Posts tagged “personal”
A proper Zettelkasten should be like a second mind, almost a person on its own. I am not there, yet. My buddy, the Zettelkasten, surprises me a lot but he needs to be filled with a couple thousand more Zettels. That doesn’t prevent me from giving you a small biography. I always was keen to some sort of systematic approach and always liked to put something into order. As a child I was obsessed with encyclopedic dictionaries – most about the animal kingdom, but it was really the idea of a complete system of knowledge which got me hooked. I always started to collect something within a file folder. When I look back, the filing seems to be the durable element of all my childhood projects instead of the topics themselves.
Brian Crain talked about increasing productivity by tracking progress. To have a continuous metric is both motivating and informative. I, too, buy into the saying that you can only improve what you measure. The corollary is: when you care about something, when you really commit to it, you have to do your best to track it and improve. Writing is one such skill. You become a writer by writing more, and you can shift your identity consciously to make this change stick.
We finally finished moving into our new apartment. During the ten days it took to arrange the new place, I noticed how strong I’m bound to my routines, and what it means to lose all of them at once for a period of time. There was a daily workout routine, where I hit the gym twice a day on four days each week for both strength training and cardio. In total, I had at least 10 workout sessions per week. Before the morning workouts, I used to write for at least one fixed hour. In the evening I used to have weekly recurring appointments at work where I help organize a team of student advisors or help students with writing tasks and presentations. Also, the evening was my most productive time: I would either continue writing for a bit or dive straight into programming tasks.