Posted by: draknor | March 5, 2012

When the Going Gets Busy

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has one iota of self-awareness, but I’m not always super-productive.  I have a bad habit of waking up, jumping on the computer & checking emails, forums, blogs, and Facebook.  And then staying sucked into those for awhile (hours, some days), before realizing that maybe I should eat some real food, and do some “productive” work.

I want to make a differentiation here — sometimes reading blogs & participating in online discussion IS productive.  It can be educational, it helps to build my online presence & brand, and help connect me to new people & ideas.  That can be productive.  But — and this is a big but — that should be in proportion to its value.

It’s actually pretty simple to think about — what is more valuable to me today? Two hours of checking Facebook & blogs, or two hours of writing content, strategic thinking, technical tasks, etc.  Most days, it’s not Facebook.

What has become clear to me over the last few weeks is that I don’t have the structures in place (habits, routines) to support productive habits.  I’m past the point of assuming that willpower & discipline can do that – I need structure.  This phase of my personal development is all about creating those structures to accomplish what I want to achieve.  Personally, that’s been organizing board game nights, video game nights, going to dinner parties, etc. Working out Mon/Wed/Fri has been another good part of that; but I’ve let my routine slip recently regarding diet, and that’s now impacting my ability to maintain my exercise routine.

For example, I’ve had only coffee (with cream & sugar), Diet Coke, and cookies as of the time of this writing today (2pm).  If my goal is to be physically & mentally sharp, that diet isn’t doing me any favors. In fact, it’s probably sabotaging my efforts because I sure don’t feel like going to the gym today.

And its time to start getting serious, because I’m exhibiting at a real estate agent trade show this Thursday, for the first time.  I’ve gotten good feedback on my photographs so far from real estate agents, and I’m really hoping this trade show is the start of a serious marketing push to get my name out there, establish a reputation, and shoot a lot of homes.  I’m going to need to be on my game to do that and do it well.  I’ve got a lot of preparation yet to do this week, and then I’ll have a ton of follow-up to do next week.  It’s good to be busy, but I can’t let that overwhelm me!

I’ve run sprints, and I’ve run marathons.  Believe me when I say a 5k (3.1 miles)  in 21 min 31 sec is almost more painful than a marathon (26.2 miles) in 4 hrs 22 min.  Obviously the marathon lasts a lot longer, but that also means I have time to adjust speed & pacing, rehydrate & refuel, and psych myself up.  On a 5k sprint, all I had time to do was keep my feet pounding as fast as I possibly could go, and convince myself this hell would be over soon.  Longest 21 minutes of my life (!)

Continuing this metaphor — everything up until now has really been training.  Some sprints here & there to get shoots done & listings posted, get some early feedback and start building a reputation, but this week is when the real race race starts.  And its going to be a marathon, if my goal is to make a career as a photographer.  So I have to remember, I can’t treat it like a sprint.  Hard to do, but critical.

On a completely unrelated note, the cat is at the vet today undergoing some diagnostic procedures. We brought him into the ER vet last night after he had some very labored breathing, and turns out he had a bunch of fluid pressing on his lungs.  They are doing some tests now to see if they can figure out what’s wrong with him.

Never a dull moment…