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Arts Productivity & Work Psychology Writing

There is a time for everything

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gif by John Corsi

The time you spend away from your task still qualifies as work. That includes doing the dishes, running errands, and taking care of the kids—whatever responsibilities you think to impede your central occupation contribute to its success.

British novelist Jon McGregor gives a good example of how he manages his writing despite making time for everything from Tweeting to taking care of his children.

“I rarely manage a whole unbroken day at the desk. And it can be frustrating, sometimes. Once or twice a year I manage to get away somewhere and live like a hermit for a week, eating and sleeping next to a desk and talking to no one and getting a lot of work done. Imagine if I could work like that all the time, I think, then. Think how productive I’d be! But if my life was always like that, I suspect I’d have very little to write about.”

Locking yourself away in isolation is a forlorn attempt to escape all that matters. Patterns can backfire, especially when it comes to creativity which thrives on observation and sudden randomness.

There is a time for everything

While productivity can be messy, time away from work is not squandered time. Instead, it is spent accumulating experiences and visualizing how the ideas you’re chewing on will all come to focus when you sit down in and commit to the day ahead.

The discipline of work is just as necessary as the chaotic daily tasks of life. In fact, the best things in life often disrupt it, forcing you to rethink priorities and see how it all connects.

Contrary to popular opinion, busyness is not a badge of honor. Life seeds all the ideas.

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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Psychology

Wants and needs

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We always want things we don’t have and disregard those same things when we do have them. This is the paradox of desire, which also manifests itself with items we think we need. 

We don’t need anything other than food, water, and some proper rest. Yet we often take these physiological needs for granted. If there were ever a food storage, god forbid we should hoard all the bread and water! Needs are a means of survival. 

Everything else (art, technology, cars, love) are symptoms of social belonging. What makes them feel necessary are mimetic desires and the will to communicate, also essential to survival. If one doesn’t have a smartphone with email, do they even exist? 

The non-essential becomes pervasive through social utility. Being jealous of what other people do or have compels us to conform. Feeling needed, heard, and important is vital to mankind. 

No one is neutral. Most of our choices arise from the productive promise of hope — that is, only after we get something to eat and drink. And maybe a little bit of Wifi too.

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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

The pursuit of clearer signals

gif by Romain Laurent

Why not head toward our ideal self?

At the end of the day, how close we get to who we want to become is the prism with which we’ll grade our lives.

Yet, the schism persists. What we believe is often at loggerheads with what we do.

Chasing our ideals is tough business.

As we travel down the road that life makes, it’s important to ensure that we establish conscious and intelligent manipulation to guide our life.

It’s the disobedience to an ideal mindset that generates all the frustration.

The cleaner the signal, the greater the sense of aliveness and control.

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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

The flaws of forecasting

gif by Sasha Zutto

Predictability is a loose formula that describes how things usually go. What works today won’t necessarily work tomorrow.

But what may increase our chances of success is a little confidence.

“Be confident, not certain.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Confidence breeds success; overconfidence begets failure.

When we work hard, we instill a practicable faith in ourselves. But we also understand that diligence does not guarantee that we’ll get what we want.

Effort merely gives us a chance to retain our snag of the pellet.

The ways of achieving success are perpetually changing, with the urge to nail down a replicable formula, futile. Success means never settling for what worked in the past.

One can’t smell the wind of their success unless they’re willing to buy more lottery tickets in the work we choose to believe.

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Productivity & Work Psychology

A single holistic view

gif by Mattis Dovier

There’s a private voice and a public voice, things we say internally and keep caged out loud.

The former helps instill the external self, the latter influences our inner narrative.

Somewhere between the middle of our diary and how we act among people represents who we really are.

But there’s a third self that exists on the web.

We live an edited real life in the social media age through our avatars. Yet a curated identity can be an addictive substance, especially when the behavior is oblivious to our staring.

Life, like the weather, is something we can only try to control. At some point we’re forced to ride the wave chance has given us. Adaptability is key, per say.

We should develop our own time recorder, know it and understand it. Because the loveliest people are already at peace with themselves.

Categories
Books Productivity & Work

Henry Miller on why we create

“I reached out for something to attach myself to—and I found nothing. But in reaching out, in the effort to grasp, to attach myself, left high and dry as I was, I nevertheless found something I had not looked for—myself. I found that what I had desired all my life was not to live—if what others are doing is called living—but to express myself. I realized that I had never had the least interest in living, but only in this which I am doing now, something which is parallel to life, of it at the same time, and beyond it. What is true interests me scarcely at all, nor even what is real; only that interests me which I imagine to be, that which I had stifled every day in order to live.”

Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn