Things have been so chaotic since last September—it’s been challenging to get a rhythm—get a routine in place. In catching up on my feeds, Cal Newport mentioned one of his simplest (and oldest) approaches. It boils down to:
These simple limits, however, can lead to complex productivity innovations. In my own life, the demands of fixed-schedule productivity helped me develop what became my time blocking and shutdown ritual strategies.
This could be useful in getting out of the House Elf Trap, as remarkably well put by Cate Huston.
One more from Newport:
They were instead trying to escape cognitive capture. “The home is filled with the familiar,” I wrote, “and the familiar snares our attention, destabilizing the subtle neuronal dance required to think clearly.”
Is this why I keep shopping Land Rovers?
All kidding aside, hitting the road in an overlanding rig sure sounds good more days than it doesn’t.
This gem from Warren Ellisled to all sorts of rabbit holes:
Three or four years ago, George RR Martin had this to say about writing:
I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows.
Ellis goes on to share that William Gibson (one of my all-time favorites) is a gardener. Or at least was for Spook County. I think I knew that.
Anyhow, where was I?
Right. I’m trying to be better about giving myself some space to catch up on my RSS feeds—it’s mostly authors I like, etc. I’m glad I did that this morning. Sometimes the best inspiration comes in from strange angles.
Anyhow, over at HALO 22we’re starting on a big website project. The client has done some initial work. Some good, some less good. The prior effort has lead them down a path toward a fairly static—rigid even—mental model of what a website should be.
They want to be architects, but we’re convinced they need some gardeners. Or maybe farmers.
The metaphor is a long walk, but the end of it is we’re going to lead them through how to talk about the amazing work they do—and help them get a workflow in place to talk about what they do going forward.
It’s going to be a crazy, but exciting, few months.