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Lack of intention

10/16/20

I have been suffering from a lack of intention.

I am unsure of how I want to spend my time, what I want to do, or what my goals are, and I find it leads to poor outcomes.

I hop from one task to the next, surfing the internet in between, texting friends when I get a message, and taking a lot of breaks. I have always wanted free time to explore and do what I please, but I am finding it very difficult to be productive.

It is difficult to focus without something specific to work towards.

I feel a lot of times like the proverbial camel, who is at the exact midpoint between a bucket of water and a bowl of food. Paralyzed about whether he should get food or water first, the camel is unable to make a decision, and ends up dying from hunger and dehydration.

I feel like the camel, but with even more options. Do I spend time writing, reading, applying for jobs, working on a startup idea? How could I ever evaluate across these different options? What is truly the best way to spend my time?

Without intention for what we are doing, we have no guiding framework. Further, we are unable to discern whether or not the actions we take are successful. How can I judge whether my day was a success without a goal for what my day should look like?

This echoes a theme that I have been noticing more and more: optionality is a bug, not a feature. I think I would be far more productive if I fully committed to doing one thing. Many people make decisions optimizing for optionality (e.g., working in consulting / IB out of college), but you are unknowingly capping your upside.

The greatest work happens when you are making a bet on something specific and constrained in some capacity. Two things I am missing right now.