Letting Go of the Goose
A student said to the master, "I feel as though I have been raising a goose in a bottle. Now the goose is so big that I can't get it out without either breaking the bottle or harming the goose." The master said to the student, "Sir, it's out!" Hearing this, the student instantly awakened to reality.
It's time to admit something to myself that I've suspected for a long time: I'm positively bored with productivity. Not productivity, as in being productive, you must understand, but reading endlessly about productivity the topic.
This is probably heresy, and I can hear the loud and reverberating mouseclick of throngs of people unsubscribing my blogs from their feed readers. But it's something that I just had to get off my chest. For a couple years now, I've faithfully followed 43 Folders, GTD Zealot, LifeHack.org and other top-notch productivity-related blogs (especially those concerned with GTD), and mused about all the wonderful little strategies for accomplishing more within my increasingly limited time. And I read, and I experimented, and I learned. Then one day I woke up and decided I was rather tired of it all.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying productivity sites aren't valuable. Nor am I going to slacken the progress on DIYPlanner.com or the D*I*Y Planner project: if anything, they'll be stronger than ever, since I've never seen productivity as a well-defined boundary or paradigm for it. ("Limitlessly open. Nothing is sacred.") But here's what I realised: I have arrived at my destination. I no longer have to wonder endlessly about how to become productive: I know what works for me, and how to go about it. Of course, I'm not so vain as to believe that my methods can't be improved. They certainly can, but I'm just not going to be obsessive about it. I just have to watch for the slowdowns, speedbumps and obstacles, and figure out the best ways to deal with them. I don't have to read hours of productivity articles and links each day just to squeeze out another few minutes of work time.
In a way, it's similar to what I've learned lately about technology. Both are journeys, at least for me. But as much fun as the trip can be, it's important to realise what one's destination is, so you know when you can stop, at least for a while. Else you can spin your wheels forever, never able to rest.
I have my calendars, my action lists, my reference materials, my structured projects, and so forth. As long as I'm diligent and stick with them, they work. Why do I have to keep searching, keep charging ahead with clever tricks and hacks, keep pushing forward with new and increasingly complex or simplistic ways of doing things?
It's time to admit to myself that I don't, at least for now.
Whew. The goose is loose.
|Zen for Beginners|
author: Judith Blackstone