0616 – micromanage your time

I’m on the train now, I’m on the way to work. I’m still a littitle bit mindblown at how long it took me to write that last word vomit and how it delayed the start of my day. I need to hold these things very vividly in my mind. I need to make it a point to turn off the WiFi whenever I’m writing a word vomit.

Now I’m on the train. I’m on the train for around two hours every single work day. I should be spending this time as productively as I can. nobody will hold it against me if if decide to spend it talking to people or playing silly games. but then I would be wasting a great oppurtunity to do a lot of writing. if I could ab test my life I’m pretty sure it would be clear that writing during my commutes would be a great idea. it would mean that I get almost two word vomits done a day. that would guarantee that finish my word vomit project before the end of 2017. hopefully I’ll be done before I turn 27. that would be a nice birthday present to give to myself. a million words. take it and go run. run into the future.

So I’m still thinking about principles and decisions. what do I choose to do during my commutes? I typically choose to spend it on social media- twitter and Facebook and reddit. catching up on what other people are saying. what other people find funny or interesting or entertaining or outrageous. and I know from experience- wrote about this extensively in 2013- that this might SEEM relaxing, but it’s actually a whole new anxiety. I might actually be better off just meditating during my commutes, breathing as deeply as I can.

Thinking again about Cal Newport. An interesting life doesn’t come from endless introspection. I agree. I know I set out with this writing project with some introspection in mind, but the point also was to exhaust myself. to empty my tank and see what happened next. I think I need to start writing for the public again. I’ve surely said this before. the mistake I’m making is that I keep thinking everything neefs to be incredibly epic. I can break it down into littler steps. thats how books get written, bit by bit.

I have spent so much time in Singapore’s trains now at this point. 2 hours a day. 10 hours a week. let’s say it’s 8 hours a week. that’s a full day every 3 weeks. a week in 21. a month in 21 months, then. 12 months in a year. I’ve been working almost 4 years. so I’ve spent over 2 months in transit.

1:29pm

Okay now I’m in office, and it’s 130pm, and this commute vomit is only half complete. As I recall – I started the vomit around Khatib or YCK, and switched out at points here and there. That’s 500 words. I think 1,000 words in the commute is possible, but I have to start the moment I get the chance, and I have to avoid being distracted by random things.

I think it’s possible. I want to make it a priority. I want to make it a thing that I work on.

1:54pm

And now here I am, with 450 words left to go, and work to do. What do I do now? I guess I just gotta keep chugging with stream of consciousness stuff. Let’s zoom back to see what the original intent of this post was. Oh, I was exploring how strange it was that I wasn’t writing more word vomits. That I wasn’t writing more. That I wasn’t making the decision to write. That I didn’t finish what I started – when I look through my evernote, it’s clear that I often start things without finishing them. I think there’s a tactic or skill to be developed there – whenever I’m going to abandon something, I should first write a couple of lines of notes to myself for what I was thinking about and why I abandoned it. Notes to my future self who’ll eventually rediscover it and then have to figure out what to do with it. It’s like commenting in your code!

300 more to go. 1:57.

I was thinking this morning about doing pushups. About how I will have to do as many pushups as possible for my IPPT physical proficiency test, and how I have been putting off doing pushups I suppose because I know that it will be uncomfortable. I know that I can comfortably do 5, maybe 10, and it gets uncomfortable and frustrating when I get up to around 15-20. My goal is to do 50, but I haven’t been making progress because I’ve been hesitant to get started at all. Hey, I could do 5 pushups right now. I’ma do them.

It’s 10:36pm and I’m in bed. My cat is next to me. I want to be asleep by 11pm. So I have 24 minutes to finish this vomit and another one that I have half-written. And then I want to reflect really quickly about my work day, and then I want to go to sleep.

What’s the central idea in this word vomit? The point I’m trying to remind myself of here is how I still fundamentally misunderstand the nature of how things get done. I need to unlearn and re-learn what it means to have productive moments – how to get stuff done before going to sleep, how to get stuff done after waking up, how to get stuff done at work. I need to be a lot better at managing my time, and I’ve said that a lot but I haven’t made progress I think because I haven’t paid attention to it at a micro-level enough. I need to examine my time much more closely. What gets measured gets managed, right? Micromanage your time, Visa.

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