Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Balancing Productivity, Motivation, and Genius

Reggie Watts is amazing. I'm pretty sure this (and most of  his other songs I've found on youtube) is just from the top of his head, all the way down to the beat - he just uses a loop pedal for the music part of the song and lets the words freely flow out of his mouth.  And it's so awesome. And deep. How does he just come up with an entire song like that?

"On none other than the BBC News:  It's not exactly what you'd expect, but it's everybody that you've known.   Over the past 10 years, it's been said that the Kuala Lumpur officials will not know if the twin towers will reactivate after the devastating tsunami, but these are things that we should always be considered to be a part of whether we realize it or not.  Another story today is a story about someone else, somewhere else, in another place, under different circumstances.  Stay tuned for that.  And also, be caureful, because if you're not, someone won't be - and then things will happen.  Accidents are much, much worse when they happen... to you." ~Reggie Watts "Sugar Got it Going On" (10:02)
There's a theory that life is best when it's free-flowing like this; schedules and routines just detract from your happiness potential. Want to do something? Stop thinking about it and just get out and do it.

I first read and seriously thought about this theory a few years ago reading Zen Habits. Leo, the writer at Zen habits, said, "Let’s create a new creed: Simplicity, purpose, focus, silence, and joy. Let’s make beautiful and useful things, and love doing it."

I love that theory; however, I'm having a hell of a time putting it into practice. Maybe it's my personality, maybe it's because I have kids and a family to worry about.... maybe it's not a one-size fits all idea (do those even exist??). Who knows.

I've been catching up on reading Everett Bogue's blog(s). I have to read some of his older posts in my e-mail inbox because he deleted his site. I've since found that he does have archives, though. He seems to be really into deleting stuff lately, ha. That's another idea I love, but I'm not quite brave enough for that one yet.

Anyway, he's the one who brought to my attention the way Farenheit 451 was written. Short, free-flowing bursts. Here's what Ev said:

"In Ray Bradbury’s Zen and the Art of Writing, he tells the story about how he wrote Fahrenheit 451. He’d been unable to get any writing done at his home, because he had a few young children who wouldn’t stop screaming. So, he went to the library to write. The library had typewriters that let you write for 10 minutes when you put in a dime. Ray was struggling with the money at the time, and had to feed his family, so he didn’t have many dimes. He’d pop in the dime and then frantically type for 10 minutes. In-between, he’d walk around the library."
Seems kind of like a combination uber productivity and free-flowing goodness. No well-thought outlines, no extensive editing; however, a very rigid 10 minute window to work with.

Moderating yourself is considerably harder than a program or librarian doing it for you though, which is why I've had a difficult time with schedules in the past. That, and, once I miss a couple things on my schedule, I tend to just throw the whole thing out because any motivation I may have had is lost.

But, I've fallen so far behind on so many things that I think I'm going to have to make a schedule to make a dent. I wish I could just delete all that stuff... I suppose I could. But they are for my family.  I wonder how often I use my family as an excuse? It's hard to say, and it's hard to say how valid that excuse is - i.e. Do I really need to save every photo I've ever taken of my kids? Sure, there's no way I can tell what they'd like 10, 20, 30 years from now. But are they really going to want to go through the millions (surely by that point) of photos?

Maybe making a schedule is just a sneaky way of my ego making a list of all the crap that stresses me out. (Nebberz HATES those lists.) But maybe I process stuff things easier and faster when I have a visual representation...

How do you normally get things done - do you need to have habits and schedules? What about the greatest thing you've ever accomplished - were there rigid parameters or were you just able to tap into the flow?


  1. I DEFINITELY need a schedule, lol.

  2. I go about and do stuff I want and need before doing stuff I must.

    Not the best method, but it kinda works...