I’ve been on a short break recently, not doing much writing aside from publishing weekly. When I wrote daily, I felt like my ideas were stale, and it didn’t have that unique touch. It felt like post #292 on productivity, and I didn’t like that.
So I stopped for a bit, and started diversifying my experiences. I’ve been reading a lot of autobiographies, a far cry from the typical self-help books a la Atomic Habits. I get a lot of sun by playing 3+ hours of tennis daily. I’ve also been enjoying the US Open, watching Raducanu’s run to the championship and being awed at the composure she shows at such a young age. And of course, I’ve been as a football fan, I’ve been enjoying Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United, a dream I’ve had since I was a kid.
I don’t bother about my tasks as much, and let most small things slide. And honestly, nothing bad really happened. As long as I kept on making progress on the right things (in my case: studying, assignments, writing, working out, reading), it feels just fulfilling and productive as compared to when I was joining plenty of online workshops, courses, and reading thousands and thousands of articles on my never ending Instapaper queue.
Whether you like it or not, it’s not possible to do everything. You’ll stretch yourself dry if you do so and end up performing badly on most things. A good mental model I learned is to ask myself: Does this thing makes me want to say Hell Yes? If not, then it’s a NO!
This break has reminded me to do less, and do more of the Hell Yes stuff, because most other things are too small to be meaningful to us. In fact, they can even harm us as they distract us from the things that we care about.