Jackson Kerchis

Jan 6, 2022

Pacing & Enjoyment: A Neurotic's Note-to-Self

This is a note-to-self about how to keep a more relaxed pace of work-life. If you're a neurotic mofo like me then it'll help you out too...

In January I wrote “it’s concerning that I DO NOT look forward to Mondays. As an independent intellectual that's concerning.” No work is perfect all the time. But a persistent sense of “fuck it’s Monday” is a red flag. Do you ever feel that way? If you do then I encourage you to call yourself out like I am here.

 

Most successful people offer the following advice – do work you enjoy and you’re best at… Otherwise even if you become wildly successful – what’s the point? You spent your time doing shit you didn’t enjoy. Now you’re successful and unhappy. Great, worth it!

 

"Look at me, I did it. I’ve made it!"

 

Made what? An ass of myself…

 

Pacing is the key. I always run a bit too hot. Over and over I catch myself saying “pushed a little too hard this week”. You tend to think this is a once in a while thing. “Okay this is an important week, I’m going to grind then dial it back to normal”. But if you review your notes from every week you’ll find that you do that shit like every other week! (At least if you’re anything like me).

 

Here’s a note-to-self that captures this sentiment quite well.

 

April 14, 2021 – I feel friggin lovely. It’s obvious. Fuck all the achievement – ok not all of it. But I usually max out my week with 40 hours of time-blocked high priority work (basically a 10/10 productivity). But it’s sooooo much better to have an 8/10 with plenty of time to fuck around with friends, workout, meditate, and take it slow (that last one is most important)!

Most people spend 24/7 in a semi-frantic hustle. I’m no different. There are a lot of days where I stress over taking 15 extra minutes to walk across the quad on a beautiful spring afternoon, surrounded by beautiful 20 somethings, on our beautiful campus. But those 15 minutes weren’t time-blocked! Those aren’t billable hours!

Fuck your billable hours. Who is the accountant anyway? You are! There’s no boss watching and there’s no real deadline. You can call the walk a “performance recovery session” or an “in-motion brainstorming session”; whatever you need to tell yourself in order to quit turning up the speed of your life and start fucking enjoying it.

Jackson Kerchis

I'm a former startup executive and zen monk. And I created the first Happiness Studies degree. I speak, write, and teach about happiness in work and life.