Over-Industriousness Or, ABM tries hard to sound cool by referencing Pokémon. / by AB Mann

I'm not much for naps. It always, always, always feels like I'm slacking. There's just so much more that I could do in that hour, that two hours, that (god forbid for I'll not sleep again) three or more hours. I could write, I could work on rope stuff, clean the house, go for a run.

You get the idea.

When "industry" goes awry, grows to consume your brainspace like a twisted Drowzee 1, it can crowd out all the other things in there. It becomes an impoverishing force rather than an enriching one. Poor in body, mind, and spirit just as much as it could earn you wealth2.

It's kind of a "duh" moment when you look at the last few weeks, which I did, and count the hours you've spent working and link it to the weariness you're experiencing. The last month3, I've been consistently above 50 hours a week which is new for me - before this point, I think I've only had two consecutive weeks that high that did not involve customer support. And, on some of the long days, it was doing work I thoroughly enjoy and I got lost in it in the best way; but many of those extra hours were .... not unwilling, per se, but not enjoyable.

Spending time on the former can be great and the latter necessary but not great. I posit that even weeks of the former can engender the latter. Days of good productivity, where you're feeling energized and engaged can keep you going. When you have a well-structured productivity system that is current and navigable and immediately accessible, you foster the sort of work we all want. It can keep pushing you so much that you don't notice how tired you're becoming.

So if I'm napping, Pokémans or not, its a sign that something is amiss.

What do you do when your Industry becomes problematic? Well, if you're being a good productivity pokéguru, you have a list. A bit fat list of every single thing on your plate and you can take stock of all of them. At once.

And this is the entire point of a regular review beyond the weekly. You have to take the high level view and look at the whole landscape.

  1. That's how many active projects I had as of last week. 97 pokéballs projects, 658 actions among them, categorized into 18 folders. No human can get that many things done in a reasonable amount of time. So, what do you when you have that much stuff going on?

Kill projects.

I went through project by project and started trashing things I wasn't going to do, not actively interested in, and generally didn't care enough about to allow them to persist. I cut down to 86.... Which is still too many but it's a start, at least, and

The residual feeling was... ambivalent. I felt a little freer. I felt a little lazy. I felt a little ashamed it had gotten to this point.

But that's the whole idea of this, of Industry, of Order, of Moderations4: be effective in your planning and execution. Understand when things are going awry and take the time to review your dex and release your projects5 back to the world.

  1. Pokemon with Hypnosis attack that can put you to sleep so it can feast on your dreams.

  2. This depends so heavily upon moral luck and the society into which a person is born. Moral luck, simply, being the circumstances into which you are born and the consequent moral value those traits have in your society. It's like cis white men playing life on easy mode have a high mortal luck "score".

  3. A few more if you go back another month, just not back to back to back.

  4. Of tortured Pokémon references....

  5. God damn it, magikarp.