Stage or a Clock?

I touched on productivity anxiety during my podcast this week. It’s something that’s been bothering me a lot this year, especially in the weeks before we went on holiday last month.

8 minutes

I touched on productivity anxiety during my podcast this week. It’s something that’s been bothering me a lot this year, especially in the weeks before we went on holiday last month.

There are two parallel threads involved. The first, as I mentioned yesterday, is the negative internal dialogue. Beating ones self up about not doing things, not getting things done, procrastinating is stealing from your future self etc. You know basically all of the ‘working world’ striving for more productivity, valley hustle culture type vibes.

This feeling was made worse for me this year by the 2.5 months after getting Covid being a complete right off. It basically just became a period of recuperation and bare minimum effort for me.

But i’m feeling much better now, both physically and also about how I want to approach my life from now on. Ultimately it’s about sorting out how you think about ‘the things that need doing’ (and doing them). Which is in fact about a much grander approach to ones relationship to time.

It’s either a stage or it’s a clock.

The second is how you manage the things that need doing. Which given my love of lists is the GTD like methodology.

I’ve banged on about how much I love a lot in the last 2 years or so. I had been using it as a total mission control. Plus my bullet journal.

But i’ve found that whilst notion is good for storing and retrieving information, it was’t working for me as a LOTTD (list of things to do). Its absolute great for small teams up to about 30 people imo. All the companies that I’ve worked with who have adopted it have loved it. But for one person working on their own? I feel like it’s a little clunky.

So this week I’ve gone back to todoist. Old faithful todoist. When I was working as a PM and later operations manager 2014-2016ish I ran my life out of todoist. So much so that I was in a power user feedback group with access to the product manager. lol

It feels good to be back inside the product ontology. Notion is good for teams, but it just wasn’t working out for me mentally for my personal LOTTD.

I think its the simple UX act of ticking things off the list and seeing them disappear. Who doesn’t want to go to be at night with a totally empty list. The day has been completed!

It feels good to tick everything off and then have an evening to potter around doing unreal engine tutorials, reading a book, or whatever. Everything I wanted to accomplish has been done. I even opened Renoise tracker! for the first time in months and made some music the other night.

I dunno all this is to say that the nights are now dark. I’m one week into being back into todoist and its feeling good. Like coming home.

I went out in Central London on Friday with Jay Owens (@hautepop)! It’s been way too long!

Last time we saw each other (I think) was late 2019. It was pretty wild to be charing about Soho, and Covent Garden with her again. We chatted about *all the things*, caught up.

I got the skinny on how her debut non fiction book on Dust is going. I talked a lot about web3 and crypto, but she was asking me questions so I don’t feel so bad.

We went into Forbidden Planet at one point because I wanted to see what’s hot in nerd culture. The answer being: lots of Nostalgia mining; repro action figures of G.I. Joe, The Turtles, and classic Ghostbusters etc. 1/3 of the store is basically funko pops.

I was also disappointed by FP’s lack of TTRPG rule books. There used to be 4 full bays of RPG rulebooks in there back in the day, now there’s one. But I guess the explosion in indie RPG publishing means the market is changing? Odd.

We also went to Tredwell’s, as I was looking for books on english folk horror. Sales are brisk apparently, so no luck for me. I hadn’t been to Tredwell’s since I spoke the week before Coivd Lockdown #1 so it was nice to swing by and see what whats gwanin.

I had a bit to drink and apparently the only photo I have of the whole day is of Other Jay’s sweet Rick Owens (no relation) bag.

Here it is:

Here’s another picture from this week. Walking along the Thames on Monday the sky was pretty dramatic.

Permanently Moved

Do the Things That Need Doing

The work of body one leaves behind after action, is not left behind in the past. It is a nest of materials that one unfolds into the future from within.

The Ministry Of My Own Labour

  • NanoWriMo continues. I’m into the difficult period of the month, middle third. It seems endless, running out of words.
  • Started writing my piece for Solarpunk mag issue #1
Nice company if you can get it.
  • Spent most of the week defusing Metaverse worries in clients minds.
  • Noodles some more on the spreadsheet project but need to get back to it.

Dipping the Stacks

Commons and Households in A Small Farm Future. | The Land Magazine

Most importantly, household production is self-limiting in a way that commercial production for wider markets rarely is. The farm household defines its needs for itself, works to meet them, then stops. 

The suburbs as they are, and could be | ArchitectureAU

Much of the dispersion we’re seeing in our cities has less to do with the pandemic than with underlying shifts in technology, environment and culture. It’s time to radically re-imagine suburban Australia, argues Dan Hill

One Woman’s Mission to Rewrite Nazi History on Wikipedia | WIRED

Ksenia Coffman’s fellow editors have called her a vandal and a McCarthyist. She just wants them to stop glorifying fascistsβ€”and start citing better sources.

Saturday Afternoon Ikea Trip Simulator

It is Saturday afternoon. You are near Ikea. You have no idea how you got here.

You are with your partner/flatmate/mother/children/no one/everyone. You have no wish to enter, but there is an inevitability to events that suggests fate is more than a concept. There is no escape for you now.

The Flora of the Future

Landscape architects β€” and anyone else who works directly with vegetation β€” need to acknowledge that a wide variety of so-called novel or emergent ecosystems are developing before our eyes. They are the product of the interacting forces of urbanization, globalization and climate change, and are made up of organisms that have been brought together by the elimination or neutralization of barriers that had kept them separated for millions of years.


Becky Chambers’ Solarpunk novella Psalm for the Wild Built is absolutely wonderful. Its packed with really nice ideas, great world building etc. I can’t wait for the next books in the series.

There has been some grumbling about wether its ‘Solarpunk’ because it’s not set on earth. But I don’t care I think its great.

I’ve just started reading The Wood Age by Roland Ennos. It’s a history of humanity though the lens of wood. In the earliest chapters he talks of the nests that our great ape Cousin and then moves on the chastise the fetishisation of stone tools and tool making asking the question ‘what do you think people were doing with these tools? thats right, shaping wood’. More fascinatingly are the lengthly passages on the types of joints that can be made given the material being used on them. It is the first explanation of why the wheel appeared so late (without Bronze tools the level of effort and woodworking required for a three plank wheel braced with a beam and pegs is just too high). Furthermore bronze and iron tools are impossible to make without the technology fo charcoal. Great book!

Music Spotify Playlist

Black Harvest by GREEN LUNG

Hot damn, the new green lung album rawks. I sent a note to Paul Graham Raven saying ‘it’s over the top 70’s UK metal, mixed with 00’s stoner rock and hammer horror writing the lyrics’… I think you’ll like it.

I mentioned Green lung a few months back, and the labum is now out. Check out the video to

The second track on Black Harvest is ‘Old Gods’. Its a god damn riff fest – like a whole album of riffs a lesser band would be proud of, but all in one song!

Also check out the video to the song ‘Graveyard Sun’. It’s pitch perfect! So good.

“A Tear in the Fabric of Life” by Knocked Loose

I have to mention this EP by shouty metalcore Band Knocked Loose this week. It’s heavy.

Track 2. “God Knows’ is the one i’ve added to the playlist. (3m44s in the video below)

Above being heavy AF, the band released a full 20min animated film to go with the EP’s release and fuck me is it amazing. I wonder if it was made in unreal with stop motion animation keyframing?

Remember Kids:

A good meme

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