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Use Clarity of Vision to Make Change

I was reading a blog post by Michael Hyatt that essentially said you need to know the problem you’re solving for before you can try to solve it. He framed it as “vision first, strategy second”. This ought to be common sense, but it’s not. Use clarity of vision to make change.

If you’re taking a trip, the first step is deciding where you’re going. That’s the vision. Then you figure out how you’re going to get there. That’s the strategy. When you know the problem you’re solving for, then you’ll focus your resources on that.

Where most of us run into trouble is when we lose sight of the vision. We forget where we’re going. We lost sight of the mission. The world is full of distractions, and it’s too easy to succumb to them.

A lot of people never had a vision to begin with. They ramble along day-to-day, and work with whatever they stumble across by accident. The current situation in the world has forced a lot of people to set aside their vision for a while, or abandon it completely, in order to adapt.

It’s time to think about what we can do with current reality. We need to start considering what comes next. Then we can figure out how to work with what we have, where we are, in whatever way we can, to begin that new journey.

Use Clarity of Vision to Make Change

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These Bullet Journal Project Pages Were a Mistake

So I’m into the second week of using a weekly dashboard plus project pages. One ribbon bookmark on the week, the second on the spread for whatever I’m currently working on. Now I’m confused and overwhelmed. I’m starting to think that these bullet journal project pages were a mistake.

To be fair, I can’t actually tell if the project pages are the cause of my anxiety disorder flair up, or a casualty of it. When I had project pages in a separate journal, I would only have that journal open. The idea was to have 100% of my attention on that project for that period of time. When it was time to switch to something else, I’d turn to the relevant page in the project journal.

Having multiple projects in one book never tripped me up, though. I periodically considered using cheap A6 notebooks with paper covers, one for each project. It’s an idea I got from He Who May No Longer Be Named. Packs of 10 cost €2, and when the project is complete they can be filed or even thrown away. There was an appeal to making notes disappear when the book was done, so I could focus on the next thing. It never seemed necessary, so I never tried it.

Somehow, having the project notes a few page flips away from my weekly dashboard completely overwhelmed me. Instead of focusing on what needed to be done this week, and within the week what had to be dealt with today, all I can think about is the sheer volume of tasks awaiting me across several projects currently in motion.

To remedy this, I’ve gone back to daily journal entries. “Today I need to do tasks 1 through 7, in this order, period”. Bullet pointed lists. Which seems like extra works, the thing this new method of working was meant to avoid. It might just be temporary. Once my anxiety settles down, or I get used to this new process, it might go smoothly. The weekly is still working fine, after all.

These Bullet Journal Project Pages Were a Mistake

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Hello Friends

Hello friends. This week we’re back to the daily proof-of-life post format, for two reasons:

  • Last week went entirely off the rails for no reasons of my own. I’m trying to be positive, move forward, and not be resentful. but I still need to deal with the reality that my time and energy was wasted and as a result I am behind schedule. I have not had time to plan out any posts or essays for this week as I catch up on paying work.
  • Because of the above, I dearly need my 15 minutes in the morning to sit quietly, sip my coffee, and organize my thoughts in the form of a public journal entry.

This week is going to be a grind. I need to release two books by the end of this week. Not want, creatively. Need, financially. The book slated to drop last Thursday was knocked off schedule by the previously-referenced nonsense. So that needs to go out, as well as the book scheduled for this week.

When I’m not doing that, I need to be pulling information together for Migri. Yes, it’s that time of year again.

Any theoretical time not spent writing or fighting to maintain my immigration status will be spent idea-mining business books. I have a need right now to improve my publishing business in any way possible. I’m also consulting on the launch of someone else’s business, and gathering information on another business that I would like to diversify into.

This isn’t going to be an easy week, but it’s going to be a good week. I’m going to come out of this better than I went in, I will be in control, and it’s all in service of getting what I want. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Hello Friends

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Accepting that 2020 Has Us All Off Balance

Most of us can probably agree that 2020 has us all off balance. It’s nt the pandemic or protests that are killing me. We are at the mercy of unpredictable humans and seemingly unstable leaders. Common sense says to do one thing, so people naturally do the exact opposite. It’s maddening, it’s draining, and it seems impossible and pointless to make plans.

On another level, though, things continue to operate with clockwork efficiency. The rent still needs to be paid on time, or else. Paperwork still needs to be filed, if you don’t want consequences. We still need to eat. Those things don’t jibe with the randomness and chaos and desire for a basic, functional schedule.

For the past few months my productivity routines have been changing. I have to release new books to keep money flowing in. There are filing deadlines I have to meet to maintain my immigration status. Inside my apartment it still feels like groundhog day: wake up, shower, breakfast, write, lunch, write, dinner, write, go to bed, repeat. I rely on my bullet journal, my white boards, and a wall calendar to remind me that time is not a meaningless abstraction. Meanwhile, a large part of the world has embraced that time in a meaningless abstraction.

Spoon Boards

Currently all of my planning centers around what I’m calling “spoon boards”. It’s basically just the bullet journal method with an emphasis on the reality that I only have so many spoons to use in a day. Everything gets pushed out to the furthest possible week of the furthest possible month – a spoon future log.

I’m using weekly logs instead of monthly ones. What needs to be done this week. Of those things, what needs to be dealt with first? Do that today. Then the next thing, and the next. With luck, toward the end of the week I’ll run out of tasks for the current week and can get a jump on next week.

I pad to account for the unforeseen. Keep some spoons in reserve for when I get blindsided by the thing no one could have possibly anticipated. Push down the urge to try and prepare for every possible contingency, and stick to high-level and universally useful things, like making money and keeping the cupboards full of food.

Anything that’s not on my dashboard for this week isn’t anything I need to worry about this week. If it’s not on the future log for this month, I don’t need to worry about it this month. The key is to not become overwhelmed.

Cry when in spite of everything I get blindsided and it takes up everything, including the spoons I’d held in reserve. Learn to live with the contradiction that I am in control but still behind schedule. Feel guilty about taking time for self-care. Lapse into self-loathing for needing so much self-care. Realize that guilt and self-loathing use spoons and get over it.

It’s been a hell of a week. I hold out hope that the coming week will be better, while mentally preparing for the likelihood that it will only get stranger and more difficult.

2020 Has Us All Off Balance

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Gratitude in a Pointlessly Stressful Year

This has been a pointlessly stressful week, in a pointlessly stressful month, in a pointlessly stressful year. I remain committed to being positive in this space if nowhere else, or at least trying to, so I won’t give you a rundown of all of the rude, cruel, and willfully ignorant things I’ve had to deal with. None of which had to happen. All of which were the result of a choice on someone’s part. What I’m trying to do is refocus on what’s within my control, and the things that I remain grateful for.

It’s one thing to manage my spoons. I know how much work I can do at a run before I run low. My schedule allows me ample opportunity to replenish them. In situations where I’m not aware of all of the variables, or can’t control them, I arrange to do less and rest more. I sort of expect that in certain situations I will be losing spoons due to anxiety. Borrowing spoons from the next day is factored in.

What I can’t account for is people just coming up unexpectedly, grabbing my spoons, and running off with them. People wonder why I’m a hermit. They still don’t get why I’m off social media. It’s often the only way to manage the randomness of human behavior and the draining effect it has. So, I guess I can account for it to some degree.

Anyway, I’m grateful that I have the degree of control over my spoons that I do. I am especially grateful that none of this has been hitting my executive dysfunction so far, so I can continue to be productive. Though all of this I’ve been getting more confident about expressing my needs, and holding firm against bullying, gaslighting, and irrtional nonsense.

A Pointlessly Stressful Year

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