Being a Better Boss

For all of my adult life, I have taken on careers which require me to be my own boss. In fact, I have never had an actual "job". So I don't really have any idea of what a good boss looks like. And the trouble is, I'm not that bossy.

But I recently had a few realizations which are enabling me to become a better boss:
  • I'm mildly manic depressive
  • I'm more productive when I'm manic
  • I enjoy checking boxes more than I like crossing things out
Okay, so the first two I already knew and the last one sounds like no great revelation. But I'm using these three things together to get better at telling myself what to do. By saturating myself with creative activities, I'm getting myself stuck in a manic phase. While in this phase I am working to establish habits. The primary habit I'm establishing is a compulsion to check things off.

In the past I would make lists of items to cross off after they were completed. That never worked so well for me. So on New Year's Day I made a list with check boxes next to each item. By the end of the day I had checked everything off of the list. But instead of a post-it with a bunch of stuff crossed out, I had a post-it with a list of things which I had accomplished that day. The first list was really simple - I set myself up to succeed.

So where do we go now? Well, putting something on the list for enough consecutive days will develop a new habit. The whole system is a positive feedback cycle, where one day's activities fuel the next. It's like feeding an addiction, except instead of being addicted to Tetris and soy ice cream, I'm addicting myself to work, exercise and creation. So excuse me for a while as I go check this off my list and feed the cycle.

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