I am spending the week at a conference, learning new skills and meeting lots of new people. As part of the conference there are a couple vendors who are selling their wares. This particular vendor sells books and magazines. I was glancing at the magazine table and picked up a copy to browse. To my surprise it was the issue where an article I wrote was being featured. I had forgotten about the article and took a double take when I saw my own art on the back cover. I was immediately humbled and glad that I had put in the work to solicit and write the article.
There is only so much time in a day, and we all have to choose how we are going to spend, invest, or waste our hours. There are things we want to accomplish and things we want to learn. There are things we want to see and places we want to enjoy. There are chores and tasks, cleaning and culling to be done. There are beautiful ideas we have that we want to create and creative ideas we want to implement. Unfortunately we cannot do it all, no one can. We have only so many hours to use and too many things to fill those hours. So we have to choose, and we need to choose wisely. Choosing means some things get done and others go undone. Some things we do well and others things we do simply to check the box.
Eventually we run into our own work and can see what others see from what we produce. We find an old file, review our procedures, or read something we wrote. That work can make us feel good about ourselves, or remind us how much of a hurry we were in to just get that task done. When we revisit the fruits of our labors we have the opportunity to have a different perspective. The work is no longer new, it might even be old. When we see it, are we proud or dismissive? Do we like what we see? Or do we think we could’ve done better?
Knowing you may run into your work sometime in the future, does that cause you to pause and think differently about what you are producing. Do you want to retrace your steps and start again? Would you do it differently knowing your future self will be held accountable for it? Just something to think about as you choose what you will produce today.