22 September, 2020
Extended Thoughts(Tuesday 22 September)
04:44 - Context
to my surprise, this is when the day started. I'm by no means a morning person but I appreciate an early morning from time to time, so being up this early set a good tone to the day. It wasn't more than 5 to 10 minutes after gaining consciousness when I reached for my phone, and glued right in, checking for important texts, e-mails & the rest of it. heck, I sent out my first email at 05:06, before hopping onto twitter for about 10 minutes.
wtf did I even do all week?
that's when the internal dialogue to the tone of Is this really how I want to be starting my days? started playing whispering in my head. not long after that, an uneasy feeling crept in sharply, the feeling of losing site of where time goes when days are spent responding to other people's requests(Instant Messaging, Meetings, you know the deal). that's how I get to the end of the week and think wtf did I even do all week?. I find that the less time I have to myself, & work that I deem meaningful, the higher the likelihood of me getting to the end of the week and feeling like I haven't accomplished anything.
talent is not a commodity you can buy in bulk and combine to reach the needed levels: There's a premium to being the best - Cal Newport
Luckily, I interacted with these thoughts quickly & decisively, instead of shrugging them off, and scrolling down the timeline. I decided to take at least the first couple hours of the day to myself, which gave me about 4 hours of uninterrupted time to myself. I figured that's just the recharge I needed to get the week back in control, some alone time.
Deep Work - Cal Newport
last night I noticed I had this book in my library, and made the mental note to read it 'soon'. So I figured, no better way to start the day than with some light reading. It had been on my reading list for at least a year, but my earliest memory of the book is this 2017 article by Mike Matthews, reviewing his key takeaways from the book. I made a mental bookmark and moved on.
I'm comfortable being bored - Cal Newport
after highlighting a quote as early as the introduction chapter, I figured I'd pay a bit more attention than is required by a light read. at some point, I decided to just finish the whole book in one sitting. a day of no code never killed anyone, right?😅
it was worth blocking out the day for :)
One thing I love about long uninterrupted blocks of time is the excitement of knowing I have time to listen to music while I get work done. I'm starting to make peace with a few facts however:
- I can't explore new music, while fully concentrating on the task at hand
- I mostly go through my playlists on shuffle, and that can be very distracting at times, as I can easily land on tracks that don't promote a focused environment. Imagine trying to write code with Serum attempting to shake your eardrums right off - not ideal.
In one of many attempts to create a healthy 'music exploration & focused work' balance, I sought out to create playlists that I can just slap on when it's time to work. I started curating this playlist a year ago, but it really started to take shape June of this year. I decided to expedite my efforts on the playlist after being inspired by a project by Datasette, Musicforprogramming.
long story short, I was excited to give it a shakedown, and it did it's job really well. I could go on and on about this playlist, but here's the Spotify link if you're interested in checking it out.
this article lists a whole lot more 'work friendly' pieces of music I've found.
- Night Owl - VS Code theme by Sarah Drasner. I'll be using this for a hot while, no doubt.
- Hasty Treat - Time Block Planning - Scott shares his thoughts on deep work & how it's helped since working from home's become a thing.
- Frontend Happy Hour - SEO
I just noticed that my blog's frontmatter date is formatted exactly like my laptop's default calendar date(YYYY/MM/DD). coincidence or habit drilled in over time?