Thoughts on Being More Engaged

Thoughts on Being More Engaged

An interim status update:


I tried to stay up to watch the final shuttle landing, but fell asleep and woke up late. BUT, I executed on at least a few of the habits I think are successful for a good self-starting day:

  • Turned off brain, focused on motion to the shower
  • Cooked breakfast (or rather, lunch)
  • Didn’t look at the computer before starting bill sorting task

On the other hand, while eating I did check my mail and fell down a Star Trek Online rabbithole:

Starfleet Academy They have just added a new location, Starfleet Academy, and I had to go check it out. It’s nice to see the developers add content piece-by-piece.


Thursday I went to sleep late again. What is keeping me up so late? I think it is a mixture of wanting to see something happen; if it’s not my own work I’m doing, then it’s investigating questions I have about making things. I’ve been spending a lot of time looking up structural pipe components, offroad excursion vehicles, house building and plans, semi-automatic rifle accessory manufacturing, and e-commerce solutions. I’ve also been reading about interesting people who have done interesting things; a lot of this is being logged on my pinterest boards. I think I can label all this activity as excitement-seeking behavior. Apparently, some part of me strongly believes that I need a minimum level of excitement in the form of new ideas / possibilities for me to think it was a good day. The problem, perhaps, is that it is much easier to consume other people’s excitement than it is to generate my own, particularly when this excitement is so readily-available in professionally-packaged for via the Internet. That’s conditioned consumer laziness at work!

Since I want to be more productive, the first thought I have is, “how can I make my own work be more exciting?”

  • A lot of what I’ve been working on, in terms of productivity thinking, has been around making feedback more visible through the PCEO forms. However, this requires a measure of discipline, and it also requires external validation; if I make something and release it, I need to see some kind of response for me to derive a sense of satisfaction from it.
  • The external validation could come from a team of people that I’m working with, but currently I do not have this team. I do have friends that encourage me, but there is a tendency for us to drift back into our own worlds. Maintaining virtual community is tough without an anchoring point.

  • I could try to retrain my mind into thinking that my own work is of course more exciting, but then I would have to balance that impulse with client work. They are BOTH important. I have been somewhat successful at this.

  • I could accept that the amount of work that I actually do is, for all intents and purposes, what it is. In other words: let go of this feeling of “I’m not doing enough”, and accept all the “non-productive” time as overhead implicit in the way that I am. Almost nothing in the world is 100% efficient. A really great internal combustion engine is nowhere near 100% efficient in converting fuel to energy.


p>None of these thoughts are very satisfying.