Why We Have To Be Intentional

Jonathan sent me this article the other day — Spotify’s Design Lead On Why Side Projects Should Be Stupid — and it fit with a theme I’ve been thinking a lot about lately: intentionality. Read it and I think you’ll see what I mean. 

In my life and work rhythms I’m trying to be more intentional in every area, but as the article shows, intentionality doesn’t always look like cranking through your to-do list. Tobias van Schneider is advocating for intentionally working on work and intentionally playing around with crazy ideas. The key, I think, is about being intentional in pursuit of balance. (Note: Balance does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split.)

These days I’m trying to strike a balance between intentionally present and intentionally absent.

I’m trying to strike a balance between intentionally focused and intentionally drifting.

I’m trying to strike a balance between intentionally productive and intentionally unproductive.

I’m trying to strike a balance between intentionally in-the-moment and intentionally five years down the road. 

I’m trying to strike a balance between intentionally with my team and intentionally in my office with the door closed. 

I’m trying to strike a balance between intentionally writing and intentionally reading. 

I’m trying to strike a balance between intentionally speaking and intentionally listening. 

I’m trying to strike a balance between intentionally working and intentionally resting. 

What ever I do, I want to do it on purpose. Even if I’m purposefully choosing to do nothing at all. 

I’m trying all of this because I don’t think we grow by accident. Rather, as we approach this balance we approach our healthiest selves and our best work. And if there’s anything worth pursuing with intention, it’s that. 

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