anton niklasson

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Embrace Intentionality

Becoming a parent has completely changed my life. I am no longer able to do whatever I want whenever I want. That is just part of becoming a parent. I would not want it any other way, but it has been challenging.

I fought against routines and planning because I wanted to be spontaneous. Planning my life in too much detail felt like giving up everything that was me. I do understand why I felt that way though. I have been trying to optimize for maximum freedom and optionality my whole adult life.

It might sound obvious, but I have realized that plans and routines actually unlocks freedom and flexibility in this new life.

Before I became a father, I usually had hours of unscheduled time every day to focus on whatever I wanted, both at work and at home. This felt like the ideal life at the time. Looking back, I have realized that I mostly just failed at maximizing those hours. Eight hours available for a task did not produce a better output than if I had just two hours. Being short on time forces you to be productive.

I am trying to remind myself of this whenever I have some time left over. I can accomplish a lot of work in just 90 minutes of uninterrupted focus. So the problem is not a lack of time. I need to improve my prioritization skills and make sure I always know what to work on next.

I came up with this completely original life advice:

  1. figure out what is important
  2. spend my time intentionally on those things