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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?

Deal with your Emotions. Don't Control them.

On Slack

This is probably obvious for most of you, but it wasn't for me. Maybe there's some other poor, like-minded person like me out there who hasn't figured it out yet.

Some people are very good at seeing 'the big picture'. Not me. I've always been a very detail oriented person. Every concept I process and every idea I visualize is almost automatically, unthinkingly organized in my brain. One idea suddenly becomes a bulletined list of each individual variable, the traits of each variable and the pros and cons of each variable trait. I think it's for this reason that I have a very controlling aspect to my personality.

To me, self control always meant forcefully suppressing negative or irrational emotions and willing positive ones to the surface. It's always been all about what I should/shouldn't feel. Or what I want/don't want to feel. What I actually currently felt seemed irrelevant. I always expected this complete emotional control of myself, as well as others around me.

Not only is this an extremely stressful and emotionally damaging way to live, but it's downright impossible. Every time I tried to forcefully control an emotion, only to end up exacerbating it instead, It felt like a personal failure. I thought this was how everyone did it. The fact that I couldn't do it must have meant that I'm an irrational person who can't control themselves. Or that I don't have a strong enough willpower. Thoughts like these only helped to further this counter-productive cycle.

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