Interesting thoughts, David!
I’ve been struggling with metrics for a long time now. Most writers use word count as a metric. Thing is that while I’m a writer, daily word count turned out to be an aweful and discouraging metric. Just because I pound at my keyboard x number of times doesn’t mean that I feel I accomplished anything. X words of crap is still crap. I’d rather write a lot less but be happy with the quality.
So instead I gauge my daily accomplishments with whether or not I feel satisfied with my work. Regardless of time, word count or any other metric, I measure satisfaction. Because satisfaction is triggered by hormones, it is an ‘on/off’ situation: while I’m not satisfied, those hormones don’t trigger and I won’t feel satisfied. Once I’m happy with that day’s work, ‘BANG!’ they’re off and I feel so grateful and pleased with what I’ve done.
Bonus aspect: when I’m satisfied with that day’s work, I often feel eager to do a little more of it.
And those days when I don’t hit my goal? I analyse what went wrong (usually I got distracted by something that broke my pace) and take steps to prevent that from happening again.
The basic principle is the same as with classic metrics and SMART goals, but for me, this is much more gratifying. 🙂
Love to hear what others are using!
All the best,
I just read this after reading your recent missive about following your own creative process. Loved your love about how it’s easier to follow a template than the blank canvas. It’s so true.
Anyway, your piece and this seem like good bookends to one thought: just create.
Hope you find it interesting.
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Begin forwarded message:
Martha Graham on the Hidden Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others
by James Clear
Read this on JamesClear.com
I haven’t dropped you a reply before, so “Hi” from the UK. I’m just going to put a few words down after reading your email below.
I’m a writer, working for an eclectic group of clients, creating stories for non-English speaking children worldwide (mainly Asia and South America). I get to write about dragons, unicorns, secret portals, and mushrooms that fly, etc. It’s a job I love! And, I feel so lucky I planned my escape from corporate life to do this. I take time out to work on my inner game regularly. Otherwise, the need to be constantly creative can be draining and I like to keep fresh. I’m also working on a few other creative projects (exploring Patreon as an option) and my own gritty, contemporary fiction. (I like to keep things real!) Initially, I was drawn to your photography because I look for inspiration from many directions. Thank you for sharing those!
I joined a membership site recently and left soon afterwards. It ‘felt’ phoney. Phoney praise, phoney likes, cliques and, favoritism for a select few, from the founder. I wanted fresh thinking, lack of ego, and a desire to share and learn.
Your posts are different. They are intelligent, considered and not just make me think, they stretch my thinking, in the right way for me. I have a few days off next week to explore your videos and catch up on a few emails.
There is some great stuff about growth mindset developed by Dr. Carol Dweck. Just an example link below. There’s tons of stuff out there on YT.
I absolutely agree that adaptability of our mind is the way to sustain ourselves moving forwards. I’m hoping that my work sows one seed in a child’s mind about what they can do, not can’t do. I want to create positive energy and challenge limits, in a fun way. What may be impossible now may soon be possible!
Now, I’m off to write about an insect hospital for a series I need to finish by Monday. It will be fun! I’ve got so many ideas for insect injuries and treatments. 🙂
Who knows the ripple effect of our collective efforts. Keep being real and continue to challenge our thinking.
I usually make a To do lists for every day/ week on a small notebook I keep with me. If all the points are checked by the end of the day or week (depending on the task’s timeline), I feel I had a productive session. It’s a nice way to track just how much procrastinate on a give span of time.
Yet, I don’t force myself to follow it to the end. I try to just let go sometimes. I’ve discovered that certain things that are or seen extremely “urgent” usually aren’t so much.
Ha David, love you emails!
I think an implicit distinction you seem to make (that I think is wise) is to have input metric. Metrics for things you put in and have full control over. The hope or theory is that doing these will lead to the desired output. But it can be depressing to measure your succes by the outputs. Since, a lot is out of your control. Of course, you can measure both and have that help you readjust your plan.
I wrote something about this here: http://www.studiogeorge.nl/blog/metrics-part2