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PRODUCT.|PHILOSOPHY.|LIFE.

Shedding your skin


I like snakes. No, I don't really like snakes. Just the fact that they shed their skin from time to time and move on with their lives.

Snakes shed their skin to allow for further growth. Unlike humans, snake skin doesn't grow as the snakes grow. So they have to shed their skin and grow it again in order to grow in size. Plus, they also shed their skin to get rid of parasites that get attached to their old skin.

We are not very good at shedding our skins. Metaphorically. We live like plants, laying roots where we are born and spending most of our lives in and around that place where we lay roots. We keep adding things to what we have, accumulating beliefs, possessions, relationships, habits, but never really shedding things that don't work for us as well anymore. We fail to shed the skin that doesn't grow with us, and hence prevents us from growing.

So, we need to shed our skin from time to time.

I did one such thing this week.

I have written before about my daily practice for peak productivity. But, after following a way of going about it for over a year, I decided it was time to change the way I did things. It was time to shed my old skin.

Over the last year or so, I've been following a method of time boxing. I'd dedicate blocks of time spread out during the day, assigned to things I needed to get done. It was working fairly well, but I was beginning to get concerned that I was not dedicating enough time to some things of priority simply because of scheduling snafus.

So, this week, I tried out a new approach - the traditional to-do list.

I planned my week just like I used to, time boxing tasks throughout my week. But then, once I had done that, I would have a list on the side that repeated all the tasks in the order of importance to me on any given day.

The thinking was simple - at the end of the day, I'd look back and ask myself, if I lived every day like I did today, would I get where I want to be? If not, how far away was I from that ideal day?

A week of this has already helped highlight what tasks have received zero attention from me and what other tasks I have been spending more than the usual share of time on.

And days this week have been closer to my ideal day than in previous weeks.

Maybe in another few months, I'll have to shed my skin again. But for now, I'm feeling comfortable in my new skin.

What can you get rid of that is holding you back from growing?

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