When I am into something, I always read almost anything I can find.
Recently, I am very into productive stuff again. I said again because I did that a few years back when I just was starting my PhD. Graduate schools are where a lot of peers seeking ways to be more productive — publish or perish, they say. And I am familiar with the concepts of GTD (get things done), habit-building, and productive procrastination.
And I have successfully completed my PhD in four years. So what I learned back then (5 years ago) seemed to work…
But it is easy to become your old self when you are not paying attention. I suddenly realised the first half of 2020 has gone — and I achieved almost nothing.
How come? What have I done?
While I surely can blame COVID-19 for this seemingly unproductive half-year, I myself do have some responsibility for this period of unproductiveness.
It is not I really did nothing, surely I completed stuff that I have to complete for my paycheck. But that’s it. I feel no progress in my life. I learned nothing new. Maybe I did learn a few new programming tricks. Oh, and I did submit a paper that is currently under review… Also learned a bit of Python… But that’s it.
I always read for solutions. Then I found the book “Make Time — How to Focus on What Matters Every Day”.
In there, one sentence resonated with me a lot:
Perfection is a distraction
I always want to read different opinions on how certain things were done before actually doing them. I always want to be perfect. This is the reason why after I read many books on productivity I still am reading new books on this topic. Like this “Make Time” book.
With the Internet, you can find endless ways to perform a task. A “perfection” freak like me always spends countless hours digging up the perfect solution, and before I know it, the time I spent searching for perfection already exceeds the time it could have taken in whatever imperfect way.