Aiming for the spare | trying to figure it out, always and again

It wouldn’t be so frustrating if I would just accept the futility of constantly trying to figure out what I want to do with my time and resources. The more direction I give myself, it seems, the harder it is for me to continue down a productive, gainful path. I end up in the gutter and not rolling down the lane, so to speak. I can’t give myself too much room, however, because I won’t know where to go. Those arrows on the lanes at the bowling alley are helpful.

There is no shortage of productivity gurus on the internet. It’s full up with people being productive by producing pieces on how to be progressively productive. They talk about nothing else. To do so would be unproductive because what they would then produce would not produce more productivity.

I get trapped every time. Yesterday, I came across a YouTuber called Ali Abdaal. His name resonated with me so I thought I’d watch one of his videos: “How Writing Online Made me a Millionaire.” In the video, Abdaal references a book, Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon. I didn’t finish the video but I bought the book.

I need help with sharing my work, with putting myself out there. I’m inconsistent, to begin with, and I’m also very indecisive. When combined, these two traits make it difficult to produce a comprehensive body of work that will lead me somewhere. Anywhere.

Too quickly, I lose sight of the end goal; I forget why I’m doing what I’m doing and why I started it in the first place. Sometimes, I comfort myself by “believing” that it’ll all become clear to me if I just continue on. But, no, it never works. I stop.

This leads into a cycle of frustration over the fact that I’m not as productive as I’d like to be. My thoughts swirl around in a vortex of ideas, none of which I can grab on to. Suddenly, every aspect of any project that doesn’t involve realising the actual idea becomes important enough to be overwhelming.

Where in my schedule will I find the time? I should probably write out a plan so that I know what I’m going to do. Some research into the subject will help me by giving me more insight into what I’m doing. Should I document my process? How am I going to present my work? There’s got to be a video on YouTube that’ll help me figure all of this out.

Buying Show Your Work! was a distraction from the real task at hand: doing something. But, it makes me feel productive, and that’s all that matters when I’m not actually productive. I don’t know that I’ve ever stopped myself while being productive to acknowledge my productivity.

Truthfully, I don’t know if or how things will change. I can’t tell you that I’ll finally start blogging on a regular schedule, make Instagram stories while I’m working on something, record a podcast weekly, or vlog about my thoughts. I don’t know if or when the spurts of production will finally level out. Even still, I think it’s time for me to stop worrying so much about what I’m producing and start just sharing. Instead of aiming for the whole lot, I should settle for a spare.


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