I have been giving advice for a long time on my blog as well as a lot of other different channels. �I am usually transparent with what my strength and weaknesses are, but I have never actually taken the time to explain something that I am working with or something that I think I need to get better at.
The big benefits of doing this are that I am actually learning at the same time as I am giving you advice. That is why I am a big proponent of teaching. �Because, if you hear yourself talk about these things and you enunciate the issues and the problems that you have, (I speak these things and I hear them at the same time) so it is also helping me out as well.
Disconnecting from Work
What I want to talk about is the problem of disconnecting. �The big problem that I have with work is just disconnecting from work. �Some people can say that I am a workaholic, although I really don't care for the term too much, I get a lot of fulfillment out of my work.
I love the fact that I am working on a problem and I resolve that problem, or if I get a new client, or if I help somebody out in the community, you have those little hits of dopamine out there.
I get a significant amount of fulfillment out of work, but as a result of that, you sort of go back and forth between fulfillment. When do, fulfillment and addiction come in. I don't want to make it sound like it is worse than it is, it's not, I promise. I have a completely normal real happy marriage life and family life. �But, what I have a problem with is that when I get started on something I just don't want to stop, I want to see it to completion to get that hit of dopamine. �To feel like, "yes, I have accomplished something." I tend to let that go farther than what it probably should.
For example, right now I have been working on a project for TechSnips. For about a week I have been putting in 11/12-hour days all week just to work on this project. �That is not typical of me, but I really think I need to disconnect more. �I need to take more vacations (which we are doing).
My wife thankfully forces me to take more vacations with the family. �It is beneficial to get out and think about things. Whether you spend time with family or if you have some downtime on vacation, you start to really think about the higher-level stuff.
Disconnecting from the weeds in your job really forces you to think at a higher level. �I went to one of the previous talks; it talked about your job is not your career. �It is kind of the same thing; I needed to listen to that, listen to myself because I tend to get so focused on the initial problem. �Sometimes it becomes a problem because I don't want to work on anything else. It's just one thing, one thing only, and I am black or white, one or zero.
I'm on this project and everything else just kinda gets pushed to the wayside until I start on something else. �I have a hard time balancing priorities and balancing tasks. I don't know why I do that, and honestly, I know that I am doing it which is the strange thing. �I am constantly meta-thinking, I know that I am doing this task and I should be doing this, but I'll just do it later. �Thankfully, it hasn't been a huge issue yet, I have been able to kind of manage as best I can. �But, I really need to get better at trying to manage and diversify the things that I work on, rather than focusing on one thing at once and being serial. �I really need to focus on that quite a bit.
Pushing through When You Don't Want Too
Another thing that I really need to focus on more is less on multitasking. �A big thing that I tend to do, especially when I get tired and I really just have a foggy brain and don't want to focus; when you're working on a project and you tend to get really get into it and you have to work on something that requires a lot of brain power. Whenever I'm tired or just don't feel like doing much, you naturally divert from doing that. �I have noticed that about myself, that whenever I am working on a project, whenever I'm working on a piece of code, normally its code because that requires the most brain power.
When I come onto something and I see some kind of architectural decision in the code that I'm working on, I'm like Nah, I don't want to do that right now. I think in my head yeah, yeah, I don't want to, just push it to the side and then I go to my email or go to Twitter, and I see what those new surprises are that are in store for me. �See if I get any likes or re-tweets or quick emails. �But the problem is that whenever I go to all of those other things is, I don't follow through on anything. �If I see an email, it's like a game of pinball sometimes, when I see an email, I get distracted from the big problem that I need to focus on because I don't want to expend too much brainpower. But, I still want that sense of accomplishment, that small hit of dopamine. �Like, YES, I got a new email, YES, I got a new reply to a tweet. But, I don't follow through on any of that.
For example, if there's an email that I get in my inbox and I see that it's from some client or something like that, I check it and then that requires even ten minutes worth of thought. I think yeah, yeah, and just push it aside. �I will even mark it as read sometimes and go to another email, and if that one requires thought, I look, I dabble, I sample, in various tasks, it drives me crazy to be honest with you. �Because I realize that I am doing this a lot of the times and it is not a good habit to be in.
I need to be able to schedule these things; I need to be able to batch things more. �Often, once I look at these issues, like an email for example, what I have read on so many different productivity books and so many different time management books, and so much time management information, that I inherently know just about everything there is to know. Everything that you should do, everything you shouldn't do about how to be more productive, but the problem is actually implementing that into or putting that into action. �That's one thing I have an issue with. �I really wish I could do better at that, especially with email, whenever you're checking email.
Do, Delete, Defer
David Allen does a really good job at this and is getting things done a book. �One thing he mentions is that if you are going to check your email, check your email and process your whole inbox. �Do, defer, and delegate, I think is his three D's. So, when you're checking your email you either do it immediately if it takes two minutes or less, you take care of whatever action that needs to be taken, you delete it if it has to be gone, such as spam or something like that, or you defer it. Which means you take it out of your inbox and put it in some kind of task manager or a project management system with specific instructions. Do this, think about this project on this, build this outline for this, build this code to do this, with specific instructions for yourself to do it.
Put it on a calendar or put it into some kind of system where you are going to look at later, where you have scheduled a time to do the actual work that is required. �It's not checking your inbox, oh that requires too much work, unread boom, starting that, and then by the time you get it you have read the same email three or four times. You have actually looked at the same email three or four times and found out that, "well I'm not getting anything done." It's all about going back and deferring the hard work, the hard brainpower work that you need to do.
I didn't really have a big plan for this, I just wanted to take the format a little bit differently. Kind of explain just a few things that I have been seeing that I personally have been struggling with and talking about them and trying to give some advice to you and also myself. �It may help me out in getting better at these things. So, as always, I appreciate your time and if you enjoy these feel free to subscribe to the channel.
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