(last updated on August 6, 2014)
I’m still on a producing versus consuming mindfulness blitz this month, but I haven’t been good about keeping track of what’s been happening over the past 10 days. I’ve been really busy, as I had hired a friend to clean my house over several days and it’s become the major background activity in my life. In the process, I’ve learned that ANY movement begets forward motion in all other areas, if one has the right attitude.
What Got Done
Here’s a general recap of how the past 10 days have gone, using three-ish metrics: producing, consuming, and gathering/social:
FRI DAY 4 (CONT’D): Assist in launching client website (produce).
SAT DAY 5: A Trip to Bingham Lumber (gather) and Parker’s Maple Barn (consuming), followed by cooking chicken in my charcoal oven (produce, then consume)
SUN DAY 6: Create list of non-profit organization (NPO) email accounts, review NPO payment acceptance for their SquareSpace-hosted website.
MON DAY 7: Postponed Skype Call with BR (social). Record podcast with SC (produce), post-podcast lunch (consume). Brainstorm collaborative media project (gather).
TUE DAY 8: House Clean Part II Begin (gather). NPO e-commerce work (produce). Drop junk off at Good Will (gather/declutter). DataViz Meetup (gather).
WED DAY 9: House Clean Part II: Vacuum and Mop Basement (gather). InqSim Code Refactoring (produce). Play WildStar (consume).
THU DAY 10: Personal Mission Statement with JM (produce). Skype call with JM (social/gather/produce). House Clean Part II: Guest Bedroom (gather). Weekly work session with SC/SC (produce), launch website (produce). Media Project logo design begin (produce).
FRI DAY 11: Withdraw money for cleaning service (gather). Drop off dry cleaning (gather). Catch Up with TS (social/gather/produce). Search for water bottle (gather/social). RibFest Tasting (gather/consume). Play WildStar (consume).
SAT DAY 12: House Clean Part II: Basement second sector (gather). Search for cards (gather/social). Cook hamburgers, mushroom (produce/consume).
SUN DAY 13: House Clean Part II: Upstairs Bathroom (gather). Cook hamburgers (produce consume). Blog post (produce).
I’m not sure that I got the right tasks on exactly the right days, but that’s the gist of what happened. Let me now categorize them by producing, gathering, and consuming:
- The “producing” tasks, which are the ones I am trying to track, tended to fall into the “client work” category. I had one good day of work on InqSim, a half-day total to launch two websites, and another day spent doing final work for an event registration form that accepted credit cards. This week was unusual in that three projects actually closed, though two of them were non-paid work that I think of as a kind of “social tithe” levied by the community that I choose to support. Still, stuff closed feels good. Yeah!
There were two main gathering projects, which I define as “work that doesn’t produce something directly, but supports future efforts to do so or advance my understanding”. The first was house cleaning, directed by my friend Angela, whom I’d hired to manage the mega cleaning and restructuring of the kitchen, living room, and guest bedroom. I handled a few tasks, but much of the reorg was done by Angela as I worked on other things, with occasional clarification from me on where things went or what they were for. Secondly, there were several scheduled social interactions with long-term collaborators, which were highly fruitful and granted me some additional energy. Between house cleaning and these social interactions, I had very full days that started early and ended late.
Finally, the “consuming” tasks (where I’m neither gathering or making anything) were liberally sprinkled through the week. I had my share of surfing Facebook and saving bookmarks, as usual, and I also spent maybe 7-10 hours playing the online game WildStar. There were several shopping trips for the house, combined with personal hunts for water bottles, pancakes, fancy lumber, and the like. I used the charcoal oven quite a bit as well. The most epic event was attending a BBQ rib taste on Friday at the annual “Rock’n RibFest” here in New Hampshire; this was my first (and last) time attending. I had hoped to learn something about BBQ, but it turned out to be something of a sham event.
p>Since I didn’t track the time for all these events strictly, I only have a qualitative sense of whether it was a good week. Here’s my off-the-cuff assessment:
- I did not get as much client work done as I wanted, so this is a DRAG.
- Instead, a lot of house cleaning and reorganization occurred, which vastly improved the energy of the house. That is a NET BOOST.
- Several good social interactions set the tone for the future as well as helping me understand the present. That is also a NET BOOST.
- Several new interactions: DataViz Meetup, RibFest Tasting, Cleaning Concepts. That is a NET BOOST.
- Several projects closed. NET BOOST in my attitude, because those are two things I don’t have to think about anymore.
- I didn’t work on my own personal work: website engineering, etc. That is something of a DRAG, but only when I think about it does it bring me some grouchiness.
- I did not produce new versions of the tracking form from earlier, so that is kind of a bummer.
It’s interesting too how educational the cleaning process has been. Since Angela is the one leading the charge, I’m able to observe how her energy transforms the space over time. Seeing change occur is kind of magical, and it gives me faith in the ability to change one’s environment by letting go of control. As a result, I’m finding it a little easier to start things up myself, even non-cleaning tasks, because of all the change going on in the background. I’m hoping this attitude carries over into this week. With the house empty, the energy may be different.
Another contributor to my feeling of good cheer is that I can see the Living Room Cafe starting to come together. The LRC is a major development in my future community-building plans, so I’m quite excited by the progress we’re making on transforming the house, so I think this has put me in a positive energy state.
Overall: I am feeling it was a good week, where house cleaning and closing projects provided a positive boost of energy, though I know that I am paying for it by not getting as much done on the client work / personal work side.
This coming week I will want to do more of that, while still maintaining the cleaning at a lesser pace. I’m curious whether it will be harder to motivate myself without someone else in the house working their butt off.