43 Folders

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Disk maintenance small boost to productivity?

Whenever I run DiskWarrior (starting-up from a CD), do an Applejack repair, or otherwise cause some event that renders my PowerBook temporarily unusable, I often find a few things happen:

  1. I'm initially stressed-out, although I soon move to feeling kind of relaxed -- like someone called a snow day on the morning of the Chemistry final.
  2. I'm drawn to several small (truly neglected) chores related to my immediate physical area -- cleaning off my desk, returning file folders, or taking out the recycling.
  3. Forced to write in either a notebook or at my girlfriend's Mac, I often end up drafting something quickly, easily, and occasionally in a style I don't think I write in.
  4. I don't miss the computer that much after 2 minutes; but I do get itchy after a couple hours.

There's any of a dozen reasons for all these, but I suspect there's commonality.

My "mode" was disrupted, so on the one hand, I don't have access to Quicksilver, tab sets, bookmarks, scripts, and all the other things I've added to make my Mac more suited to my style (and theoretically faster for me to use). But, by the same token, forcing myself to abandon all that recursive familiarity winnows my distractions in some novel ways.

I imagine I'm not the only one for whom this is true; I know Danny has at least one other account on his PowerBook for interruption-free writing mode. I've always loved writing in cafes -- I get to drink coffee, plus my brain seems to run a little differently when others are around.

I dunno. Nothing earth-shattering to note, except that while constant modal change absolutely kills my day, an occasional shift can be just the smack I need to get something good happening. I wonder if a really hot-rodded setup sometimes serves just to help me blow time and practice bad habits more efficiently than I would without them.

All I know is I enjoy the change, and I often return to the freshly-maintained PowerBook feeling more energized than I did when I left it. Maybe it's just the unexpected "sunshine" and "movement."

You ever get anything like this?

Merlin's picture

The constant paradox of reading...

The constant paradox of reading 43 Folders is like talking about going to begin a macrobiotic regime while standing in line at McDonald’s

Ha! It’s true. Kinda. I mean, well…it’s funny, even if it’s not precisely true.

A better metaphor from my point of view is why would someone yell at their neighborhood McDonald’s for making more food every day than one person could eat? Well. It’s not really a paradox at all because McDonald’s makes food for more people than you. Even on the days when you’re not hungry at all, they need to keep their doors open, empty the greastraps, and change the shortening in the fryers. :-)

Believe me, Solo, if I could bend people’s will to make them do my bidding, I wouldn’t be squandering it on a website about index cards.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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