The Finish Line
I stumbled across this gem on Reddit.
I make sure to start every day as a producer, not a consumer.
When you get up, you may start with a good routine like showering and eating, but as soon as you find yourself with some free time you probably get that urge to check Reddit, open that game you were playing, see what you’re missing on Facebook, etc.
Put all of this off until “later”. Start your first free moments of the day with thoughts of what you really want to do; those long-term things you’re working on, or even the basic stuff you need to do today, like cooking, getting ready for exercise, etc.
This keeps you from falling into the needy consumer mindset. That mindset where you find yourself endlessly surfing Reddit, Facebook, etc. trying to fill a void in yourself, trying to find out what you’re missing, but never feeling satisfied.
When you’ve started your day with doing awesome (not necessarily difficult) things for yourself, these distractions start to feel like a waste of time. You check Facebook just to make sure you’re not missing anything important directed at you, but scrolling down and reading random stuff in your feed feels like stepping out into the Disneyland parking lot to listen to what’s playing on the car radio - a complete waste of time compared to what you’re really doing today.
It sounds subtle, but these are the only days where I find myself getting anything done. I either start my day like this and feel normal and productive, or I look up and realize it’s early evening, I haven’t accomplished anything and I can’t bring myself to focus no matter how hard I want to.
In the excitement and belief that it’s always a good thing, we strive to make progress, to start things, build something new, resonating to the ring of a different, if not better, tomorrow.
Clambering along the strands of the interweb, clicking through links like hammers against the Berlin wall, making progress, our neurons process pixel after pixel into meaning, evolving hoarded information into ideas we contribute back, for others to consume and evolve in turn.
When the neural sweatshop shuts for the day, I ask myself:
What have I finished today?
The price of incompletion is high, something I realised while working my way through Interview Street, where one is eligible to apply for companies only after solving 7 questions completely. Almost solving a dozen questions only implies the inability to construct a complete solution.
It’s time I stop running in circles and inch towards the finish line. I’m following the breadcrumbs back to pick up the pieces. It’s time I start building the wholes to which they belong.