Issue No. 4: Hours
"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. "
― Annie Dillard
Time and energy are two things I continually come back to, continually struggle with. There never seems to be enough time and I always want more energy to squeeze out every last minute of usefulness from the time that I have. But if I do that, intensely put every single moment to use, it leaves me drained of energy. Time and energy go hand in hand—they are two peas in a pod.
Both have been particularly on my mind as of late as I have the unique opportunity to redefine how I work. And work is, well, energy spent over time.
I've been giving great thought to questions like:
How can I work in a way that is sustainable, that invigorates vs. drains me, that allows space for ideas to happen and creativity to flow?
How do I measure success in my work? In my work day? How do I know I'm making progress?
How can I work in a way that allows my work to elevate my life and my life to elevate my work?
At what time of day do I work best? In what duration? Using what tools? Collaborating in what way?
Considering how much time we spend working, it's interesting to me how little we spend really thinking and defining how we work, alone and together. Or perhaps we do think about it as individuals, but in today's work culture we sadly and simply have so little control of it.
My personal solution: Small changes, taking it one hour at time, and being hyperaware of when I'm slipping into old habits (it's just so easy). Because, quite simply, hour by hour is how we live our lives. So, if we change how we spend the hours, in theory we can change how we spend our lives. Right?
1. LISTENING TO ...
The first episode of the new Hurry Slowly podcast by work-differently-trailblazerJocelyn K. Glei. She and Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp, dive deep into why shared calendars allow people to steal your time, why the Basecamp team doesn't plan more than six weeks out, and so much more. Which leads me to ...
2. FEELING GOOD ABOUT ...
Using Basecamp as my workflow/collaboration tool for so many reasons. To start, it's a product with an opinion—one that we could probably all benefit from. (Also, looking forward to the company's next book: The Calm Company.)
3. LOVING/HATING ...
You Need a Budget (YNAB). It's a beast of a budgeting software but it sure keeps you #honest.
4. NOT LEAVING THE HOUSE WITHOUT ...
An RX Bar (real ingredients and no BS). I'm not the best at planning mid-day meals, so the RX Bar in my purse has saved me more than once.
5. BUNDLING UP ...
In a Patagonia Tres Parka—the essentialist's jacket (according to Matt). He's right in that it's three coats in one. Bring on the cold-weather outdoor adventures.
6. REFUSING ...
To be okay with the idea of smart appliances and how we've let the manufacturers of such appliances so completely into our lives:
But, when an appliance is sending a constant stream of data back to its maker, that company has continuous relationships with the owners of its products, and can find all sorts of ways to make money from those relationships. If a company knows, years after you bought its stove, exactly how often you cook, what you cook, when you shop, and what you watch (on a stove-top screen) while you cook, it can continuously monetize your relationship: selling you recipe subscriptions, maybe, or getting a cut of your food orders.