Time, Attention, and Creativity
What difference does it make if I'm twice as productive, if I'm wasting my time and focusing my attention on something marginal? For widget makers, as long as they can sell the widgets they churn out, I suppose productivity is all they need care about. But what about writers, artists, musicians, and anyone else creative? Wouldn't we all be better off creating something of lasting value, instead of whipping out words (or cartoons, riffs, what have you) no one cares about at the time, let alone three months later?
Yes, a knowledge of how to work more effectively is good; it might mean the difference between a life's work that comprises a single ten thousand page novel exploring the meaning of life, or two ten thousand page novels... Seriously, I do think some effort to improve work habits, learn to get things done more quickly, and so on, does pay off, if only in a bit more time to do the things you really want to.
In my opinion, the important difference is in the effect your efforts have. If they do leave you more time to do the important work, they're worth keeping up. If you're just losing a lot of time downloading cool software you'll use once and forget, you'd probably be happier doing something else. Yes, you have to allow room for mistakes; that's part of the learning process.
The point isn't to be so cautious, so miserly with your time, that you avoid all mistakes. Almost nothing is truly wasted when real creativity is applied to extracting some meaning from it. The point is to remain aware, to stop the experiment as soon as you've learned it is a mistake, instead of going ahead out of habit, or some sense of duty.
How do these thoughts apply to my blog? I haven't fully decided yet whether or not Blogger will remain its permanent home, but I will keep a blog. I will try to post to it with something approaching semi-regularity. As I learn to focus my time and attention where I want them, I may even do a better job of posting. What I won't do is spend much time writing "filler" posts. Either I'll write a post on an issue I'm trying to work out my own thoughts on, as in this case, or I'll post about something I believe may be of real value to my readers, which I also hope this post may prove to be, if it gets you thinking as well.
If you do start thinking about this, remember, the point isn't to focus your time and attention in the place I think it ought to be, or anyone else, for that matter. The point is to make up your mind where you believe your efforts will best be spent. If you're at all creative, you ought to be able to find someplace fulfilling to spend your energies.