Weekly Review 0617 – Working without Shame

Time for a weekly update on GROUNDHOG DAY RESOLUTIONS progress!

In my June Report my take-away was that I should remember to stay focused on creating shareable works as my primary productivity metric. I completely failed to do that, and the week itself was not productive. The issues were too many personal commitments and an ear infection; it was extremely difficult to stay focused, and what little focus I had was inadequate to start major projects.

I have antibiotics for the ear infection so that’s resolving, but reducing personal commitments was not as straightforward. I am testing a couple of adjustments:

  1. I will brutally limit schedule-interrupting commitments. I used to schedule them when I saw a clear slot in the next week, and this resulted in having too many interruptions to anticipate. It’s hard for me to focus when there is an upcoming event. Also, a quirk of my brain is that such interactions cause 6-8 hours of unproductive recovery time. My brain is too noisy and distracted processing the events that transpired. There really isn’t much I can do about it; it’s just the way my brain works.

  2. The second adjustment is accept the reality of my quirky brain. That means acknowledging that I live with ADHD Introvert tendencies. I have the ADHD pattern of needing stimulating input for my brain to start working. I have the introvert pattern of being drained by interactions with people, but paradoxically it is talking to people about what I’m working on that gives me the motivation to do work. These conflicting requirements are difficult to balance!

There are a few additional principles that may help keep me positive despite feeling less powerful:

  • I can accept the acknowledgement of my limits without guilt or shame. I think this is really important. Ordinarily I feel bad about not measuring up to my performance goals, not to mention putting the work into having quality relationships with people. I periodically feel terrible about not being able to self-motivate on command. These negative emotions don’t serve a useful purpose; accepting them matter-of-factly as the conditions of my reality and getting on with it seems healthier.

  • I can accept that maintaining my “best working condition” is time-consuming and difficult. With my ADHD Introvert qualities, it’s hard for me to stay focused on tasks that don’t naturally give me energy. When I don’t have energy, then my ability to work without distraction is tremendously limited. I’ve tried for 25 years to get around it, and when I’m effective it’s because I also have all the resources I need. When those resources aren’t naturally in my day-to-day work, I have to engage in the work of maintaining them. I need stimulating input, a community of like-minded competent peers, and an abundance of time to myself to even begin to do the difficult work.

Finally, I must remember that my strategic goal is to make new works to share with people. I believe that works I can create and share are the value that is within my power to create. Sharing these works is my preferred way to find new friends and generate income. If I am not sharing my works with people, I am not on the path to success.

I’ve added this to the GHDR 2019 Page, but I have trouble remembering to stay on track, so I’ve taped this sign to my laptop:

"June GHDR Guidance" Hope it works! Will check in next week with a report.

2 Comments

  1. Nicole 3 weeks ago

    I wonder if maybe scheduling your personal commitments back to back, so that they can share the recovery time, might be of benefit?

    Somehow I’ve got out of the habit of reading your updates – I need to go back in time and catch up. I’m starting a new career in genealogy and needed a way to track my research time and I remembered the ETT from the days where I used to have to time-track for an employer. Your forms make tracking not only painless, but satisfying!

    • Author
      Dave Seah 3 weeks ago

      Hi Nicole! Yes, I think you’re right! I have decided to do just that to just make a single day of the week the day I do everything social! I haven’t been updating much recently, so maybe that’s why! So glad you’re looking at the ETT, and I hope it works out for you! Congrats on making a career change!

A message from Dave:

I believe we all benefit when we respectfully share our perspectives on common experiences. My house rules are "please be respectful of divergent views" and "enjoy the flow of ideas!"

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