Taking A Short Break

When a person commits to writing and publishing a blog post a day, the self-inflicted expectation can be a little much at times. There's very little time to be away or to just recharge. That said, yesterday I did just such a thing and this right here is the first blog post I've published in 47 hours … which still technically counts as being the day after [yesterday's post about Feedly weirdness], making for 549 consecutive days of posting. There is no need for me to continue this daily effort to write and publish, but it's something that I choose to do simply because I've tried and failed to do this countless times over the last 13 years1. People do need to take little breaks from time to time, though.

Sometimes I look at my To Do list and wonder why it's consistently carrying more than 48 hours of work on it. Other times, when I'm making updates to 10C or writing a blog post, I look at the list and wonder why I'm not tackling something that was written down with the intention to finish it. Surely there are better uses of my time than pet projects, right? A younger version of me would certainly agree. The current version, however, thinks the younger is a naive fool. There's more to life than completing To Do lists, and there's more to creative efforts than simply mashing a keyboard for 90 minutes before hitting "Publish". If the last six months have taught me anything, it's that continued development of 10C has helped me enjoy coding and continued blogging has helped me enjoy writing. As it stands, I do a great deal of both for the day job. Being able to do these things for myself and the people who support my endeavours makes the effort worthwhile.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been thinking a great deal about my future. What do I want to accomplish? What needs to be done to make it happen? What roadblocks might stand in the way? The last five years have seen so much change. I'm grateful for what's been made possible and I'll continue to work hard in everything I do because that's just the way I am. Something else is on the horizon, though.

Jordan Peterson's list of things that everyone should know has a couple of items that have been guiding principles lately:

33: Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated.
16: Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens.
24: Nothing well done is insignificant.

Number 33 is something I've seen in a couple of domains now, and there is certainly opportunity for people who are willing to put in the work. Which leads into number 16, as working hard on something doesn't necessarily mean putting in just the physical labour — though it's crucially important — but the mental efforts as well. We have to really think about the reasons behind the abdication in order to take full advantage of the opportunity. This generally results in the development of a solution that other people want as well, and nothing that truly solves a problem is insignificant; number 24.

However, number 20 is also important:

20: Treat yourself as if you were someone that you are responsible for helping.

People tell me that I work too hard, too much, and to exhaustion. They're right, of course. So, if I were someone that I was responsible for helping, I'd say "organise your schedule in such a way that you can continue to meet your goals while also taking a break". This is what I did yesterday to create a 47-hour window between blog posts. It was a good short break.

  1. The site was started on October 18, 2006, which was 4,896 days ago. There are 3,186 posts on this site. That's a pretty high publish ratio. Shame the content isn't particularly interesting.