Podcast Episode #3: Meditations on Process

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A text conversation the other day with a friend of mine trying to synthesizing her guy problems. We’ve had variations of the same conversation for weeks months years now, but the other day after a breakthrough or two, I fired a text away that read something similar to this tweet:

So much of helping other people solve their dilemmas is working through your own problems too. It’s not entirely self-serving, but I cannot count how many times spending time breaking down the dilemmas of my friends and family have helped me to unravel my own messes along the way. In thinking about many of these conversations, it led me to think about how I view “the process” in my own life.

Seth Godin talks about “The Dip” as that thing in the middle that helps decide whether to stick with what you’re doing or whether to quit. I like recommending the book because it’s short, easy-to-read and most I recommend it to haven’t read his blog. But “the process” isn’t really about a barrier standing in the way of what you want, what you build in the middle — the process — is what sticks. If you don’t prepare, if you aren’t constantly self-critical, improving and trying to adapt…that entire time is wasted on you. Even if you end up getting what you want, I often find that I’m not really ready for it. Or I somehow decide that I don’t really want it anymore.

The process molds and shapes us.

Today on the podcast, it’s all about the process. For me, just getting this recorded and shipped to you was part of my own process. Hopefully it won’t take another few weeks for the next one to end up on your virtual doorsteps.

On Quality Time

I’m working really hard to get better at managing time. It’s not the work time that I have a problem with, it’s superfluous interactions that can be so time consuming. Whether it’s trying to make myself more accessible to other people, family stuff ™ or just people showing up out of the woodwork needing you to advise them on the same topic for the 100th time, I find that other people can be such a time suck.

I’m sure for my friends with actual responsibilities and obligations beyond setting their own schedules, this post seems needlessly inane. But I’ve configured myself almost deliberately to be without a lot of the encumbrances that other people take for granted and yet, I find that it’s just as difficult to stop people from creeping themselves onto my schedule. It’s easy to ignore calls from vendors or strangers, harder to ignore friends and family.

My family have gotten better about calling me and asking if I’m doing work before launching into whatever. It’s random friends who have a harder time accepting that what I’m doing is real work and assuming that if I’m tweeting or I’m on facebook, that means I must be available to talk because they don’t really understand my workflow. (N.B. Let’s be real, those are distractions too and I have apps to limit my use when I’m on a deadline…)

I could probably write an entire post just on workflows and how we all work — and interact with the same tools — differently.