"I don't have time to figure out the right thing, because I'm too busy doing the wrong thing". This was the effective message a colleague said to me a number of years ago when I was trying to get them to think more strategically.
But yet, it's often the case with our own lives. We spend too much time just churning away at the task that we don't make time to step back and reassess what we should be doing.
That said, I also know people who only spend time planning what they are going to do, that they actually forget to do any of it.
These articles hit the same point. I was churning away at writing articles but I wasn't getting any feedback. So I reached out and asked for what you liked and what you didn't like. I got some brilliant feedback, thank you!
Here's the summary of what I learned:
- Short emails with a specific topic is good
- The use of AI cover images is not so good
- More about building my own product
- More about Zettelkasten and productivity
- Aim for intellectually filtered surprises
I've used this a bit of an opportunity to take a break over the past few weeks. It's weird, when you break the streak, it can be hard to restart.
That said, my primary focus right now is my Atomic Note-Taking book. So in the spirit of sharing more about building my own product, I'll give a bit of an update.
I've been putting most of my energy to get the first draft of the book complete. This means all the examples are done and ready to go. I'm about half way through Part 5 which is the Student Q&A. This section aims to revisit topics but through a different perspective with the aim of giving a rounded approach to understand the system.
But writing a book is hard work. I only get to do this in the evenings. And some evenings I'm just too tired. But what has certainly helped is using Brain.fm. I used to use it a number of years ago but switched back to Spotify. But I realised I needed it to power though this book. I needed to create a cue for my mind to focus without hitting a song that I don't like and snaps me out of my focus.
But it works. I'll feel guilty before going to bed from watching mindless YouTube videos to unwind, and I'll say to myself, just 20 minutes of working on the book and then I'll go to bed guilt free. Put on my Brain.fm music and 1 hour and 20 minutes later I'm forcing myself to go to bed.
If you happen to find yourself checking it out and decide to go for it, use my code 'martin' for 20% off. Yes, I get a kickback, but it can save you some money also.
Truth be told, I'm not actually ready to restart the newsletter. All my writing time is going into the book. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, even though I know there's a lot of editing and a lot of formatting to go. I do try not to think too much about that, but just focus on what's in front of me.
I'll stop rambling here. But today's Ah-Ha moment is that you really do need to find the time to refocus. Sure, try things out to get feedback on what works and what doesn't, but learn quickly and adapt. Try to avoid the over-planning trap and the churning trap.