I spent today dismantling a lot of things in my apartment and stacking boxes under the table and against the wall. It was dirty, tiring, hard work, but it was always going to be dirty, tiring, hard work and there aren’t really any revelations to be had there. Except that thing about how chaos has to get all the way chaotic before it starts to sort itself out and become order. Everyone already knows that, though. Moving on.
While I was doing this, I listened to a couple of episodes of Back to Work. It’s a podcast by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin that’s loosely focused on productivity and doing the right thing. It’s generally long and rambly and really funny and sometimes incomprehensible to me, but their conversation never fails to wind itself into something that’s profound and very useful. The episode that stuck with me today was #73: Permission to Unclench. I recommend it. Long episode? Yes. Totally worth every minute? Yes. Two quotes stood out, and they’re basically my whole blog post today because I’m going to be thinking about them for a while.
On the subject of prioritizing/eliminating undoable projects and ideas – either your own or ones that your boss or circumstances impose on you: “If you’re trying to fit 35 pounds of crap into a 2 pound bag and you’re wondering why you’re sad, this is your opportunity.” I love the use of the word sad.