Back to the Productivity Dictionary

a. Not falling over.

b. A good excuse for not wholeheartedly pursuing whatever it is you really love.

c. Important if you are an acrobat, trapeze artist, tightrope walker, unicyclist.

d. Maybe not as important as we think it is for everyone else.

e. A thing you might have to sacrifice to live a life that matters, a life that you love and enjoy and find fulfilling.

You know what’s easy to balance? A light load. If your life isn’t worth but a couple of ounces, you can shift things around pretty easily in that bundle and balance it across your shoulders.

But when your life is full and rich, it can get heavy. It can get tough to balance. Things can get a little off-kilter. You can get worn out carrying what you’re worth when you’re worth a lot.

f. A vague, arbitrary idea which becomes a needless source of stress and anxiety.

Are you reading articles about work/life balance?

Are you rearranging your calendar so you can fit in personal time, family time, work time, social time, church time, exercise time, reading time, personal development time, hobby time, sports time, relaxation time, and Ice-Capades-Championship-Viewing time?

Oh, look at that, you just scheduled your important work right into the metaphorical calendar-dumpster.

Pursuing a balanced life is a great way to not ever spend significant time on what you actually care about the most.

Have work you want to do? Projects that light you on fire but take a lot of time and energy?

You have to throw some stuff straight out the window and not even look to see where it hits the ground and what kind of splat it makes on the sidewalk.

You have to let your ambition drive you and quit trying to be the mythical, over-achieving, well-rounded, generally-doing-great-in-every-area, selfie-perfect, balanced person.

This person does not exist.

If this person did exist, I probably wouldn’t like them very much.

How about instead of worrying about balance, you just focus on doing the thing you need to do right now? And if your work gets interrupted, say, by your small child, that’s okay. Go with it. Have a snuggle, eat a meal with your family, go on a walk. Then come back home, tuck your child in to bed, and get some more work done.

If you quit worrying about balancing everything, you’ll be able to accomplish more. You’ll also be able to rest more. Because you won’t be spending time pursuing random items which have been designated of importance but which have nothing, really, to do with your inner workings, your real being, your interests or heartbeat or joy in life.

Let that shit go.

What random, culture-created measurement of a balanced life can you throw out the window?

What’s the work you love? Remember it? Buried under your schedule? Pull it back out again.

Continue Reading

Simple rules, continued

Simple rules help you do what you want to do (like form a new habit, or reach a goal).

Here’s how I come up with simple rules:

  1. Figure out what I want to do. (This is usually the most difficult part.)
  2. Figure out the ONE key action that will help me do what I want to do. (Sometimes this is so obvious it’s painful.)
  3. Figure out how
Continue Reading

Simple rules

People crave simplicity.

Well, I crave simplicity. Maybe you crave complexity. I don’t know.

I do know that simple rules we set for ourselves can help us succeed when we might otherwise fail.

For example, I have tried off and on for the last 5 years to get into a regular exercise routine. I’ve had sporadic success. I’ll get on a streak, be consistent for a week… Continue reading

Continue Reading


Back to the Productivity Dictionary

a. The act of attending to someone or something, taking notice, turning your inward and outward senses toward in order to perceive and understand.

b. You can have different types of attention.

  • Cursory attention (fleeting)
  • Demanded attention (obligatory)
  • Chosen attention (free, undivided)

When the third type/level of attention becomes intent, full, it is focus.

c… Continue reading

Continue Reading

How to start your week right

Anytime you want. It doesn’t have to begin on Monday morning, or Sunday evening, or whenever your standard “start time” is… You’ve botched a couple of days, or got sick? Okay. It happens. Breathe, and start your week when you decide to start it. Now. In an hour. Tomorrow morning.

With room for restarts. Restarts are allowed.

Expecting success, not perfection. A focus on perfection has a… Continue reading

Continue Reading


Back to the Productivity Dictionary

a. Percolating is the action of filtering gradually through a collection or substance.

b. Percolating is the essential second step in the creative process.

Creative work requires three legitimate steps:

  1. Taking in information — observation — idea-gathering.
  2. Giving our brains time to filter, sort, analyze, connect what we’ve taken in.
  3. Creating, building, from what we’ve gained
Continue Reading