Productivity Tips for Anyone Prone to Overwhelm (Like Me)

A favorite quote of mine and probably also Dexter Morgan.


I noticed something yesterday, which might seem obvious but I constantly find myself turned away from the recurring observation, and having to readdress and relearn its lesson — so I thought I would share it here.

I took good care of myself. All day.

I prioritized what I knew instinctually I needed to do to feel content, and the result was that I felt good, had some fun, and got quite a bit done.

It often happens this way, when I remember the importance of prioritizing my own needs.

I got up early to write, not only because I have made the commitment to publish here every day this month, but also because I have noticed that doing so has been making me happy. I could have snoozed. The desire to write was greater than the desire to snooze.

I made and ate a healthy breakfast. I walked the dog and enjoyed the cool morning air. I showered and dressed and got out the door on time.

All basic, simple stuff. Some might call it boring. I don’t. I’m no longer so tempted. I look at these things as foundations of easiness, from which I can dive into the abyss when I’m writing, safe in the knowledge that when I resurface, I’ll be back in the calm of a stable day.

I listened to a very funny podcast on the way to my job, one that brings me joy and doesn’t feel like work. I got into the office and checked email and took care of business and then spent most of my lunch hour making fan art for the podcast. Then more business and another fun commute thanks to your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, who I am catching up with on Marvel Unlimited after years away from him.

I spoke with a friend. I sent a script out to a studio. I went home and did dishes and listened to music and made dinner. I watched some TV, talked with my wife about her day and about all of the above.

And then I didn’t sleep well. I’m a little cranky about it but it couldn’t be helped.

So the danger is that today will be less productive. But I’m starting to learn the signs of the trap. I’m tired, so I may have to take things slower. I have to continue to prioritize a baseline of inner tranquility, this morning, to offset the fact that my mood might get choppy later today.

It’s possible I’ll have to accept a less productive day overall, in order to regain some momentum tomorrow.

That’s the trick of it, though, isn’t it? I almost turned away from the truth again, right here as I was writing.

It doesn’t help to think too much about tomorrow, in these terms. I can’t do much, if anything, to influence tomorrow. That’s how the trap is sprung. Anything I do to make tomorrow easier exists only in the today.

So, today, nice and easy. I plan to listen to my body, and the needs of my mind and spirit. And to act accordingly.

Thanks for reading. It’s been cool, checking in like this daily. As always, comments welcome.

This is part thirteen of a thirty day trial, during which I am writing and publishing a post every day. No refunds. Comments welcome and encouraged!

Day 01: Struggles and Wonders and Dying in  Chair

Day 02: Fear, Panic, Identity and Anti-Focus

Day 03: Purple Sky of Towering Clouds Over a Far-off City

Day 04: Circle Up and Laugh

Day 05: On The Future of Labor

Day 06: Appreciating Difficulty, Harnessing its Momentum

Day 07: The Word for World is Earth

Day 08: It’s About The Dreaming, Not The Dream

Day 09: Moments of Presence: CWC Interview (Writer Laura Goode)

Day 10: Simmering Little Wrath of The Annoyed Man

Day 11: Tragedy, Remembrance and Wonder

Day 12: A New Light Borrowed or Discovered


Writer and Filmmaker

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