What is this for?

My efforts here are about the testing of ideas. Taking concepts and refining them through the writing and editing practice. The end goal is making use of the concepts through my experiences. I don’t expect them all to be fruitful. I expect there to be contradictions and variability among the ideas. I expect them to be outdated, replaced, ignored, and sometimes wrong. It’s all a progress report, not an end point.

Learning about mistakes

As evident by the frequency of posts on this platform. I am not a consistent or productive writer. Yet, I find Daphne Grant-Gray, the individual behind publication coach, to be the most influential voice on my view of personal productivity.

In a recent email, she provided a list of 13 common time-wasting mistakes. It’s unclear if this is publicly available outside of the mailing list so I will not be linking to it directly. For some reference, here are four of the mistakes.

“We allow ourselves to become distracted”

“We don’t know how to say ‘no’ to anyone”

“We don’t track our results”

“We overestimate the amount of time that we actually have”

As I reflected on her interpretation of these and the other 9 mistakes, I found myself lumping the ideas into groups. I either felt that I was reasonable addressing that mistake or it was going to be hard to make improvements on that idea. A great example of how quickly our minds push us to the binary fallacy.

There was a lot more middle ground and I worked on resolving it a bit. This led me to building out four larger themes that captured these 13 mistakes reasonable well im my mind.

We live in a digital world

Very little is more attractive than novelty. The world of information builds itself on that foundation. It’s not right to avoid it wholly, just don’t let it derail you from what yourself tomorrow wishes you would do today.

Social Pressures

Peer pressures, FOMO, and the drive for status are strong currents. They can be both positive and negative based on how they align with your own visions. That requires understanding your own visions, which is neither a static nor an isolated goal.

Structure your environment

You pay attention to the things you are exposed to. Trust the power button more then will power. Build, bend, and shape your world in such a way that it keeps you centered on the path you actually want to take.


You have been tricked. You will be tricked. You are being tricked. It’s you doing the tricking. Work toward limiting the frequency and intensity of this innate human experience.

I felt quite content with my current framework for addressing the mistakes under the categories of social pressure and structure your environment.

We live in a digital world was a mixed bag

Self-deception is a beast…

The take away of this reflection is that I’m going to make bigger gains in my productive work time by improving my ability to understand when and why I am lying to myself. This is way harder and much less fun than trying to optimize a hot key structure or embed timed work sessions into my day to day. I takes this hard reality check to keep me focus on the meaningful when the fun can be so much more attractive.


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