I loved playing The Sims as a kid. One thing that was really interesting about the game was my Sim (my avatar) could achieve anything I wanted him to achieve. If I wanted him to be educated, I would have him study for weeks on end until he was a bona-fide career scientist. If I wanted him to be a career artist, I would have him paint every day until he became one.
I couldn’t help but be envious of the accomplishments my Sim was finding (half-joking) and I thought about what I could apply from how my Sim was living. Here are my observations.
One difference I saw between The Sims and how I lived my life was quickness to action. If I told my Sim to sleep, he would sleep immediately. Whereas, I take my sweet time getting into bed. I strive to live more like a Sim in that regard.
To make the analogy, my daily plan is my Sims command queue. If my plan says to leave the house at 9 AM, I leave the house. None of this “but just one more Reddit post” bullshit. It doesn’t matter how I feel, it’s not up to me. I have given myself a command. Urges to do things that do not align with my goals are like when the Sim decides to do something on his own. I cancel that decision, and substitute it with my own.
Another difference I saw was focused action. When the Sim sat down to work out, that is all he did in that time. He wasn’t thinking about what he was going to do next, or whether he should even be working out, or distractedly browsing the internet. The Sim entered flow and I should aim to do the same for the creative and thoughtful work I do as a developer and as a writer.
- make a plan,
- do what my plan says even if I don’t feel like doing it and
- focus completely on the task at hand,
I will be much more effective. It’s so simple, but at the most basic level, so is productivity. Really, progress is only possible if you do the simple things well. As my blog’s name suggests, consistent small, simple actions add up to great progress towards your goals.
(And of course, just as in The Sims, pay attention to your human needs and keep them “topped out” as well.)
P.S. Another observation: a Sim acts without regard to how he feels he will be perceived. Something else I need to keep in mind.
Simple blink indicator test running. I’d like it to “rubber-band” more (spend more time in center + edges) so it feels snappier.