I've been thinking a lot lately about productivity, focus, and doing work that really matters. It seems to me that my life has been full of stuff recently; I have obligations, meetings, work, family, hobbies, and it all just gets to the point where it's too much. I have stretched myself so thin in most areas and everything is affected. There are so many things that I want to do, that in trying to do them all, I'm not able to do any of them.
The pursuit of doing more has cost me doing the things that actually matter.
The world we live in today is full of so many distractions. There was a concept that I used to feel when I was younger, that I never feel anymore. Boredom. I used to be bored a LOT. It was before I had the internet in my pocket, high-speed access to anything in the whole world. It was when we had to drive 30 minutes into town to rent a movie from Blockbuster on VHS so we could watch something new. It was when I looked at my mountains of Lego and thought there was nothing I could possibly make that I hadn't made before.
But now I'm in this place where everything moves so fast that I don't have the opportunity to be bored. I've maneuvered my life so that every moment is filled and there is always something that I can be doing, regardless of whether it is something that I should be doing at all. The barriers I have set up are the ones that keep me from doing meaningful, creative work, and my plethora of options for how I can spend my time mean that there are an infinite number of things that my mind can default to instead of the (hard) work of doing something that matters.
I need to flip those barriers. I need to wall off some of the many things that I can do, and tear down the things that prevent me from doing what I should do, regardless of how small those things may be. Sure, having a family and young children necessitates that I have some baseline of activity that is higher than when I was a kid myself, and I totally understand and accept and love it. I'm not suggesting I neglect my job or my family or friends or anything else that I hold dear. I'm just saying that I think I'm above that baseline, and I don't even think I can see it from up here.
I'm in the thick of this right now. I don't have answers. I'm doing some interesting experimentation that I might share at some point in the future. It might be helpful, and it might not be, but this is where I am and I'm working through it the best way I know how.
One thing is for sure: when my boys are old enough to start telling me they're bored, I'm going to say, "That's good!"