Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hidden Work

I didn't get too much done today. I spent most of the morning thinking about creating a new feature for my app. I sketched out different designs. Erased some things here, added a doodad there. It just didn't seem to fit though. After awhile of it I took a step back and realized that my approach was all wrong. I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. And furthermore, because it didn't fit right, I decided that it wasn't worth the effort to do the necessary work for the feature and to work on something else.

Although it didn't seem like I did much I actually got a lot done. We are all going to have days where we don't have a bunch of lines of code or words on paper to show for it, but that doesn't mean we didn't do work. We did the taxing work of emotional labor and thinking. Thinking doesn't happen for free.

Tim Ferris once mentioned that he would write 5 pages and only have one good paragraph that he'd actually use for his book. The rest of the writing would be thrown away. But there is no way around this because its precisely the bad work that has to be produced to get to the good work. It has to be this way. So all the work I did today led me down a path and then back to the beginning. It seems like I am back in the same spot but I gained a new perspective and solved my priorities. This learning experience could potentially save me a lot of time versus me going down a wrong path. I got work done after all.

It takes bad to get to good. Not all work can be quantitatively measured. Don't get down on yourself if it seems like you are having an unproductive day. Getting stuck or hitting quicksand might be part of the journey to getting to your goals.