Your Life as a Pyramid
Think about your daily routine. Start with breakfast and end with your head down on the pillow. Now try to break down your work time from your personal time. Now break the day down further into commuting, eating, hygiene, socializing, etc.
Now create a brand new list for what you do while on vacation. There might be a few similarities, but the two lists won't cross each other. Why? Because you are in a different state of mind (or perhaps literally in a different state).
Now you have two lists.
What began as a simple structure now requires a separate point of view because your entire day looks different — maybe you wake up with the sunrise (instead of a blaring alarm clock), you walk down to the beach and sip your morning coffee (instead of rushing to the 10am meeting), perhaps go for a midday hike (not pick up milk from the store), or just take a nap. While there seemingly may be crossover between this structure and your normal routine (i.e. you probably still eat lunch), your vacation routine is inherently unique. Because at the highest level, you’re on vacation, and with the other you’re at home.
But wait, what if you’re in an entirely different season? Say, in between? You left your job but you are working on your first book? Let’s call this routine entrepreneurial, because you’re building a new venture for yourself. You’re not working for anyone, but you’re also not relaxing by the pool. Your entire routine is driven by the fact that you’re crafting your own thing.
This is getting complicated. How many things do you really want to list here? It could go on forever. You probably gave up on this experiment a long time ago.
Well in that case, you’ve missed the most important part: all of these pyramids point to a single common denominator: they all represent 1 thing. Your life.
It may seem obvious to take multiple components of your life and view them as a greater whole, but many people make the mistake of compartmentalizing and forgetting that each part impacts the others.
But we can do better. I love having great friends out there who create holistic approaches to home design, health & fitness, and entertainment. This requires a shift in perspective and a willingness to try new things.
What This Means for Technology
Our digital lives, too, don’t need to be fragmented. You can create an integrated life that makes sense, doesn’t stress you out, and allows you to operate peacefully and perhaps even joyously. The era of separating our work and personal lives is coming to an end — we need to take back our tools and find purpose and intention in what we do. Remember, we built technology to serve us, not the other way around.
A very common mistake I find with my clients is a lack of commitment to a single platform for their content. Say you have a series of photos you’ve shot on your phone that are stored in the cloud, but that library doesn’t contain those extras from your old computer which aren’t in the cloud, and don’t forgot those scans you did of old polaroids from the ’70s, and maybe you even have a few randoms that somehow got into Dropbox or Google Drive. This fragmented approach to photography is limiting you from doing what you want to do — take and view all your pictures. But getting to the point where they’re all in one place often takes correcting bad habits, investigating one’s lifestyle preferences, and building a new flow that makes sense for the future.
There’s a reason people never get around to fixing these things —the task can be too daunting, too frightening, or seemingly impossible.
Why This Matters
Were you surprised to see the all three triangles come together to form one pyramid? Do you see your life in this way? If so, then congrats — you’re probably a systems-based thinker. If not, you just might need to view things from a higher perspective.