One thing I’ve learned from my short gardening experience is that weeds can be hard to deal with.
They can be hard to identify at first, until they take over a garden.
Take the dandelion, for example.
It looks pretty. It flowers. We may even come to tolerate it. But it will make growing anything else much more difficult.
In life there are also weeds that we tolerate because they’re pretty or we derive some short term (or illusory) benefit from them.
However, they are like snakes in the grass. Here are 5 examples.
Boxed in by the inbox
Do you know what it’s like to have zero email in your inbox?
I’m going to be honest, I don’t. There is something strangely comforting in having constant activity in your mailbox, a few emails a day, maybe a few left unread.
But it can spiral out of control, and staying on top of it can take the time and energy that could be assigned to something more productive.
So it’s good to resist FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), unsubscribe to the newsletters we haven’t read for a while, regularly.
It’s about balance. Checking one’s email should not become the job (unless that actually is our job)
Analytics are very helpful. Whether it is to establish what type of content gets traction, or identify when during the day engagement is the highest, we need data.
Analytics help form a strategy rather than go completely blind. However, if we are trying to crack the formula to apply every time, it can be very addictive. Variables change. Being a data analyst is a job in and of itself.
If the time spent on analytics impedes on creation, it’s time to re-evaluate.
Keep analysis-paralysis at bay. Your job is to create.
We’re all guilty of it nowadays.
We watch a whole season of our favourite show in a weekend (maybe even a day), we scroll on social media for hours or during “research”, we fall into the YouTube rabbit hole. Our side projects, may be even our work may suffer as a result.
These platforms are designed to keep us hooked, after all.
Forewarned is forearmed, so what about having a strategy? Schedule your guilt-free marathon sessions in advance. This way you retain your agency.
Other forms of overindulgence
A counter intuitive one is being alone with one’s thoughts too long. If there’s something I’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s that even introverts are social creatures, albeit in moderation.
At the other end of the spectrum, an extrovert can be too social, and avoid doing things that will promote inner growth, such as some introspection, relaxation.
We all need to slow down and take aim before we shoot.
A cluttered environment goes hand in hand with a cluttered mind. I resisted the thought for a long time.
I was so used to chaos that I assumed it helped with productivity and creativity.
But the reality is that clutter creates stress and takes space in our mind. So really, we do what we do despite chaos, not thanks to it. We can do much more if that space is freed up.
In my experience, minimising chaos is the best strategy to invite creativity and productivity in our lives.
In an ideal world, we would be concentrating on our art. We would be planting our seeds. Others would get rid of the weeds for us.
But likely, we don’t have the budget to hire a personal assistant, a data analyst, a life coach, a therapist.
So we have to be a little bit of each for ourselves, and eventually hire when we are ready to scale.
What’s your pretty weed ?
Reflect, redefine, rise!