Saturday, January 1, 2011

Take control of the now.



Another 31.5 million seconds have ticked by since the last time this unlikely ball of life spun around that sphere of hot fusion we call the sun.
By itself, each second is so small as to be insignificant. The past is over and unchangeable, and the future hasn't happened yet and is untouchable.
Push the past and the future even closer together, and that instant where they meet is all there really is. Which makes it a moment of supreme importance. It'd be a shame to waste it.
Accept that you can only focus your attention on one thing at a time. Now do it on purpose. That flow we experience when consumed by a suitably challenging activity is when we're at our happiest. The challenge isn't too easy, isn't too hard. It's just right.
Don't fool yourself into thinking you can multitask either. Walk and chew gum? Ok. Fine, but don't try to multitask on things that deserve your concentration.
One fight at a time. Task switching is a major drain on your mental resources. If you're broken out of your concentration with an interruption it takes a long time to get back to where you were. If you're interrupting yourself, even to check on something else you're doing, that's self destructive and less productive than you think.
At the very least please turn off that chime that lets you know you have new email.
This is the strange part. When you're doing fewer things you will get more done. The simple act of focusing on something until it's done will lead you to finish more things than multitasking ever will.
This is the time of year people talk about resolutions. Don't count on resolutions. Count on yourself instead. Pick something you want to do and do it. Thoughtfully, intentionally, purposefully do it every day for 30 days. Make it a habit. After the 30 days are up, you can quit if you want. You can keep up anything for 30 days.
Finish what you start. Be selective about what you choose to start, because starting means finishing. If you ingrain that starting means finishing you'll start fewer things, but finish more of them. That's far more satisfying than starting and abandoning lots of things unfinished.
Take control of the now. If you don't you'll find millions more seconds have slipped away.

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