What does doing “the daily work” mean?

Instead of starting this off by explaining what doing the daily work means, I thought I’d show you with an example…

One of my favourite things to do is to sketch and to illustrate, but I’m not trying to turn it into a source of income, or to open a gallery with all my prints in it; I simply enjoy the process, and the freedom it gives me. However, I still need to work, and eat, and stay in touch with friends, and work on my relationship with my partner, and clean the house, and do laundry… so, I often just feel like I don’t have the time or the headspace to illustrate — when, in truth, I’m just not making time to get better at it.

Working at a thing to improve feels like something that needs decades of daily practice, when in actual fact you only need a few minutes a day of efficient, effective, and consistent effort (unless you’re an olympian).

Now, when you’re someone like me who wants to learn 101 things all at once, and you multiply the above scenario by 20, it all gets a bit much — unless, of course, your focus is on everyday growth over time, and putting in the daily practice that it requires.

I enjoying doing a lot things, and I totally identify part of who I am with what I do: I dance, I design, I write, I code, I draw, I play music, I do yoga, I meditate, I learn languages, I read, I tattoo, I cook, I embroider, I bind books… Now, this isn’t me bragging — in fact, it’s probably quite the opposite: I put a lot of pressure on myself to be really good at each one. In order to get even remotely close to that goal, I have to maximise the way I spend my free-time to optimise my learning and still get all the normal “life” things done too.

For a long time, this went one of two ways: Either I managed to fit them all in but have little-to-no time left for friends, family, exercise, adventure, etc.; or, I couldn’t fit them all in, and just got irritated that I felt so unproductive and like I might lose the momentum I’ve gained up to that point.

I’m the kind of person who gets anxious if I don’t spend my evenings doing something productive. With so many things I could be doing, I end up with decision fatigue and doing none of them.

Healthy? Nope.

This likely comes from being a combination of someone who easily gets bored, and someone who is pretty good at learning new things quickly. However, I’m also kind of obsessed with hacking and optimising my learning – and I need to be if I want to make consistent progress in everything I want to do.

So, in order to get better at all the things I’d like to master, I have had to figure out how to squeeze in as much as I can, in small ways, that compound over timeand that’s what this blog is all about.

For me, “everyday growth” has two meanings here: Firstly, it’s the desire to make incremental progress every single day — 1% better with each practice, if you will; secondly, it’s not trying to come up with the most scientifically-backed or 110% effective methods. All I need to do is find the simple, day-to-day things I can incorporate into my routine, and leverage them to their full potential so I can optimise my learning and my growth.

I by no means think I have all the answers, or any answers at all… But I constantly find new ways to help nudge my growth a long consistently, so that I can do anything I want to, get really good at it, and still have a life.

This is my cheatsheet for how I do that.

I’ll use this as a place to share my notes, and offer some insight into things that have helped me so far. If you want to do the same, and hack your growth in very manageable ways, then please enjoy your stay, and let me know what you think about all the different methods and tactics I use. I’d love to hear yours too.

See you around!

J.

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