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Systems Checking My Life

systems check

Maintain a single root commitment, that you’ll stick to no matter what, which will in turn help you get the most out of all the other productivity commitments that come and go in your life. — Cal Newport

When I read Cal Newport's (computer science professor, and author of Deep Work) blog post On Rooted Productivity, I immediately thought about which commitments I've made and stuck to versus which ones I've made and subsequently (guiltily) abandoned. Newport advises listing out on a single sheet of paper "the key productivity rules, habits, and systems...that you currently follow in your life."

James Clear, author of habit and behavoir change articles, writes thats you should, "commit to a process, not a goal" (he's not the first to say this, but he explains it well and provides examples), which goes hand-in-hand with Newport's advice.

I know that I drive myself completely nuts sometimes after I listen to yet another podcast (usually Tim Ferriss') or read yet another article on Medium that boasts the one single life-saving productivity hack.

Not only do I want to stop consuming so many articles that tend to blend together with a mish-mash of same-ish advice, I want to just live my life for awhile, without the panic that I'm not doing enough to refine and improve it. With one single document that I can refer to when I'm deciding how to spend my time for the day, week, month—whichever, I'll give my brain a break, and can use that saved energy to execute my systems, rather than debate whether or not to even do a certain thing.

I wrote out my list last night, but I'll have to check in after about a month to see if it's working well.

So here's to revamping, tweaking, and sticking to my systems (I just wish it didn't sound so robot-like, but hey, if it works, so be it).

Books I Read in January

Life is Like Chinese Handcuffs