Cycling through your life: Communicate, Adapt & Get shit done

The evolution of the bicycle is the perfect analogy of the increasing importance of the habit of change. Wait for it...

There is no way around it. With my current way of living, in which I work using digital systems 8-14 hours per day, there are a lot of distractions. It's hard to say how many, but...
My mind has always been really actionable to vision. It's how human minds work. And that's good. But with technology, it can be bad. Because if you're not consciously knowing it, and don't develop certain habits, you will just go with the flow and get addicted to following the most exciting path. In the real world this is fine, but on screens, this will almost always put you in an unproductive echo chamber. Think about it.

So that's why I took some time to look at myself and be honest. I want to learn NodeJS and program, yet, I use Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram 2:30 hours per day, and chrome 4:45 hours a day. It's hard to measure how much of this is productive. And in the long term, I think most Chrome stuff is still productive because it's mostly learning... But I'm sure that most Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are not productive at all and a lot of Chrome isn't either for real valuable output. And this adds up to an AVERAGE of a whopping 7 hours and 15 minutes a day over the last month. That's insane!

I shouldn't be too mad at myself. I've learned a lot the last month and if my mind can process and keep all this new learned knowledge I will surely benefit in the long term... But all this learning and relationship building doesn't benefit my short-term output.

I'm not certain as my measure instruments (app usage tracker for Android and TimeStats for Chrome) don't distinguish between these 3 things.
1) getting shit done (value output),
2) learning (unactionable information input)
3) communication (routine non-productivity)

But I can say with confidence that most stuff of those 7:15 hours fall within the latter two categories.

The second category can be argued to be useful and the last one too, but if you only learn, you won't change the world. If you only communicate while you're not in charge of anyone (like me) you won't change the world either. Maybe you will change your opportunities (networking) but until now I am finding networking on my phone very unworthy compared to real networking. The networking that has had the biggest impact until now was always with people I met in real life... It's almost as if we are primed to real relationships as them being more important and digital encounters as less important. And maybe it's just true...

But yeah... Obviously, it is important to distinguish between these 3 categories (getting shit done, learning and communication) and make sure you balance them in a right way, according to what your needs are.

And right now, I am convinced that the latter two categories are not getting me any closer to my goal. I have nothing to demand of others and I have nothing to learn before I can program (except NodeJS, but I haven't been doing that. I have been distracted by other interesting domains).

I should be very strict with myself now. Limit my phone usage to the necessities of Instagram marketing, WhatsApp communication, and on-the-move practicalities like Google maps and Google keep. Chrome should only be used for getting shit done and means to an end learning to know how to do this shit.

The Cycle

Let's view life as a bicycle.
Einstein is my hero

Life is like a bicycle. In order to keep a balance, you have to keep moving. - Albert Einstein

How to drive?

  • Processing External Information = Front Wheel
  • Processing Internal Information = Rear Wheel
  • Make sure both wheels are the same size.

To make it more clear (Or am I just confusing you now?), this is the front wheel of the cycle I want to drive, and I want it to be round and balanced.

The CAA Wheel

The CAA Wheel: Try to balance Communication, Adaption, And action

Unfortunately, this is the front wheel I'm really

I think that this will improve my productivity. And now that I've written it down, I might as well make a blog post from it. My thought process might benefit you as well as I feel like I'm really onto something now.

Keep moving.

Einstein already said it, but I have some things to add to it. My next topic on time-management will cover the speed: A guide to improving productivity for solo-entrepreneurs that are working on a new product. Subscribe to be notified.

All the best,
Wijnand