For various reasons I didn’t do an “about me” update at the start of the month, as I have been for a while. The bottom line is that it didn’t seem particularly urgent. I do want to touch base with a general July 2020 life update, though, which will explain my current priorities and my work flows.
As an aside, the term “work/life balance” annoys me. I remain convinced that it was coined by some corporate productivity hack. The intention is to sound concerned that an employee is able to lead a well-rounded and fulfilling life. What they’re actually saying is “leave your personal problems at home”. If it isn’t related to the job, deal with it on your own time. Note that it’s not life/work balance, either. The subtle message is that work always comes first. It’s also called out as a separate and distinct thing, with “life” being anything non-work.
It’s all life. There are still only 24 hours in a day. You are one person. Hence I use “life balance”, because work is a single component of life. A significant one, to be sure, but not so much so that your employer gets to claim equal footing with family, friends, hobbies, health, and everything else combined.
According to WordPress, I am on a 114 day blogging streak. This started when lockdown began, and I was doing daily “Camp Corona” updates. It continued through the period of “daily proof of life“. Things have evolved as I quit social media, adapted to current reality, and took steps to protect my physical and mental health. I enjoy having some sort of daily update going out, even when not a lot of people are reading. It’s my connection to the world.
That said, my current methodology is to write several posts in advance. I can schedule them, forget about it, and not have to look at the internet for days on end. This has been extremely helpful. Batching has been productive. I can think of a series of essays on a topic, or even a smattering of unrelated posts, and write them all in a day or two. Then I can focus on larger project work without having to change gears. I can give my undivided attention to one thing at a time.
It’s also been beneficial to my calm. There are days when I check email once a day, and that’s it for the internet. If I have research to do, I jump on to Google, Wikipedia, or other bookmarked resource sites to find what I need and get off. No need to look at this website, the company site, news, social media, or anything else. The more working this way becomes a habit, the happier I am.
The Noble Eightfold Path
I know that a lot of people tune out when I start talking about Buddhism. No matter how I contextualize it, a lot of people just aren’t interested. That’s okay. I needed to write those posts to get those concepts clear in my head again. They were written for me, not for you.
While I appreciate the people who read and comment, this whole site is more for my own benefit than yours. I know that’s blasphemy in the 21st century attention economy. If you want to see me dance for your entertainment, visit the business site or buy my books. This space, as a substitute for a social media presence. It is my attempt to reach out. To do that, I’m trying to be authentic and real, rather than pandering for views and likes.
Coming Up Next
As I’m writing this it’s the afternoon of 5 July. The sun is shining, the windows are open to let in a cool breeze, and it’s amazingly quiet. Finland shuts down for July. Most of my neighbors are gone. The plan is to savor this calm as I write posts for the rest of the week. I have no idea what I’m going to write about yet, which is kind of exciting.
Tomorrow I’ll be back to project work. I’m trying to get a big book, the highest page count I’ve ever released, ready to drop on Friday. That I can devote my full attention to that while occasionally peering out at blue sky and green forests is heaven. It’s some of the best work I’ve ever done, in my opinion. I’m happy because I’m doing what I love, without stress or distraction. There is honestly nothing better than that.
July 2020 Life Balance Update
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