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How I Learned to Manage Multiple Interests without Going Insane

How I Learned to Manage Multiple Interests without Going Insane
Growing up, one person I was completely fascinated with was Leonardo Da Vinci. I was 13 when I found out that being one of the world’s most famous artists was just one of his many attributes. He was…


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Multipotentiality is a strength

Multipotentiality is a strength

With the right mindset and approach, it is possible to follow several passions and do them successfully.

Leonardo Da Vinci was more than just a famous artist - he was also a mathematician, scientist, and philosopher. Da Vinci was a polymath - a person with multiple interests or passions. Other well-known polymaths were Newton, Aristotle, Galileo, Faraday, Leibniz, and more. Most successful entrepreneurs of current times, such as Elon Mush, Warren Buffet, and Jeff Bezos, are polymaths too.


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Da Vinci was a polymath . If you’re reading this article, you probably already know this. Today, we have various terms to describe a person with multiple interests or passions. Multipotentialite is a personal favourite.



Change your definition of time

Spread out your interests/passions over seven days instead of 24-hours. Assuming you are awake for 16 hours a day, you now have around 112 hours to tend to everything.

We box our decision making into a 24-hour window. We feel like we have to accomplish all our tasks within the 24 hour day - such as our jobs, interests, and leisure time. But if you had over 100 hours to do all of these tasks, how much would you be able to accomplish?

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A system for each of your pursuits

Creating a system allows you to allocate a set time to each pursuit as well as other important tasks.

A system helps to batch tasks, consider what needs to be done on priority and what can be done at leisure.


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Redefine leisure and breaks

Batch tasks into 45 - 90 minutes depending on the complexity and how much you want to get done.

After your work window is over, take a short 15-minute break to drink water, check your phone, get a snack, or just move around. Then get back to a completely different task that uses another skill set for the next work window.


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Your phone should provide as little distraction as possible

Your phone should provide as little distraction as possible. A few systems to help you stop a phone addiction:

  • Don't look at your screen immediately after waking up. Use an analog alarm and keep your phone on the other side of the room.
  • Turn off notifications for all social media apps
  • Delete unnecessary apps that you are not using.
  • Stop keeping your phone next to you while sleeping, eating, showering, or working.
  • Use a habit tracker on your desktop to stay on track with all these steps.


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Read when you feel stuck

When you have multiple interests, reading becomes essential. Focus on reading more about polymaths by polymaths.

There are times you will feel stuck or may need a motivational push. That's when this practice will be useful.


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Morning routines: moments of solitude and focus

There will be times where your schedule will not work for you. That's when a morning routine will pull you through. A morning routine works because it gives you a small period of solitude and focus.

How you wake up affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, and successful mornings create a focused, productive, and successful days.


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Manage the guilt

It can be challenging to have multiple interests - you may be critisised for following too many pursuits. Another issue is feeling guilty for giving up an interest half way. Quitting is not giving up. It is choosing to focus your attention on something more important.

Points to help you manage the guilt:

  • Consume social media content with caution.
  • Limit your time with people who speak negatively about your passions.
  • Journal. To give clarity, write down your thoughts and the reasons for them.
  • Forgive yourself when you choose something not true to yourself because of external pressure. You'll get there. Forgive others too, as they don't know better.


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Addressing burnout

When you're doing many things, there will be times when you feel burnt out or overwhelmed.

Simply switch off when this happens. You don't have to keep on going if your body and mind won't allow it. Ways of rejuvenating include travelling and binge-watching films. Consider slotting in a day where you're doing nothing.


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Patrick Grim

"In the history of ideas, it’s repeatedly happened that an idea, developed in one area for one purpose, finds an unexpected application elsewhere. Concepts developed purely for philosophy of mathematics turned out to be just what you needed to build a computer. Statistical formulae for understanding genetic change in biology are now applied in both economics and in programming."

Patrick Grim


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Polymaths, geniuses with diverse skillsets and varied interests, are the source of some of history's greatest contributions.

Giants like Aristotle, Galileo, and Leonardo da Vinci were...

The Approach Of A Polymath

A polymath sees the world with a unique perspective, making connections that are not apparent to others.

Early polymaths had the advantage of a wide-open field, and went deep in their disciplines, yielding branches and sub-branches of specializations. Deep down, these different branches lead to the same trunk and roots.

Polymaths Vs Specialists

Polymaths differ from specialists, as they are on to a highway that is getting wider, and specialists are parked in a spot that is getting deeper.

Polymaths have the advantage of learning new fields of study, and forming new connections, while specialists start having a narrow vision by going deep, learning less. The learning ability of the polymath is the required skill-set of the future.

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Our inner 'demons'

Our inner Demons, or inner voices, make us do irrational, stupid and selfish things, based out of fear.

We hide and distract ourselves from our inner voice, which is nothing but our fear and ...

Our common negative parts

Some of our common 'demons' are:

  • Procrastination
  • Laziness
  • Self-loathing
  • Comparing yourself with your peers, leading to envy
  • Loser mentality.

The downward spiral

Our inner demons lead us to negatively judge ourselves, further leading to avoiding that judgment, and eventually starting the internal self-destruction, if the negative downward spiral is left unchecked.

An Uncertain Future

  • The past decade gave rise to the 'Gig' economy, spawning one-click app-based transactions.
  • Artificial Intelligence and automation are further transforming how people live and work.

Future Proof Your Career

Future-proofing your career to stay relevant isn't about learning how to code or going back to college.

It is about having a career plan with a long-term vision, taking into account the current job-market conditions, economic factors, emerging opportunities, personal interests, and family realities.

Shrinking Life Cycle of Jobs

A life cycle of a job is shrinking rapidly, and if you're not re-inventing yourself or pivoting on time, you are rendered out of work sooner than in the past decades.

We need to check our career plan and ask ourselves what skills need to be developed to pursue future opportunities, in this shifting economy.