Mario Villalobos

Obsessive Tinkerer

I don’t know what to write about today. My weekdays are really busy. I’ve never really appreciated my free time before until just recently. I don’t have time to think, which sounds weird to me. I’m always moving, always doing something. My schedule feels tight (at least during the weekdays), and that makes me feel robotic, in a sense. Since the weekends are the only days in the week where I can actually slow down and reclaim some of my free time, I’ve been trying to use them as my days to think and to explore my curiosity.

One thing I’m always curious about is how I can improve how I do things. I’m always asking myself how I can be more efficient, or how I can reduce friction between starting something beneficial and not. For the past few days, I’ve been thinking about my todo list app of choice, OmniFocus. I’ve been trying to simplify it for months, and I thought I developed a good system right around the time I got my job. It still felt too complicated. So at the beginning of the week, during my Weekly Review actually, I began to make some changes. I combined many projects into one, deleted dozens of contexts and focused them on just seven: Focus, Routines, Home, Tech, Errands, Work, and Waiting. I’m currently not using the Routines context, butt that’s because I’m not done tinkering yet. I’m actually not sure if I even need that context, but I won’t know until I dive back into this app.

Everything is in OmniFocus. It helps me build my routines, get things done, and it makes me feel less burdened to remember all those nagging little tasks. It helps me keep on top of my finances, with routine home and car maintenance tasks, and it even reminds me to take my vitamins every morning. It’s such an amazing feeling knowing I don’t have to worry about these things. But I am cursed with that constant feeling of having to tinker with my system because I’m never satisfied with it. There’s more I can be doing, and until I know I’m packing every minute of every hour of every day with tasks to improve myself in some way, then I’ll never feel satisfied.

Is that obsessive? Maybe. Crazy? Most definitely. But it’s a system and a mentality that works for me. I’m doing great on so many things right now, and I have to stop sometimes and appreciate that. From writing to working out to my job, I’m doing okay. This is what I wanted a few months ago.

Why can’t I be satisfied, though? Why do I have to keep pushing myself? Because I want to be great. Not for anyone else, but for myself. I know I can get there, but knowing my tinkering-obsessive personality, I’m most likely never going to allow myself to get there. I’ll never allow myself to just be, and that will either be a blessing or a curse. Maybe a little bit of both?