December 3, 2010

More thoughts on week beginnings: it’s about being proactive

December 3, 2010 - Categories: life, productivity, reflection, sketches

One of the great things about reflecting out loud is that other people share their own insights and make things even clearer. Here’s what Mel said about my post on week beginnings:

I think I’d like to try weekends as week-beginnings this weekend. It’s treating Saturday and Sunday as time to set up for the week ahead, rather than time to recover from whatever the week did to you – it’s a decision to happen to life rather than let life happen to you. And that’s the way I want my week to be. Proactive rather than reactive.

Mel Chua, “Brain-clearing on equilibrium”

That’s it. It’s about taking responsibility for how you want your week to unfold, and investing the time into making it happen. To combine that with another point Mel makes in her post:

So maybe it’s something like this:

  1. Figure out what you want to do.
  2. Figure out what doing that thing is like when you’re good at it, and it’s easy – the ease that comes from skill and practice, the ease that comes with awareness and control.
  3. Figure out how you’re going to get yourself in shape so that the thing you want to do is easy.

… it’s about figuring out what a good week feels like, and setting things up so that you can enjoy that kind of week. What does the difference feel like?


For me, a good week involves:

What did I do to prepare for that?

On a bigger scale, the same principle applies. It’s not about escape, it’s about preparation. The two-week staycation W- and I took in August 2009 is a good example. We thought about we wanted life to be like, and we invested time into getting a little bit closer to that vision. We use our long weekends the same way. It’s relaxing and productive. I take breaks so that I can have focused time to step back, reflect, and work on the foundation of my life, the moments of truth, the systems that will pay off a lot over time… and maybe enjoy a new experience or two along the way.

This reflection reminds me of a discussion from my university theology classes: the difference between freedom from and freedom for. Many people think about breaks as freedom from work. I like thinking about them as freedom for awesomeness. =)