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Morfternight #93: The power of routines.
The one with a few considerations about time.
Today, we look at a couple of photos from Berlin where I spent the week. We also celebrate crossing the 3,500 subscriber mark, by reflecting on the power of routines and what it means to “not have time” to do something.
🤩 Welcome to the 550 new Morfternighters who joined us since the last issue.
I love having you here and hope you’ll enjoy reading Morfternight.
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👋 Good Morfternight!
Greetings from Vienna, where I am spending a dozen days before traveling to WordCamp US, near Washington, D.C.
Today is August 13th, marking eight weeks since I took a more relaxed approach to writing this newsletter, which led to sending it only twice.
I’ll dive into this after the 📷 and 🗺️ sections as there’s an interesting lesson on routines and prioritization hidden somewhere in this.
📷 Photo(s) of the week
Spreebrücke Bahnhof Friedrichstraße – Berlin, Germany — More Photos from Berlin
Some cities work well in black & white, and Berlin is one of them.
While walking across the Spree on the Weidendammer Brücke, I was attracted by the symmetry of the reflections on the water and the stillness of the scene. It took only a few minutes of patience to wait for a train and add movement into the frame.
I don’t shoot portraits often. This one happened suddenly as we were ordering drinks in a bar; Atanas lowered his head to catch the candlelight. It happened too fast, so I missed the shot. I’d have moved on usually, but something caught my eye, and I asked him if he could do that again. He was also kind enough to allow me to publish the photo.
🗺️ A few places to visit
The latest iterations of Large Language Models are not “intelligent” in the human sense, and yet it is fascinating that we already need to figure out new methods to detect computers. Read ChatGPT broke the Turing test — the race is on for new ways to assess AI to learn more.
Over the past couple of years, we have become familiar with text and images generated by computers. What about sound and music? Meta is Open Sourcing AudioCraft: A simple one-stop shop for audio modeling.
Finally, a very short but highly recommended read. In Get it Done Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, talks about how more effective it often is to leverage the help your boss can give you, instead of remaining stuck alone with an impossible task. The rest of his blog is great too, check it out.
Join 3,500 Morfternighters, it’s free!
📆 Time, prioritization, and routines.
I explained a few weeks ago why it felt better to write less regularly than to write by obligation. Still, eight weeks in, with only two issues of Morfternight published, I have to look at the harsh reality and accept this is not working.
This is familiar to me. It’s a lesson I have, in the professional context, learned a few times already. In retrospect, thinking it would work differently here just because Morfternight is not “work” was illusory.
“You don’t find the time. You make the time.”
Often, in an attempt to balance work, family, and personal growth, I would lament, “I just can’t find the time.”
Can you relate?
Ever felt you’re perpetually racing against the clock, no matter how organized you think you are?
— I can’t find time to do BLANK.
— I’d like to BLANK, but I don’t have time.
Ring a bell? I’ve mouthed these phrases more than I’d like to admit, often masking them behind the facade of a “busy life.”
Yet, when the dust settles, and you take a step back, the realization hits – we all have the same 24 hours. Earth doesn’t spin slower for anyone. The question then becomes: what are we doing with those hours?
Those fortunate enough – like me – to have good health, a stable environment, and a degree of personal agency have an additional burden. With such privilege comes responsibility. A vast majority of people across the globe don’t have the luxury to dictate how their time is spent. When we complain about lacking time, isn’t it somewhat dismissive of their reality?
Reflect for a moment. Actions speak volumes, don’t they? As someone rightly said, “You don’t find the time. You make the time”.
Plan your time like you budget your money.
Budgeting and investing time echoes the principles of money management. Define where it goes, ensuring it aligns with what truly matters. If there are essential things, you consistently feel you “don’t have time for,” maybe it’s time for some introspection.
Are these ‘essentials’ genuinely top priority? Or are they merely tasks on a wishlist? If there’s a disconnect between what you do and what you say should be done, it’s a cue. Recognize, recalibrate, or restructure.
What are your real priorities? They always shine through your actions. Ensure they reflect what truly matters to you.
The Magic of Routines
We’re all creatures of habit.
I may not be a neurologist, but I understand a fundamental aspect of our brains: they adapt. When we repeat tasks, our brains rewire, becoming more efficient and requiring less energy. This means that as we keep doing something, it becomes more straightforward, less prone to mistakes, and, simply put, requires less food.
Like recurring bills, routines also help you budget your time, as you can block how much you need ahead to ensure it’s not spent on something else.
This is what happened to me over the past months with Morfternight. It wasn’t about writing for joy or by obligation, but merely the fact that, back from my sabbatical leave, a period designed on purpose without routines, I had failed at establishing my writing habits again.
So, what about you? Are there goals you consistently miss? Tasks that perpetually sit on the back burner? If so, why not determine the time required and carve out dedicated slots in your schedule? If you can’t, perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that they aren’t as essential as you once believed and let them go.