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Guest Post: On Being On-Track With Obsessive Tasks

It's particularly challenging with tasks that require intense bursts of time and energy. Coding, writing, inteking strange new behaviors and worldviews. These are things that require intense focus, energy, and enthusiasm and just the right mental state. That can be very hard to maintain, and in fact, is often not even beneficial to maintain in other areas of your life that you have a higher degree of mastery and require less arousal to reach your optimal performance. So I think it's natural to fall into and out of this "high-energy" mode, which many of us associate with exponential productivity.

But there are some easy traps to fall into here.

One of the biggest is ignoring the skill of putting yourself in this mode at will. There is not actually a magic genie in your walls. You need to be able to say, tomorrow morning I have time to write, and I will write, and a part of that is getting yourself into "the zone." If you are failing to get yourself into "the zone," then you need to step back and work on that skill independently. Maybe that means re-awakening your original inspiration (thinking about all the people you will help with this book) or maybe it is preparing your vessel (low-fat, high fiber diet the day before, 6 hours of sleep, wake up, run, then get right to work... or whatever ritual ends up working). But these are factors that need to be evaluated.

I think another big one is denial. Thinking that you can maintain this state longer than you can, physio/psychologically or just within the constraints of the rest of your life. It's important to "pump yourself up" to the very high levels necessary to achieve your goals. It's also important to deal with the realities and interruptions and diversions of life as they come, then be able to return to that state.

Anyway, with regard to myself and my major goals, this week was largely a wash.

It Gets Around To Happening

I've been cleaning up my papers, and I just noticed something funny -- there were some goals I set around 21st February of this year. Around eight of the goals didn't happen in February or May, and I forgot about those particular goals explicitly when I hit the road again for Japan, Germany, England, Eastern Europe, and the USA.

It's always an interesting question whether it's better to keep focus on goals that aren't achievable at the moment due to circumstance. In this case, I opted against.

But now, I notice that all of those eight are either complete, or will finish this week.

*Two finished over three weeks in Japan.*Four finished in Germany and England.*Two will finish this week in the U.S.

It's interesting, because they weren't explicitly on my mind at all -- but it's a pattern I've noticed before, and many others have remarked on. Write down your goals and they're far more likely to happen.

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