other goals. When I do actually complete a yearly goal, it tends to be because it remained important to me, not because I was constantly referring back to my goal list.

This year I'm going to try something a little bit different. I'm going to cover what I did this year and what I could have done better.

Here's what I did that I'm happy about:

Is the problem that dislikable work feels more productive?

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Patrick McKenzie writes in "The Hardest Adjustment to Self Employment"

I wanted to have AR in beta six weeks ago. Between consulting, vacation, and BCC, I haven’t made almost any forward progress on engineering.

I know that to be true for AR because code isn’t getting written, but I always think it to be true for BCC. It turns out that I am smoking something: I ran a shell script to compare my productivity (commits, A/B tests, etc) prior and post quitting. I thought it would show me spinning my wheels. Turns out I am getting more done than ever. ... Sales are up, too. Why doesn’t it feel this way?

I've been thinking about this since I read it this morning. Could it be that work you dislike and are being mandated to do feels more productive? I did about six hours of great work today, but most of it was talking to people I enjoy talking to and learn a lot from and playing around in Google analytics. I felt like I got nothing done until I looked at my list at the end of the day - tons of good stuff checked off.

One of the greatest things about working for yourself is that you can focus on what you want to do, and often that's work-that-feels-like-play-but-also-pays-you. Isn't that magnificent? Work that doesn't feel like working that's highly productive? Just, it's easy not to feel productive afterwards, since it felt like playing all day... what do you think?

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