I find that contributing and creation is often under-valued.
I challenge you to set yourself a goal each month or quarter:
Create more than nothing.
The value of creation
I find that often starting is hard. But once I start, the going becomes much easier. This is part of why I took on this mantra: if you create more than nothing, than you’ve started.
I like to be proactively-biased towards creation.
What does that mean? Let’s break it down in chunks.
Being Active in Your Own Life
You get 24 hours a day to do with as you will. In my younger life, I often was reactive: things happened to me and I responded to them.
I became so busy all the time just responding to problems that I never had time to think about any of my own priorities.
I decided that I was tired of this.
I had things I wanted to achieve in life and I didn’t feel like I was getting any closer to them, so I tried something.
I made time for myself first.
Cursed With a Strong Sense of Urgency
I’m honestly not sure where this trait came from, but ever since I’ve known myself I’ve always had a strong sense of urgency to respond to situations.
If you come to me at work, you would understand this: You can ask for a report and I typically will say, ok, I’ll have it for you within the hour.
Realistically, that person didn’t need it until the end of the week, but I pride myself on always taking care of people’s needs so over time this has built into an incredibly strong sense of urgency.
I actually think this is how most givers end up in the workplace. A giver as I’m using it here is someone who typically gives more than they receive consistently.
They love people around them, so they are always making sure people are happy, loved and supported.
What I realized over a long period of time is that not everyone is like this!
Now, reader, while this may sound obvious to you, it was NOT obvious to me. One of the most natural things to do in the world is to assume everyone is like you.
Once I realized this, it was simple to stop assuming urgency from everyone and instead listen and let them tell me their urgency.
I paired this epiphany by also giving myself time first.
Before I do any tasks for anyone, I give myself and hour first. I do the same thing at the end of the day. This ensures I’m always ready for the next day and I always have time to be proactive in my life. This way, I always know what’s important to me.
I recognize family demands change from person to person, but I think any person can always find a small slice of time for themselves. If you don’t feel like you can, talk to your family: they love you and they’ll help.
What Being Active Means for Me
I recognize about myself that I always will give too much of myself, so my reflection time includes safeguards to that. Here’s some sample things I do during this time:
- How is my dream doing? Do I know what I want and do I feel like I’m making progress towards it?
- I rate myself in a couple areas of my life from 0-10. This helps me to understand if I should shift some of my time in one direction to bring more balance to my life
- What’s the next thing I want to do? A recent example of this for me was learning about bitcoin mining. For fun this weekend, I set up my computer mining bitcoins. Lol I’ve earned $5.22 so far.
- I start on something new!
Doing this steps always makes me aware of what is next in my priorities vs. what may be the next thing someone else wants me to do.
Bias Towards Action
I tend to think about things. A lot.
I know that about myself, so I try to control it.
If given the opportunity, I will learn about something until I’ve learned all there is about it and THEN will create something. To avoid this, I’ve created the habit of timeboxing learning before creation.
You see, by creating something, it encourages me to keep going! By limiting my learning time, it makes me value and use it more preciously since it is very limited. I know I’ll end up in analysis paralysis if I don’t timebox myself.
So I do. This helps me use my time intentionally and helps me feel like I am moving towards my goals.
Create more than nothing: it will encourage your heart!