“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”
— Thomas Merton
Here’s your gentle nudge to make your week more interesting, thoughtful and productive. You can always talk to me more about these ideas by replying to this email.
The Two Types Of Thing We Do
Recently, after a super overwhelming day, I found myself lost in disappointment. I did most of what I could but couldn’t yet brave through the ever-increasing to-do list. I sat to evaluate. I wanted to know what causes me to get swamped with things to do until I burn out and do nothing.
I realised we do two types of things: things that are one-and-done and things that go on maintenance mode once we do them for the first time. Let’s call them Type A and Type B for easier understanding. My problem is that I have more maintenance mode projects/things I do than the one-and-done ones. That is, more Type Bs than Type As.
How do we define them? For example, this newsletter, Midweek Nudge, is a Type B project. I will do it every week, more or less, once I’ve begun it. In fact, the entirety of Nudge › How is a Type B project. All habits are Type B projects. You don’t stop working out once you get fitter. Type A projects are simpler. Those are when you have a goal, a stable end-point that you can visualise. A freelance graphics project may be Type A. You know when it ends. A brand revolving around graphics is Type B. You’ll regularly spend time on it.
Enough with the examples; the idea seems clear already. The point is, Type A and Type B projects or activities should have a balance. If your life is full of Type As, your long-term vision suffers. Nothing compounds, and all you do is in the moment. If your life is full of Type Bs, like mine currently is, you’ll find yourself jumping through hoops with a list of things that never ends. You’re constantly in maintenance mode.
How does one find balance then? I’m not sure yet. I’m working through it myself. If you’re in similar shoes as mine, you might want to consider killing your babies. No, not literally, of course. My point is, you should be able to call a project “complete” even when it can go further. That’s a tough thing to do, of course, but if you want time, then that’s a choice to make. If you have more Type As, of course, you need to start committing to ideas, projects and habits that last for more than a day or week or even a month.
I believe even the consciousness of how many things are on maintenance mode and how many can be called as one-and-done is a great place to be in, especially if we’re trying to reach a sort of balance between the two.
Sitting down to categorise what you do every day into Type A and B can be a great place to start.
What’s On My Mind?
How each person has an endless pursuit, a sort of horizon they will never reach but keep getting closer to, becoming much, much better than everyone else in the process, yet never fully realising it. For me, this endless pursuit is one of a true balance in all things.
I hope this added some value to your week. Stay safe, stay inspired, and I’ll talk to you next week.
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