It’s the small stuff.
I’ve never been good at massive, long-focused, epic tasks. I’m impatient, bore easily, and prefer ‘done’ to perfect.
I’m restless too, and easily discontented. I’m a fan of discontentment in general (see here), but in a given day, it’s hard to get as much good work done if you’re unsettled from the word ‘go’.
These traits combine to create a useful pattern. I need to notch something meaningful off the list to begin a day, but it can’t be too big. That’s why daily blogging works best when I do it in the morning, before checking my phone or any other major cognitive input. Just sit down, face the blank screen, and hammer out a post.
Clicking “publish” is like shooting myself out of the gate.
And I’m telling you, this little good feeling – writer’s high I guess – makes a massive difference to the rest of my day. Massive.
It’s not just writing. There are several ways to get that small feeling of accomplishment when the day’s starting to suck. Just getting some work done, anything small and complete-able, pops me out of the doldrums and turns the jets on.
Minds are complex things. Too complex for their owners sometimes. We don’t always know how to get to the bottom of our frustrations, anxieties, fears, depression, or listlessness. The harder the conscious mind tries to unearth its subconscious sibling, the deeper the disconnection from good feelings gets.
Ignoring analysis and getting some tasks done is better for short-term happiness and long-term discovery, nine times out of ten.
If you’re in a funk, forget the big gnarly psychological obstacles and just finish some small work to get that little good feeling. The rest tends to take care of itself.