The Fun Factor

Whoops. Time goes by so fast. I didn’t realize yesterday was Tuesday. Sorry for writing and posting this late. 😅

Last week, I alluded to the factor primarily responsible for why I haven’t been spending as much time with my notes as I expected. That factor is the feeling of fun.

There are two things that immediately jump to mind when I think about fun.

First, I think about the distinction between work and play.

Play is fun. When something feels like play, it is naturally engaging. It is energizing, much like attending a party with friends is energizing for an extrovert.

When something feels like work, it requires us to intentionally engage. This requires energy, much like attending a party with friends depletes energy for an introvert; they may want to do it and find it enjoyable, but it requires them to expend energy.

Second, I think about the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Fun is intrinsically motivating. We can do something simply because it’s fun. It’s something we’d want to do even if we had no other reason.

When something isn’t fun, we generally need a reason to do it. It’s something we want to do because we feel like we should do it, or like we have to do it.

Now, let’s return to my notes.

I often feel like my notes have to meet some quality standard. I often feel like my ideas are mediocre and not worthy of including in my notes.

In today’s live session of Building a Second BrainTiago Forte mentioned the importance of shifting our mindset to bias towards creating instead of collecting. Reflecting on this, I think I commonly default back on collecting because it feels safer. I have less skin in the game when I’m simply making notes of other people’s ideas instead of producing, working on, and presenting my own ideas.

I’ve lost the fun factor with regards to my notes.

As Paco Cantero pointed out on Twitter last week, if something isn’t fun, we won’t do it for the long-term. It won’t be a sustainable practice.

Going forward, I have some questions I want to explore.

Is the experience of fun something we have any control over? Or does it just happen? If we have any control over it, how can we increase the experience of fun? How can we prevent ourselves from losing that experience?

And what better place to explore those questions than in my notes 🙂

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