Focus and Productivity: No 'One Size Fits All'

Routines, distraction blockers, and doing nothing.

Hey friends,

Recently I've been thinking about how sometimes I can get a lot done without putting any thought into routines or mindfulness, but then there comes a day when I throw my whole productivity toolbox at life and it barely registers.

Sometimes I'm so excited about a project I almost can't stop myself from working on it. This is how I've often felt about most of my businesses, some of my jobs, and a lot of my personal projects. It's like getting pulled by a horse (or a really big dog) that you barely control: exciting, but potentially problematic.

When I'm in this state of mind, it's easy to hyperfocus on a particular project to the detriment of the rest of my life. So while I don't need my routines to keep going, sticking to them and staying mindful helps me stay on track.

Then there are times when I feel an almost physical resistance to doing stuff, and simple tasks feel like pushing a boulder up a hill. Usually, it's because I don't find that particular task or project interesting – life is full of these kinds of things – but sometimes I just feel meh in general.

This is when routines feel like a slog and even distraction blockers are a last resort to not fall down the procrastination rabbit hole. In this state of mind, doing nothing is often the best option. Whether it's a guided meditation or just sitting still for 15 minutes doing absolutely nothing – it can do wonders for my focus and energy levels.

And the middle ground between these two states is perhaps the best one. It's when my focus and energy levels are just right for me to be able to apply them to whatever life throws at me, no matter how hard, exciting, dull, or frustrating. This is when I benefit from my habits, routines, and mindfulness the most, and sticking to them takes almost zero effort.

So when it comes to focus and productivity there's no one size fits all solution. Sometimes sticking to a routine works best, other times getting a distraction blocker can help, and then there are times when you just might want to do nothing at all to get the best possible outcome.

Have a mindful week,


A few thoughts

Coming home after a trip. I enjoy traveling, but I also love the feeling of coming back home after a longer trip – to my minimalist home office setup, my bathtub, and my friends. A perfect combination of novelty and familiarity.

Humor is a superpower. There's something magical about people who are naturally funny. No matter how terrible I feel, talking to a funny friend or watching my favorite comedian always cracks me up and brightens my day.

Loved reading this

Hwoa! Hwat’s with the hwistling hwisky? "You only think you hear an h, because your phoneme set doesn’t include this sound, but its use is pretty common in various accents. Which accents? Lots. Scottish. Irish. Several counties in the north of England. Many parts of North America, especially but not only the south of the United States. Others."

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness Haven't finished it yet, but it's one of my favorite no-bullshit reads on life, mindset, money, and success lately. I didn't really follow Naval online, so I appreciate Eric Jorgenson distilling his philosophy into a single book.

The End

I've started this one with "Hey friends" instead of just "Hey" because that's how I feel today. Let me know how you feel about me calling you my friend. Or don't. Totally up to you!