Fighting Overwhelm

Lately, I have not been as active on Hive. It doesn't feel like burnout. I still want to post. However, the spark isn't there to put up a post. I think part of it is overwhelm from having this big list of things to do and limited capacity to do it. They just sit there waiting in my mind, taking up seats, preventing other work from taking a spot. I'm aware of it. The easiest thing to do is to seek escape. This can be done by endlessly curating content or watching YouTube videos. But, it doesn't resolve anything. It merely delays the inevitable.

Too social

I think, perhaps, the other issue is catering to an audience. There are communities on Hive with different interests. I can write about so many different things and find an audience for it. But, then that's the problem. Writing has always been a form of personal expression rather than a performance. It has been a means of self-reflection and thinking things out "on paper". Now that I mention it, I probably should sit down with some paper and work things out. I think I have been too dependent on the keyboard. I have become lost. Back to the point, it is much different writing blog entries versus writing towards a community interest. At least, this is true in my mind.

When I first started Travel Write Money, it was a blog on Blogger.com, where I had some Google Ads. When I discovered Hive, it made sense to use the blockchain to preserve my work. It's sad that so many social media platforms have gone under over the years. This is especially troubling as much of my time was spent on them. It is sad to see so much of my time and work lost. But, I never really owned the space. Hive is different in that respect. I own my work. We all share in the maintenance of the community by interacting. Ultimately, however, I never meant TWM to be a social media presence. It was supposed to be a way for me to record my experiences. A journal. I have wandered from that.

One good service on Hive is Engrave, which creates a blog front end on Hive. Thus, it records posts directly on the Hive blockchain. However, it looks more like a blog. I operate travelwritemoney.com on Engrave. It took some tinkering. I have learned that if my first tag is a community, my post will go to that community. Unfortunately, there is no feature allowing for beneficiaries. I think, probably, the only beneficiary is the Engrave platform to cover expenses. Perhaps this is a feature that will be included in the future.

The advantage of having a separate blogging spece, apart from the branding perspective, is the separation from the social media deluge. It is nice to be able to shut all of that off and just focus on the writing. Focus on the blog. Mentally, I think I have periods when I want to read posts. And, there are periods in which I just want to write a blog post. Some of the overwhelm is from mashing the two together.

Single focus

This plays out in other aspects of my life. For example, I have a Kindle reader. The reason I have a Kindle is that it allows me to focus on reading only. No notifications. No video. No email. Just reading.

I also bought a Freewrite, which is a dedicated device for writing. You can only write drafts on it. There is no editing. The important thing is that it is dedicated to doing one thing.

This is where paper is handy too. Digital notebooks are great in reducing physical clutter. However, these typically live on devices that are full of digital clutter. You can get on your iPad to write notes. Five minutes later, you're watching videos on yak shaving, checking your crypto, or reading tweets. The iPad has been a disaster in terms of fighting overwhelm. It adds fuel to the fire, actually. Paper avoids many of these shortcomings. I think tools that are dedicated to doing one thing well rather than ones that attempt to do it all.

Perhaps the key to fighting overwhelm is having a single focus. It is impossible to do it all. At least, you can't do it all at once. It doesn't make sense to keep it all in your mental space. As you can only do one thing at a time, perhaps putting all your attention on that one thing until it is done is the way to be effective and good at what you do. Suddenly, I am reminded of books by Cal Newport. I need to sit down and read one of his books entirely one of these days.

My, myself, and I

I think I may have to start talking to myself. I'm the only person who knows all that I have going on. So, I won't have to do much explaining to myself. This is practically what I do on paper already. But, it might be easier to talk it out and then agree to write down the important things rather than fill pages and pages of writing. As an app, I haven't really tried my autotalk feature. It's there. But, I've only tinkered with it. Mainly, I've done voice memos. But, I haven't directly talked to myself. Perhaps there is a reason why computers have a loopback address. It helps with self diagnosis. Just as relationships need open communications, perhaps we don't have good communications with ourselves. Sometimes saying things out loud lets you know how absurd the thinking is. And, it helps to express your displeasure at saying such stupid things. If I went this route, I would have to give myself permission to be candid. I can't effectively coach myself, if I'm worried about hurting my feelings. It's important to allow for an open and frank dialogue. I have to trust that I have my own interest in mind. With that in mind, I should probably be ready to give praise when needed, as well.

This is a sily idea that has cropped up. However, it might work. I can talk myself through the process of bringing everything under control. If I had an executive assistant, I'd have to give them instruction on what needs doing. As I don't have an executive assistant, I can only give myself instruction. I have long known that I can either think or do. I rarely am able to do both at the same time. So, I can meet in the morning, decide what needs doing, write it down, shut off the brain, and just follow instructions. Leaving the brain on is what ends up causing me to watch YouTube videos instead of working.

I know. I know. This is crazy talk. But, at this point, it's crazy enough it might work. If I end up locked up in a padded room, then I won't have to worry about my to do list.