I was reading Mark Manson’s latest post last week and I connected with a simple truism that I often lose sight of. While I wouldn’t say that “hacking” productivity is the main thing I’m concerned with, if you were to poll close friends of mine, they’d probably label me as that kind of person.
You can read the full post here, but I’ve bolded the important part here:
My fiancee and I had an argument recently. We were arguing over whether we should consolidate our cellphone plans under one carrier and share any of the benefits it may afford. Of course, the argument itself was a little stupid because what we were arguing over was slightly deeper issue around my desire to be in control. I may be laissez faire in many things, but my fiancee is often finding me stubbornly pig-headed in a few key areas that relate to finances and things I consider wasteful (overpaying for cell services I don’t actually need, using the AC all the time, leaving lights on, etc.).
Most instances of control around finances for me stems from wanting to set up systems that take care of the critical items – loan repayments, paying off other debts, savings, etc. I want to set up systems so that when they are up and running, I want to ignore them and focus on other things. I don’t want to go back in and have to constantly tweak the system to make up for bad habits and behaviours on my part.
Yet, sometimes my focus on the system can lead me to concern myself with the stupid nitty-gritty details. In this, I can focus too much on the little things and end up having stupid arguments about how I don’t want to switch a cell carrier because my system already works for me.
It’s important to remember to get the big things right and not sweat the small stuff. Rather than thinking I can set up an independent system (a relatively little thing) it’s more important for me to focus on the big things like having open conversations with my partner as we plan our future together, rather than taking pride in being unreachable by phone outside of major cities.