This is the newsletter sent out to my mailing list at the start of March 2021. If any of these topics interest you and you’d like me to go more in-depth, let me know!
The Big Picture
In the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about life / career paths, about a personal sense of purpose, about the purpose of a business, etc. One idea that’s really stuck with me is, “be the person you needed when you were younger.” Truthfully, I hadn’t been thinking about it in those terms when I started Expand Yu, but that sentiment was certainly at the heart of what I set out to do.
In the month of February, I published a post called What is Disabled and Neurodivergent Productivity? Since then, I’ve been thinking more about how to best handle the topic of personal productivity in a truly inclusive and compassionate way. I view the realm of productivity as a tool. A tool to increase agency, gain balance, and help us reach for self-fulfillment and self-actualization. So, how can we create tools and systems that allow chronically ill people who must manage their energy carefully to make the most of their time and energy for the sake of their personal goals? How do we create tools and systems to increase agency for those most stripped of it, like people who are incarcerated and institutionalized? These are the kinds of questions I seek to answer in the long-term.
The Importance of Goals
In my personal experience, having long-term goals is more than “good”, it’s necessary. Aimlessness often results in confusion about what to do, frustration no matter what we do, and ultimately depression. This is why one of the most important things we can do is learn how to dream, and then learn how to craft dreams into goals that drive us.
Lessons Are Everywhere
During February, I finished my close read of Getting Things Done by David Allen. I also completed Dr. Benjamin Hardy’s 30 Day Future Self Course. Both had a lot of important lessons and I will be posting my thoughts, takeaways, and summaries in the near future, so look out for that.
In the meantime, here’s one thing I took away from each:
- From Getting Things Done:
Work contexts can be deliberately engineered. Try grouping your tasks in terms of the environment and tools needed to complete them. Then, deliberately create the perfect conditions for you to do that particular set of work. Eliminate as many extra tools and inputs as possible to improve focus.
- From the 30 Day Future Self Course:
Don’t work harder, work differently. When you come up against failure — and you will if you’re striving towards a big future — don’t try harder, redesign your approach. If you find yourself stuck, redefine your goal and aim for something even bigger. This will force you to think outside the box in order to achieve it.
I’ve started writing a new story. Well, not exactly new. It’s a story I’ve been planning and wanting to write for about six years, but I haven’t felt ready to tackle it. But I didn’t start writing it now because I felt myself fully capable of puling it off. In fact, I know for a fact that I currently lack the skills necessary to tell the story the way I want to tell it. What’s changed is that instead of thinking “I’m not ready to write this,” I’ve become able to think, “I will be a much better writer when I’m done.”
I’m currently reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’m finding it quite the enjoyable read and look forward to sharing not only my thoughts on the book and methodology, but also on my experience applying it in my life.