hide

Read Next

The First Distraction

On Tynan

Right now I'm waiting to start a video interview. I called in early, but my friend who is doing the interview wasn't ready, so I've got five or ten minutes to kill before we get started. My first inclination was to catch up on email. I only had a couple to write, so I finished them quickly. Still some time to kill. I took a look at a SETT bug that's high priority, but the solution wasn't the obvious one that I thought it might be. I'll have to take a deeper look when I have more time. Still have a few minutes before we start. May as well write a blog post.

I think that there are two basic modes that a productive person's mind can be in. There's that mode where you're going to get your work done, but you'll fight yourself every step of the way. When you're in that mode, your reticular activation system, the part of your brain that is constantly scanning, looks for non-work things to do. Ooh, five minutes before the call-- why don't you browse Facebook? I call this the distraction-first mode.

I've been in distraction-first mode plenty of times, probably spent most of my life there, but today I'm not, so when I have a few minutes of downtime, my default is to find something productive to do. Email, SETT, blog post. Productivity-first mode. It's not that I force myself to fill these minutes with something productive, it's that it's what I actually want to do. That's the magic of it.

Being in productivity-first mode is beautiful. It's like living your life in a flow state, executing task after task without the mental toll of having to cheerlead yourself into doing. Emails finished, open up my code editor with no hesistation and start poring through the source code. Determine that it needs more time than I have, and before I can even think, I'm two sentences into this blog post.

Early On a Sunday Morning

On Where Pianos Roam

 

It's a chilly Nashville morning as I write this even as soft sunlight pours through my window.  As I've mentioned in several of my recent posts, I've been doing a whole bit of de-cluttering in my life.  This has mostly applied to various physical spaces like my closet, bedroom, car, and so forth; however, I've also been trying to do so in the way I carry out my day.

For most of my life, I've been the kind of person who has had a gargantuan to-do list.  It would be an endless stream of tasks connected to multiple facets of my existence.  After one item would be completed, another one would roll right on in.  I've been thinking about this a lot over the past few weeks, and I've decided that, in spite of the productiveness, it is still not all that gratifying.  

It feels no different than doing the same thing over and over again.  The actual tasks might all be different from each other, but the intention is all the same--just to get something done.  For me, this has become monotonous especially because, in my own life, there is no end to all of the things I could be doing.  

So, I've decided that from now one, excluding (and occasionally including) time-sensitive tasks or ones that affect other people, I am only going to focus on getting two or three important things done each day.  I've actually been doing this now over the last two weeks, and I really love it. 

Rendering New Theme...