Categories
productivity

What three things can I do today?

I just read an headline called: what are the three things you want to accomplish today.

That’s the productivity philosophy I strive for. My philosophy used to be ‘get everything down and do as much of it as you can.’ That’s still appropriate in some ways. But it’s not realistic most of the time.

Let’s assume I get somewhere near an average amount of work done each day. On any given day, I’m setting out to do two or three times that amount of work. And lately, with my calendar almost completely full of meetings, I’m pulling down my average.

So, the net effect on my emotional health is that I’m always behind and I’m never successful. That sucks!

If I focus on three things instead — a ‘minimum viable product,’ if you will — and work to try to get them done as early as possible in the day, then anything else I get done is surplus.

So, what are the three things I want to focus on today? The three most important things on my radar.

Categories
advice time

What Getting Older Has Felt Like (For Me)

grow old along with me the best is yet to beI’m not old yet. That’s what I tell myself, anyway. Old is some sort of benevolent trap that some of us make it to. I’m not trying to talk about old today, but older. I am older.

Sure, we’re all older—older than we used to be, older than even a moment ago. But I am categorically older. I’m firmly middle-aged now. There was no one moment when this dawned on me. It was many small realizations over time.

The most surprising thing about growing older is that it doesn’t really feel like anything. It’s not nearly as dramatic as moving from child to adult. Your body and your attitudes change in subtle, gradual ways.

When I was a young adult, I never thought about my own aging. I knew it would happen in some abstract way. But I assumed it would feel dramatically different. And that’s the biggest surprise.

I tend to notice my aging reflected in the aging of others. With friends and family, especially those older than me who I don’t see often, I figure that since they’re getting older that I must be getting older, too. Only then do I think to look for, and find, my accumulated aging in the mirror.

I also notice some decline in my physical abilities. My eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be, nor is my digestion. I have similar strength and stamina as my twenties, but only because I care much more about those things now and work to maintain what I have.

There are advantages to aging. I feel more emotionally secure. The thirst for excitement has been replaced by an appreciation of calm. I feel like I have less to prove to others and myself. It’s a slower pace that might have bored me then but now provides endless opportunity for wonder.

My sense of time is different. I was 13 in 1983. I got a greatest hits Beatles cassette for Christmas that was mostly their music before 1965. Then, those 20-year-old recordings seemed of the same generic past of telegrams and WWII. Now, 20 years ago seems only a little less like yesterday than yesterday.