Regular readers may have noticed an extra post on the evening of February 5th, a deviation from our “one post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday” routine. That post, Do You Like What You Do?, was meant for today.
I was very pleased with myself on the evening of the 5th to be scheduling a post for the 18th, until I accidentally clicked “publish” instead of “schedule”. I wanted to take it back, but it was too late. I checked my inbox to confirm my fear – there was the new post, instantaneously emailed to myself and all of our subscribers (for whom we are so grateful). Seeing the post in my inbox, my self-righteous industriousness felt more like a failure to listen to my better judgment. I had gotten home from work late. I was tired.
I dispense plenty of unsolicited advice on Figuring Out Fulfillment, but often fail to take the advice most commonly given to me. “It’s okay to relax a little, to have a little balance,” a good friend once told me. “I’m not incredibly interested in balance,” I responded – at least if balance means mountains of time with no productive end in mind. My word choice reveals my bias. Even my downtime activities often have end goals.
Though sometimes, most often prompted by a mistake, as on the evening of the 5th, I know it’s time to relax – that there’s no sense in trying to do more because more can lead to less. Forcing ourselves into productivity while procrastinating can prevent last-minute mistakes, but forcing ourselves into productivity when we need to relax can be the catalyst for needless mistakes. You know the difference.