I awoke early today, and having been in a rhythm of going to the office first thing, made no exception on this Sunday. Don’t be mistaken—this isn’t me hustling. My wife works some weekends, and rather than staying at home and basking in my living room, I’d rather get out and be enlivened by the brisk temperatures and constant motion. That energy, coupled with a throat-scratching cup of coffee, gives me large enough momentum to carry out any task of my choosing in the morning, up until about 2-3pm. Drinking coffee by the time I arrive at about 10am curbs my appetite until about 4. So 10am-3pm are a solid day’s work. I’ve always found breakfast an easy meal to beat. You can train your body to settle without it. And, no breakfast I make with my sometimes anxious pace will be a breakfast worth eating, so better to skip altogether. After 3, I’m finding it easier just to make the trip back home and have lunch there rather than fiddle with the profound lack of climax that outdoor food eventually plateaus too.
My current model of progress relies on a very simple do one thing per day mentality. I can try to do two things, but that means I’m racing. And if I’m racing, I’m missing the scenery. The drive is endless, so better learn to take in your surroundings, than to constantly be under an adrenaline-fueled rush. Setting my goal intentionally to doing one thing per day allows me to easily feel good, which cascades onto the rest of the day and helps keep a congenial mood. Couple that with the daily challenge of mustering some thoughts for a journal, and there become several checkpoints at which you can gain a mental boost and an affirmation of progress and completion. You feel less guilty to bask now, and basking, which is essentially being placid with your surroundings, is not to be missed out on.
Of course, a luxury I have now are that my tasks are crystal clear and technical in nature. I have a list of things remaining for completion on the new update, and each is very well defined. Where I’ll start running into trouble, as always seems to happen, is when the technical components have completed, and the remaining challenges are either subtly human or entirely unknown. The “what do I do next?” phase. In those times, there is no checklist. There’s just you and your infinitely empty mind. In those times, going to the office will feel futile. So I’ll plug myself into my home, and that becomes one long continuous stretch of monotonous time, in which you find new ways to adapt to the unbelievable surplus in idle time. I’m actually glad I’m predicting this now. Usually it just hits me, thinking I’m lacking enthusiasm or will, before finally uncovering that I had just switched into a different phase.
One of the great parts of the internet is you’re able to connect with the thoughts of so many varied types of people, some of whom, in this case, are outwardly successful. And, to confirm what we already know, every one of them echoes the same experience: if you can’t enjoy it now, you never will. This used to be hard for me, but has gotten easier: I no longer feel compunction for sticking my head out the window. Work is best measured by quality and feeling than by how many sands can fall in an hourglass.