39: The rhythm of the day.
- August 13, 2017 -
“The day is the only unit of time that I can really get my head around,” writes Austin Kleon in Show Your Work. “Seasons change, weeks are completely human-made, but the day has a rhythm. The sun goes up; the sun goes down. I can handle that.”
This has long been one of my favourite takeaways from Kleon’s book. There’s something so delightfully straightforward about this type of approach to time management, the way in which it requires us to shape our thinking around the confines of a single day. It keeps us from depending too heavily upon the hope of future success, and it pushes us to recognize that anything worth doing long-term should also have a firmly rooted place in the short-term.
Lately, I’ve been doing what I can to better incorporate this 24-hour mindset into my life. I’ve been tuning myself to the rhythm of the day: the sun going up, the sun going down. I’ve been re-programming my long-term goals into a series of short-term ones, working with what I have and doing a little at a time. I’ve been stepping in rather than stepping back, looking first at what’s immediately in front of me rather than what might eventually lie ahead.
It can sometimes feel like slow going, giving this type of undivided attention to the immediacy of the day-to-day, but experience has taught me that it’s often the more gradual climbs which lead to the most sustainable growth.