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The Problems With Half-Working

My mind has been scrambled the last couple days. I don't know why, it came on very suddenly. I've made massive strides over the two weeks before - I accomplished about six months worth of work over two weeks. I felt on top of the world. I wasn't even very tired afterwards, I felt good, ready to go.

Then yesterday, just bzzt - nothing. Foggy, almost like confusion. Couldn't focus at all. Strange. I said, y'know what? I haven't had a day off in a while, I'm just going to take the day off. Went and sat at a cafe and listened to some audio for about four hours, walked around and saw the city, went and had a massage, and then sat and ate fruit. Spend like 10 hours in a row just thinking and relaxing, which is good, I don't take full days off very often. I had some good ideas when I was out at the cafe and took some extensive notes, so I got some production out of it too without even trying to.

Now, I wish I could say, "And then I was recharged, and today I was awesome!" But no, I woke up in a fog again. Damn this. I track my time and have some routines to keep me running well, but I was foggy despite it, unable to focus really. Suck, what is this?

I was working, but it was half-working. Now, half-working is a big problem in my opinion. Half-working tires you out as much or more than real full working, but you get about 5% as much stuff done. Yes, 5%. Good work requires something like focus. It doesn't necessarily require the highest levels of focus and flow (though that stuff is very good), but it requires working through the mentally difficult parts when they come up. The worst part about half-work is you cruise through the easy enough stuff, then stumble on a difficult part.

This is doubly bad, because when you come back to your work, you're staring the hardest part in the face. This sucks, you need to kind of regroup and double down to get re-started while staring a difficult or complex part of work in the face. But again, I was in that mental fog and so I start half-working on it, and then I wander off again. And I try to come back to the work, but then - bam, there's this hard problem staring me right in the face, that I already failed to conquer twice.

A tip for introducing new habits

On Imported Blog

After reading up on Pragmatic Thinking and Learning I decided I would implement a habit called Morning Pages. Effectively you commit to writing several pages of writing each and every morning, for me I intended to write a blog post unit each day, and decide which ones were worthy enough of sharing towards the end of the week. I was building up a healthy morning routine and figured one more habit wouldn't be too much to ask of myself.

I failed. Repeatedly. Two months in and I'd managed about five totally random mornings of writing. All of them on weekends. It kept feeling non-essential compared to my other habits and I felt like the pressure of getting to work at a reasonable hour build up as I sat down to try and write. I simply couldn't commit and I couldn't focus on writing.

So, in this sorry state I figured out a great way to introduce new habits that actually immediately worked for me. All new habits are done first. Simple as that, whenever you have a routine or when you're about to knuckle down and be productive always start with your newest habit. It's the one you have the most tenuous hold on and should be prioritised accordingly until it can become an establish part of your routine. I've been writing every morning for about a month and a half now and I've only missed one day(due to extreme tiredness). Also because it's the first thing I do when I wake, I've started to incorporate dreams into creative writing, it's been very rewarding actually. I think this habit is here to stay.

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