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Is the problem that dislikable work feels more productive?

Patrick McKenzie writes in "The Hardest Adjustment to Self Employment"

I wanted to have AR in beta six weeks ago. Between consulting, vacation, and BCC, I haven’t made almost any forward progress on engineering.

I know that to be true for AR because code isn’t getting written, but I always think it to be true for BCC. It turns out that I am smoking something: I ran a shell script to compare my productivity (commits, A/B tests, etc) prior and post quitting. I thought it would show me spinning my wheels. Turns out I am getting more done than ever. ... Sales are up, too. Why doesn’t it feel this way?

I've been thinking about this since I read it this morning. Could it be that work you dislike and are being mandated to do feels more productive? I did about six hours of great work today, but most of it was talking to people I enjoy talking to and learn a lot from and playing around in Google analytics. I felt like I got nothing done until I looked at my list at the end of the day - tons of good stuff checked off.

One of the greatest things about working for yourself is that you can focus on what you want to do, and often that's work-that-feels-like-play-but-also-pays-you. Isn't that magnificent? Work that doesn't feel like working that's highly productive? Just, it's easy not to feel productive afterwards, since it felt like playing all day... what do you think?

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On Kicking Thoughts

Everyone is guilty of not giving their full attention to something or someone. What reasons do you have and why do you feel they're valid?

You choose to go to work. Whether that choice is self mandated due to bills, obligation or even routine; it is a choice. Why go and give less than your best?

In your personal life, you have pass times. Hobbies and other things you enjoy doing when you're not satisfying an obligation. Things you actually choose to do because you enjoy them.

For me it's Martial Arts and time with my family: even video games. I've found myself not being present for each of those things in the past. Why? Mental fatigue. I needed a break. Yes, sometimes you need a break even from the "fun stuff".

Be present for the things you do. Even the things you may not want to do. It's a measure and a test of your character and self-discipline.

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