The Need for Shiny Objects

When you should stop chasing new things?

I published two new pieces: best noise-canceling apps and an interview with clinical psychologist Nick Wignall.

I recognize that I suffer immensely from the shiny object syndrome.

Especially when it comes to productivity.

My identity is hugely based on achieving, and seeing progress gives me positive feedback that how I’m spending my time is useful.

However, this often leads me to jump from one tool to another, from one service to a seemingly better one, just to realize after some time that, in the end, I didn’t even need it.

You may feel this frustration as well.

After more than 10 years of freelancing and working on multiple projects, I now understand myself better and realize that I don’t want to set up complex systems.

For task management, if it’s only me, pen and paper can do the job.

For jotting down quick ideas, I don’t need an advanced filing system with tags, colors, labels, timestamps, emojis, and other needed or unnecessary features.

Simply opening the Notes app on my phone or laptop does the job.

In fact, I’m drafting this using Apple native Notes app and it lets me transmit this message to you via the interwebs, just fine.

The point of today’s message in short is – you need to get to know yourself better.

“Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong.” – Peter Drucker, Managing Oneself

To better explain it, you must go through multiple shitshows to realize what triggers stress and impatience for you.

In my case, it’s definitely meetings, useless catchups, and overcomplicating in the early stages when simply doing the work is what everyone needs.

Try things out (lots of things) before you judge.

Podcasting, teaching, blogging, coding, writing, painting, acting, singing, whatever attracts your attention.

If you stick to something long enough, look back and ask yourself, did you do it for the money or you’re naturally interested in it?

In my case, it took over a decade to understand that:

  1. I wrote a lot for the money
  2. I wrote even more because I like it for multiple reasons

Now getting back to the essentials.

I spent my 20s exploring and learning a lot and now feel that I got a taste for what I want for the next decade. I better understand and more easily accept what I’m made of and capable of and want to get back to the foundations.

Referring back to the 80/20 Rule, 20% of actions produce 80% of results.

Essentials matter even more at later stages in your life.

Trying out what's new is fun and should never be abandoned, but after a while, you should know what works for you and exploit it more.

If you want more specific tips on how to apply 80/20 to your life, Dan Silvestre has a brilliant post about it.

My rant is over, need to try out another shiny productivity app...

Some other cool stuff you may like:

P.S. You’re ducking welcome.

Sent on March 11, 2021.
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