Over the past few weeks I have made a commitment again to be more productive / self-enriching. Other than activities at my day job (which I enjoy well enough, but don’t find particularly … rewarding), I had been in a real slump lately, with no real productive output and a lot of wasted time (at least, wasted in my mind – that is an argument I get into often with friends that I won’t delve into here).
I have started scheduling my days again, and that has helped tremendously, as it has in the past. I just need to commit to sticking with it. It’s much harder to slack off and waste time when that time slot is burning a hole in a schedule you took the time to prepare.
I recently signed up for an online electronics class offered through MIT. I happened to see the opportunity, and the timing was perfect for this push to become more productive, so I said what the hell and signed up. It cost me nothing, so the risk was low. So far, the reward has been great. I’ve really been enjoying the lectures, and the information is inherently relevant to my electronics hobby. The only “downfall” is I have had to relearn some calculus from wayyy back in 2003/2004. Admittedly, I have mostly had to relearn how to make my TI-89 do that calculus.
On top of that, I have committed, with a subset of a writer’s group, to a NaNoWriMo clone event to be held in January. November has never and pretty much will never work for me. Good luck to all of you currently participating. I’ll be spending some time this month and next planning heavily for that. I have a solid story idea in mind. It’s one I’ve wanted to do for a while and just haven’t committed to before now.
Additionally, I’ve been spending some time developing a card game I put some work into long ago. This one is a tougher one for me, because I really enjoy doing these things collaboratively, and my friends are generally unwilling to commit time to game development, despite all having an interest in it. I could look for other groups or online groups, but that seems like more tangential effort than I’m willing or able to exert at the moment. For now I will press on alone.
So, I am tackling productivity on three fronts currently. I really don’t know if this is a sound strategy. On one hand, I have a range of interests and I feel the pull of all of them. On the other, I fear that spreading myself too thing runs the risk of losing interest in all of it and devolving back into indulgent consumption again. I wonder if it might not be better to devote myself to a single pursuit, to really challenge myself in that domain, and see what happens.
In the past when I have done that, I’ve achieved “success”, followed by a rapid decline of interest. This seems to be a true failing of my personality. Once I know I can accomplish something with a reasonable modicum of success, there’s no allure in it anymore. I don’t know how to avoid that and instead build on that success into bigger and better things.
For now, I am testing the waters again. Once I finish my class, I have the option of two other follow on classes. I will probably need to focus solely on writing in January to complete the event, so perhaps I’ll see if that’s an area I can really invest myself in fully again. Will have to see how it all shakes out.