I’m in the middle of my second experimental Themed Work Week, and I think I’ve discovered what I needed to know. It really comes down to addressing the difficulty in starting and its broader context. An article from The New Yorker kicks off the thread of reasoning. >>> Continue reading
[Note: This was originally intended to post on Monday, but I goofed up the publishing date]
This is the second of two
morning posts about setting the tone for Themed Work Week #2. The idea behind a “themed work week” is to focus on just one major project (which has many moving parts) at a time, rather than try to juggle the projects on a day-by-day basis. My hypothesis is that I’ll find it easier to handle the load while being more productive.
This is 1 of 2 posts for the morning, starting with a quick review of the weekend. The next post will be about setting the tone for Week #2 of the “Themed Work Week” experiment.
I spent nearly the entire weekend, from 10PM on Friday evening to 1AM on Sunday night, socializing online in WildStar, the massively-multiplayer online role planning game (MMORPG) that I’ve been playing for the past six weeks. As I’d mentioned before, I’ve been not actually playing the game, but participating in its virtual role playing community learning the ropes of improvisational group storytelling. I mostly stayed-in, leaving the house only to buy groceries. I got a few chores done: vacuuming the living room, paying some bills, giving myself a haircut for the first time, and doing laundry. The rest of the time I was immersed in new social experiences online.
Rather than go through all the details, here’s a few of the highlights.
It’s 9PM on Friday evening, officially the end of my first themed work week, which is an experiment to explore this question:
If I focused on one main project for the week INSTEAD of for the day, would I be any more productive, or would I just be giving myself a lot of room to goof off?
If I have a singular focus for the week, will that make it easier for me to tackle the harder work?
The theory behind “tackling the harder work” is that even an entire day does not seem like enough time for me to switch from one project to another, and get something done. Other people may be able to do it, but I suspect that I can not because of the nature of the most difficult aspects of my work and my own cognitive limitations. I say that not as something to feel BAD about, mind you! It’s just the way the situation might be, so let me deal with it like any other strategic challenge. >>> Continue reading
You know those moments of wondrous clarity, when you see “The Grand Dream” so clearly before you? It beckons enticingly, and you know in your heart that it will be wonderful. It just will take some dedication and work to get there. You even know that the effort required can be applied in small steps, diligently-but-simply applied, because you’re an experienced creative. You put your foot down on the path, filled with anticipation and excitement…
Yep, I’ve been there too. I’m there right now! I’m working on a few remaining chunks of my new website, which I was hoping to launch this week. These chunks are pretty easy to comprehend, part of my Grand Dream of a better website. However, they’re also chunks that are as maddeningly subtle they are tediously detail-oriented. They are very clearly visible in my Grand Dream, but they are also worlds unto themselves. I’m here to issue a friendly reminder about Dreams and Appropriate Expectations. >>> Continue reading
It’s the last morning of my first themed work week experiment. For those just tuning it, the idea is this: In the past I tried to have theme DAYS, which had a major client or project assigned as the main focus. I suspect that given the kinds of projects I do, a day isn’t nearly long enough! It takes me a lot of time to get into the mindset, hold it, and then produce something great. This is the first of three entries for Friday, the last day of my first experimental week-long push. >>> Continue reading
I start today’s writing while I’m waiting at the garage for my 14 year-old car’s 160K service, deciding to stay in their lounge because if I took the shuttle home, I would have immediately fallen asleep. I’m working on about 3 hours of sleep, and I want to stay awake as long as possible.
The week so far has been somewhat productive for the blog theme week, but a good chunk of it had been disrupted by all the RPing I’ve been doing in WildStar over the past day and a half. I’ve decided not to play the game during the week, so I can do the deep dive into some kind of project work today. By “deep dive”, I mean work that I find challenging, requiring great concentration and perseverance. In the context of Blog Theme Week, that would be getting my new website ready for launch. Ugh, I don’t even want to think about it, but it would a HUGE win if I could get to a place this week where I can do a soft launch. I think it would “unblock” some of the resistances I’m facing with regards to creating a funner, more accessible davidseah.com.
So here’s what I’m thinking:
For the remaining week, today and Friday, I’m going to work on making some kind of major advance in launching the new website by any means necessary. It’s been such a huge mental block. Just gotta SHOVE IT OUT THERE and see what happens. If I launch it, that would give me an enormous sense of accomplishment.
I’d also like to start producing shorter, lighter, and fluffier content that is not as heavy as what I’ve been doing for the past several years. When I got started blogging in 2005, I wrote about more fun things I was doing, and it was more like having a conversation with me. I think my more recent work has been more like reading the notes from a seminar than a conversation.
As for how the week is going?
I’m feeling pretty relaxed and productive. I am actually pretty happy about the long weird piece on the lessons learned from RPing in WildStar, though it is freakin’ long.
I’m actually looking forward to next week, which is all about a client project, and focusing just on it. The client is excited about the experiment too. We’re going to see just how much gets done.
There’s an interesting tension I’m feeling between maintaining the singular project focus, dealing with the distraction of meetings, and the need to produce tangible results that move me forward in a measurable way. Of these three elements, it’s the last one that actually counts. MAKE STUFF. That’s what moves me forward. Gotta remember that.
I could go on, but BOOM! I’m done writing!