Towards the end of November 2023, and as the year began to wind down, something became crystal clear to me: I was wasting a lot of time. I was too often reaching for my phone. I tried to do things—write, organize my expenses, bake/cook, read—while surfing the internet or streaming a movie or show on Prime Video. These were bad habits that I knew would impact my ability to do deep work, yet it became harder and harder to stop them. That led to another realization: I needed a ‘new’ way of being. [Read more…] about A New Year. A ‘New’ Way of Being
On Saturday, 6 May 2023 (the day I sat down to finish writing this blog post), I started the day with three intentions. First, finish rewriting the chapter of a novella I started earlier in the week. Second, edit and schedule this blog post. And third, run at least five kilometres. And at the end of the day, I’d have to ask myself: “Did I accomplish what I set out to do?” The answer, which I’ll circle back to later, offers a glimpse into how I have come to define productivity.
When I started writing, I was always starting something—a short story, a poem, a novel—but struggled to finish anything. With lots of ideas popping into my head, I always ended up chasing the newest idea. And that meant I left a lot of thing started but unfinished. When it came to productivity, my first lesson learned was to build writing into my daily routine. That allowed me to finish something. Suddenly, the first draft of whatever I was working on was done. It might have been crap, but it was done. And as time went on, I finished more writing projects. What a great combination: writing daily and finishing things. Still, I didn’t feel productive. Writing around a full-time job and other commitments, I was constantly chastising myself for not doing more. All because I was defining productivity on someone else’s terms. [Read more…] about Defining Productivity
As a kid, I thumbed my nose at a lot of things that society told me, as a boy, I should like. I didn’t like model cars, baseball, hockey, basketball or soccer. I hated Cubs and Beavers. My parents signed me up for baseball and basketball. After two seasons of me feeling ‘ill’ or purposely striking out so I’d be benched, they got the message. I found my footing in music, baking/cooking and writing—anything that kept me away from a team setting.
Because I’m more introverted than extroverted. I didn’t understand why, as a kid, being around other people left me exhausted.
But as I leaned more into my writing, and understood more about my introversion, I became interested in how to be more focused and increase productivity. [Read more…] about Chasing Productivity
In my recent four-part blog series, “On Becoming a Digital Minimalist,” I wrote about how I was changing my relationship with technology and how I use it. The ultimate goal — and a constant work-in-progress — is to live an intentional, purpose-driven life where I focus on what is most important to me. It means cutting out the noise and chatter to work in a distraction-free state.
But it cannot be all work and no play. This lesson was — again — brought home to me when, this past weekend, I was so exhausted I could barely focus. I also ended up breaking my streaming rule, watching three movies. Too tired to think and focus, it was a constant battle throughout Saturday just to keep my eyes open. [Read more…] about Crash and Burn
Or 1,096 days. Or 36 months.
That’s how long it’s been since I stopped drinking on 17 January 2018.
“Why?” many of my friends and colleagues asked with bewilderment as much as curiosity.
Most didn’t like the answer: Because I wanted to change my life.
No one pressured me to stop drinking. When it came to alcohol, I knew my limit and respected it. Alcohol wasn’t ravaging my life. “Then…why?” people continued to ask. [Read more…] about 1,578,240 Minutes and Counting