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Re: A Productivity System For Creators

I’ve tried this system twice, although only one of those two attempts were really serious, and I couldn’t get it to work.

Now, I like that it leverages having a working GTD system, which I have, and it does set out to solve a problem I perceive myself having (doing slightly fewer long-term and slightly more short-term projects than I tell myself I’d like), and maybe the solution is to try it again and maybe it’ll stick the third time.

I ran into three problems.

  1. I couldn’t stick to the one creative project per time horizon. I succumbed to switching projects, bumping up (switching out) a new project in a time horizon because I got nerd sniped or just bored.
  2. I also had a hard time sticking to the “balance the time horizons evenly” thing. It does seem like a good idea, and I did stick to it mostly (it was less of a problem than the preceding point), but it was a huge effort.
  3. I have a really sanded down, low-friction, post-GTD version of GTD so adding time logging to that was a huge overhead, a meta-task that I really resented spending time on.

And, since I managed to stick to it for such a short time, I wasn’t seeing benefits yet so that intrinsic motivator was lacking.

I was also already using a “Final Version” inspired dot-then-do method of task selection so I already had a solution to half the problem this set out to solve. That leaves the other half: balancing more long-term projects. I do some, like the rewrite of [match-generics] took many days, as a recent example, but I do find it difficult to stick to long-term projects. I’m more of an idea machine and less good at the elbow grease part.

Also the solution of working an equal amount of time, i.e. releasing a ton of small project for every big one… I already do that, sorta? Not 100% equal time but that’s not really the goal, right? The problem is: not enough big projects get done. Getting speed bumped on big projects and asked to do small projects doesn’t sound super fun. Sounds a li’l like the Pomodoro (which I can’t stand; probably better known as getting bleeped at whenever I’m about to go into a flow state and getting ticktickticked at when I can’t).

The idea of releasing small project also is based on it being a way to generate feedback but I don’t get a ton of feedback and probably wouldn’t handle it well if I did. I’m not “super online”, I don’t follow a lot of accounts, I’m not on a lot of social networks. Soju and notmuch is fielding a lot of the irc and mail for me.

Maybe people know that I’m thin-skinned & toxic and get defensive and entrenched and don’t handle feedback well just aren’t that into the weird stuff I do.

I’m also not really part of an artistic community of peers any more, except for the last few years with D&D and programming (which has helped me become better at D&D and programming and motivated me to release more stuff—love it, super grateful, haven’t found the same for the other art forms). Also I get great feedback on the essays themselves and the opinions in them.♥︎ Even disagreement is good, either I can elaborate on something I missed addressing, or I can change my mind.

IDK. Maybe it’s all good as it is. It’s a struggle but that’s what the war of art is.