Stop doing all the things. Do the things that matter.
Know when to stop — this idea has stuck with me from art classes in high school to producing music. You have to know when enough is enough. Learn to relax.
Sometimes the most valuable thing you can do is to not do any more.
There was a time when I thought being useful or productive at work looked like being busy. When I finished with what I needed to do, I would create more work — lining up tasks that I didn’t really want to do to fill my day. This would inadvertently rope in others (who have their own work), and asking my manager to help me with something (work on his part), which required multiple meetings over months (no work getting done in those), which eventually resulted in designs and specs that would never be built or executed on because it wasn’t necessary work to begin with.
By trying to do ‘more’, I created opportunities to be distracted from solving the urgent and important problems.
Today, I try not to keep a long backlog of anything. It’s refreshing and forces me to be in the moment. There is barely a record of anything that I’m not working on right now. This way, being in the moment — living on the edge of zen — is inescapable.
I know what I need to be doing now and have a pretty good idea of what’s next. The rest can wait for me to get there.
Work on the important things with Backpack — coming in 2018.
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