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Daydreaming Correlates With Creative Work

I've talked about time tracking a lot, most recently in "Daily Tracking Template v6."

One thing that's a mixed blessing is I do all my tracking by hand. I write it all down by hand, I add it up by hand, and I calculate out the results weekly by hand.

I do this for two reason - first, it makes my tracking very flexible about mixing notes in with times, changing/updating categories on the fly, and otherwise not locking me into a fixed format. Second, since I'm doing it the long way, it keeps it in the forefront of my mind. Almost always, automatically generated reports/numbers get less attention than going over them slowly by hand.

Additionally, trends about how the days ebb and flow start to emerge by going over them slowly. It only takes a few minutes a day, and I really think it's time well spent.

One downside, though, of doing it by hand - I don't have any nice way to find correlations. No fancy automatic output graphs or visualizations. If I want to see if there's some sort of correlation, I need to come up with a hypothesis on my own and then go dig through past records.

I didn't write anything for a month and it was great

On minimalift

I was undeniably stuck. Over the past month, I’ve produced a fat zero in typed or handwritten output. It was bothering me - a lot. This site isn’t income generating, I pay to display my wares here. It’s not much - the price of a couple of beers a month, as I’ve mentioned before. Like an unused gym membership, the wasted money was troubling. I’m hardly flush and it does add up over the course of a year.

I decided to turn the absence of writing into a personal experiment. First, a declared halt to all writing and blogging endeavours. By turning an unconscious decision into one that I controlled, the source of anxiety was removed. Now all I had to do was wait and observe. I found that at first, I was quite alright with not writing. I could spend more time focusing on paid work, family and training. I dropped most social network activity and that felt good too. When I did need to write for any reason, it was all on loose leaf paper, and I found myself gravitating towards A3 and up. It’s not practical or portable, but the extra white space gives me room to think. So I acknowledge that and will continue to use it.

I learned that lists were really make my brain seize up. Non-linear mind mapping techniques jolt my mind far better than any todo list. I found myself having ideas again thinking in multiple planes. In fact, just to have ideas again was nice. I started to formulate entire articles in my head - first drafts at 3am in the dark. Over the last couple of days, communication lines resumed again and that feels good too. Now I’m writing this, and it isn’t a masterpiece but that’s cool. It’s here and I’m happy to write it - not through any kind of obligation, but want. This is how it ought to be.

In being stuck I got better at observing myself. Plus I had loads of time to play through Link Between Worlds, which was far higher priority to me than writing any article. If you’re a gamer, you should pick that up.

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