Every action should be a step towards depth, integrity, and mastery.
That means doing one thing at a time. Nothing should get in the way of that single thing.
Don’t try to switch back and forth between different tasks.
I know it’s tempting! But don’t do that.
Switching back and forth means:
- you drop the flow
- you have to pause and readjust
Even if you think you’re able to task-switch really quickly, there is still a transition phase where you lose momentum.When you devote all your focus to a single thing, your engagement deepens. It becomes richer, juicier. Multi-dimensional. Scary powerful. Impossible things become possible. Click To Tweet
If you understand compounding interest you know what I mean.
How compounding interest relates to doing one thing at a time
Wikipedia says this about compounding interest:
Compound interest is the addition of interest to the principal sum of a loan or deposit, or in other words, interest on interest. It is the result of reinvesting interest, rather than paying it out, so that interest in the next period is then earned on the principal sum plus previously accumulated interest.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_interest
Apparently Albert Einstein once joked that the most powerful force was neither mass nor gravity but compounding interest. I mean, if you had to come up with a financial formula that could be really lucrative, that’d be one. You gain interest… on the interest. It’s lucrative to be on the right side of that equation.
Freewriting is like making an investment in the writing process. You invest your energy and keep it there. The longer you do it, the more it grows.
Freewriting is all about staying in the flow, whether it feels like there is the force of inspiration behind it all or not. Committing to the flow makes inspiration more possible.
If you withdraw your energy and put it into something else, your focus suffers. It doesn’t deepen. It can’t give you the magic juice of flowness. You want the magic juice of flowness.
If I am in the middle of writing a sex scene and suddenly my friend walks through my door and starts talking to me about his new Tesla, I have a choice:
- I listen to my friend and drop the thread, hoping it comes back later (It wont — it’ll be similar, but different. Ever try to fall back asleep and resume a dream where you left off? It feels so possible! But even if you can get back to that same space, the dream landscape has shifted.)
- I continue writing the sex scene and politely wave my charming friend away. Come back later, Elon. My attention can only be on one thing at a time. Later, when I’m not writing, I can actually be fully and completely present with my friend.
The underlying philosophy here is that when you give your full presence and attention to one thing, good things happen.
Anything less isn’t really living.
The challenge of freewriting is being OK with what’s there for you. So, when you write, write whatever you want. You have full creative license to do that. When things change, that’s fine. You flow with that too.
The more you freewrite as a regular practice, the more you are able to be in sync with the flow and be clear about what you want to write.
Something to try
Try this if there is something you really want to MAKE HAPPEN and just need a bit of a nudge in that direction.
- Disconnect from everything.
- Get all the stuff you need. (A cup of Joe, stuff that inspires you, creative resources, research material, old notes.)
- Move to a workable workspace. Nothing fancy.
- Do it. Give yourself a half hour for starters. Two hours is better.
- Take a 15 minute break — a total break. Do something that is the complete opposite of writing.
- Come back.
- Dive in again.
It sounds deceptively simple. We think that we can short-cut the system and make exceptions.
You secretly know it’s true — pouring all your focus into a single thing at a time is where you access your true power.