jb… a weblog by Jonathan Buys

Thinking it Through

My favorite new-to-me site is Farnam Street by Shane Parrish. I’ve been experiencing a slow change of interests over the past several months as Apple and tech related news fails to grab my attention. The last time this happened I lost more than a professional interest in the open source community, an area I left years ago and haven’t looked back. I can’t find it in me to care enough about iOS 10 to read the book-length treaties on it at MacStories, in fact the latest iPhone or iOS barely interests me enough to learn what’s in it and if it is anything of use to me.

I just don’t care anymore. My tools of choice work well, and I’m comfortable knowing that there’s nothing better. Instead, I’m turning my attention to a topic that I’ve been dancing around for the past few years, but haven’t put a concerted effort into, something Cal Newport calls Deep Work. I’ve always been fascinated with how the mind works, and exploring the outer boundaries of the human brain. The psychology courses I took in grad school were among my favorites, and how we think about the world around us is endlessly fascinating.

Farnam Street is chock-full of insight into the human condition, where we fail, and how we can be better. Being a little better every day is exactly what I want to pursue, To that end, I’m in the middle of an experiment right now, once it’s over I’ll report my findings, but my thought is that after 30 days I’ll be more focused, happier, and more productive than when I started. Better.

I’m giving up a few things, and putting my energy into other things, but let’s leave that alone for now and return to this idea of areas of focus. I once considered myself a part of the Apple community. I was a developer for a short time, and a writer for a popular blog. I followed all the right people on Twitter, subscribed to all the right podcasts, and generally knew what was going on in the community of internet famous folks in the Apple community. I still do, to a point, but as I’ve stated earlier, I just don’t care about it anymore. One of the things I’ve given up is the thought that I’m going to be any more of a part of this community than someone on the outside looking in. I don’t have time for such juvenile pastimes, and this hobby was not actually making my life better.

I’ll dip my toes in from time to time to see what’s going on and see if any new developments are coming down that pipes that might make my tools better, but I’m not diving in and swimming in it anymore. Perhaps one day some online technical community will interest me again. Instead I’m taking a more realistic approach to my time, and turning my attention to those things that actually do make me a better person. My plan is to write about those things here.

personal productivity