Before the New Year was rung in, I spent a couple of mornings thinking about 2015. I read some great articles that really helped me form clear, simple ideas about how I want to live.
It wasn’t so much about goals, it was about more about how I wanted to do things in general. A way to think and act in everything that I do. A Code, if you will.
This was the first and most important thing I decided on. Click on if you want to read Rule Number One in my Code for 2015.
The saying ‘work hard, play hard’ never used to work for me. In my opinion, working until you burn out is not sexy, and you don’t have to be ballin’ and poppin’ bottles in the club with bitches to have a good time and make great memories.
But in this great Bullish article, Jen Dziura completely revolutionises this idea, phrasing it in a way that totally works for me, making it all about a different perspective.
Her message: High quality productivity OR high quality relaxation.
Either you’re doing something that is super useful, OR you’re doing something that is super fun.
“If it isn’t extremely productive or extremely pleasurable, just stop. Either eat something healthy that takes five minutes, or have a huge decadent meal with friends for two hours. Either go to the gym and work every fucking muscle in your body like an Olympian, or stay home and find someone to make out with.”
This is something I want to focus on 2015. I will either be doing something constructive and productive with my time, work-related or personally, OR I’m doing something that is extremely enjoyable, personally or socially.
Either I’m doing something great for work OR I’m doing something that leaves me very energised and happy.
No in-betweens. No mediocre grey area. Really fucking useful, or really fucking fun.
Additionally, I read another great article talked about the Beyonce Freelancing Method: The author discusses the pleasure-return principle/the pleasure-productivity trade off when it comes to (freelance) work and dating, but you can draw more general conclusions from the article as well.
Is something/someone worth the time you could be spending on something else that could help you succeed?
Time you could have spend working/making money*?
Is the time you are investing in something or someone profitable, whether it is in terms of mood, happiness, enjoyment or…(financial) success?
“If Beyonce was a freelancer, when would she spend time with Jay-Z, and when would she rather be in the studio? If Jay-Z wanted to hang out at a ball game and make out all afternoon would that be a good pleasure return for her? Or, would she need something better to take her away from her work? I assume that Bey would rather be wined and dined and go dancing and then fuck up a Warhol, rather than waste time with anything less extraordinary and planned than that.”
First of all, this article helped me establish exactly what I want out of dating.
I’m not inclined to get out of bed for boring conversations, a KFC bucket and a half-assed hand job in the back of a car. I can think of a million things I’d rather do, including cleaning the bathroom and doing my taxes. And I hate those. Even though I can do them without pants on.
But feed me a delicious home cooked meal, make me laugh until I cry and turn me inside out for a couple of hours, and I will happily make room for you in my schedule. Because those are experiences that are totally worth my (and the other person’s**) time.
Cara Ellison writes: “Does the sex, the hanging out, the effort to keep my attention leave me energised? Or does it make me really exhausted and sad and angry so that I can’t work?
The first type is worth more monetarily. The second type is not worth it and I’ve been learning to refuse to invest in it.
I’ve been sad at times in my life and I’d rather sit down to write something trivial about computer games on a liquid high from some brief touch from a good human being than from an excellent lay from someone who never wants to give me the time of day.
I sit next to dudes who I know are interested in taking me home and I think to myself: if I go home with you I won’t finish that article and it will make me unhappy later. And I think about whether he’s good enough to measure up to £150 worth of happiness. I squint at them in bars. Are you worth a VICE article, I think? Are you worth a Guardian article? Are you top-level meat, worthy of a Rock Paper Shotgun rate? Are you the Rock Paper Shotgun of men?”
Think about it.
Second, it just made me think some more about how I want to spend my time in general.
How fun/great is something going to be? Is this social obligation, meeting or event going to be worth me not being able to finish a blog article? Me not going to yoga? Me not seeing my family? Me not being able to finish a job-related task to the best of my ability?
If the answer is YES, for whatever reason, okay great.
If the answer is ‘meh’ or ‘nope’, I’ll be behind my computer, in the yoga studio or with my family instead.
So there you have it: My first rule for 2015!
Something needs to be very enjoyable or very useful for me to do, with the added question of “is this worth not being able to do something else that IS very enjoyable or useful.”
More coming up. Stay tuned.
*This does not just apply to freelancers. If you’re working a regular job and you keep getting sidetracked by other things or other people, you’ve fallen victim to the same principle: Is this worth the lower quality you’re delivering to your employer now.
**Shut up, I’m delightful.