My father sent me a neat essay he wrote for himself on the value of time. It’s an underrated concept in project planning and personal budgeting and economy that time is our most valuable commodity. In the essay, my father mused on the importance of maximizing our productivity by doing our utmost to ensure that our time is applied consistently towards a goal or goals.
We had a wonderful follow up conversation in this regard, that my challenge with work in the office, on my writing, with recording the audiobook, and the other chores and obligations of day to day life is to try to minimize the time that is not being applied beneficially in some way.
There are a variety of routes to this. I told him how he had taught me to view each activity as a component of another: my writing makes me more relaxed and ready for the day to day grind of the office. Also, how motivation is often a matter of perspective. You get a lot more done if you see your projects as breaks in themselves. My writing is my break from the day to day at the office. My recording for the audiobook is a break from the writing, reading is a break from all of the above, etc.
More than the personal application, I discussed, at length, with him about how this concept is going to be at play in Unicorns & Satellites. Our connectivity to each other and everything through modern technology makes us feel as if we are constantly capable of connecting and being “productive” from a relationship standpoint. However, it’s more than just motion that makes productivity. It’s about maximizing that time and energy. Putting it where it counts.
Is writing in itself productive for me? Of course. But is it as productive to just ramble out thoughts than it is to apply dedicated, focused time on a specific project I’ve planned and mapped out?
I’m lucky. I have a father who taught me this without lecturing. He let me learn without yanking a leash and bruising my neck for it. He let me grow without shaming me for my stumbles and failures.
It’s Father’s day this weekend and I want to thank him for that. I want to thank him for the lessons, for the conversations about the lessons, and the faith in the results of my work from those lessons.
Happy (early) Father’s day, popsicle.