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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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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