Pretty soon, The Overnight Test became the Over Lunch Test…Now of course we are all suffering from the same affliction. Our technology whizzes along at the velocity of a speeding electron, and our poor overtaxed neurons struggle to keep up. Everything has become a split-second decision. Find something you like. Share it. Have a half-baked thought. Tweet it. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate. Seize the moment. Keep up. There will be plenty of time to repent later. Oh, and just to cover your ass, don’t forget to stick a smiley on the end just in case you’ve overstepped the mark.
Sometimes to do a job well takes time, and that’s cool, but that time needs balance; I don’t care how much you love your work, if you neglect other things and you’ll likely burnout eventually. You can’t thrive without balance, it’s simply not sustainable.
But this idea that we are trading the offline for the online, though it dominates how we think of the digital and the physical, is myopic. It fails to capture the plain fact that our lived reality is the result of the constant interpenetration of the online and offline. That is, we live in an augmented reality that exists at the intersection of materiality and information, physicality and digitality, bodies and technology, atoms and bits, the off and the online. It is wrong to say “IRL” to mean offline: Facebook is real life.
Really great article about our connected lives. Via Daniel.
But for me, the cabin was as necessary as it was preposterous. Enormously far away, these wide-open lands, which share a lonely vigil in the deepest realms of the world’s emptiest hemisphere, had long ago infused me with their clean skies, eerily pure water, and deep forests.
Patrick Symmes – Building a Cabin.
To clarify, doing what you love doesn’t mean you love every single aspect of a profession. Every job has drudgery. When I say doing what you love, I mean you wake up in the morning looking forward to going to do whatever it is you do to provide for yourself [and your family]. And you feel that way 9 days out of 10.
Back to the cost then. It’s simply this: when you do what you love, it can often lead to being all that you do. It’s what you think about when you wake up, when you’re in the shower, in the moments of peace and quiet, and as you close your eyes at the end of the day.
As far as work is concerned, that’s not a bad thing. But you have to realize that other areas of your life will pay the cost. There may be hobbies like woodworking, gardening or cycling that interest you, but you never get around to picking up. There are the missed family events. Or, even worse, you’re present in body only, your mind on the ‘thing you love’.
Chris Bowler – Doing What You Don’t Love.
One of the fantastic things about working for Automattic is that I determine a lot of how I work. The schedule, location, and surroundings are all up to me. My co-workers are night owls, early risers, home office, and café types. Most importantly, we all work in the way that suits us.
Until October of this year I worked solely from my home office. In October Daniel and I started working mostly out of PIE, which is a great location. Over the course of 2011 my location changed but my overall schedule did not.
For a while now my schedule has looked something like this:
- Wake up around 7:00am
- Start working around 8:00am
- Work solidly through till about 4:00pm with the occasional break
The problem is that I have been growing less and less effective at working this way. My efficiency, focus, and happiness have been slipping. So, I’m going to change it up.
While I’ve been thinking of changing my schedule for a while a chat with a co-worker a couple days ago and two serendipitous articles convinced me to try it now. I’m going to see how I get on working in 90 minute increments with 30 minute gaps.
This fits with how I naturally work when I work weekends. Those days I frequently do more in 3 hours than I do in an entire workday during the week. Granted, part of that is because fewer people are around. Still, I think it’s worth considering.
My plan for those 30 minute gap times is to do one of the following: read fiction, cook delicious food, go for a run, write something longhand to post here later.
My goal is to get back to where I was in early October, a time when I was far more productive. Hopefully this schedule and those breaks keep me sane while increasing what I do. After all, it’s what you actually make that matters.
Many people try to do too much because they’re worried they might miss doing something that matters. They want to do everything possible, in case some of those things turn out to be important.
This is the buckshot approach. Buckshot spreads into many little pellets when it leaves the shotgun — most will miss the target, but that’s OK, because only some of the pellets need to hit. That’s fine for hunting, but for living, I’d recommend the rifle approach.
The rifle shoots a much more targeted bullet, with much more powerful impact. You aim at a specific target, and you don’t waste as much energy.
Leo Babauta – buckshot vs. rifle approaches.
If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers. Smart piece with some cool data about deliberate practice and how to make the most of the time you’re working. The goal is to work smarter, not harder.