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December 23rd, 2020


It’s a bit funny to think that the “weekend” was invented.  Animals don’t have weekends, but apparently even God rested on the 7th day.  This was only after days were invented, of course, and more importantly, the project of creation was finished.  It’s a bit funny to wonder if creation ever would have been finished if that fanciful diet took his day off on a Wednesday instead.  Point being: it can be far easier to simply continue when you’re on a roll instead of taking a break.  For many the weekend is this paradisal reprieve that people can’t wait for, and then collapse into.


A worthy exercise is to wipe the schedule of civilization from your mind and ponder about whether there’s a more personal rhythm that might be more comfortable.  Aside from the circadian rhythm that we all have baked into our hardware to one degree or another, there likely isn’t any rhythm aside from project rhythm.  God’s project was creation and he didn’t take a break until it was done.  Likewise we have a cultural imagination abundant in images of the writer or artist or coder who toils away feverishly on marathon stretches of project creation. 


Unfortunately, the systems upon which civilization depends on still require a vast mechanical cooperation among many people.  In theory, anything that happens with any kind of regularity can be automated - that is a tremendous project, of which we do seem to be chipping away at, but who knows how long it’ll take and if we’ll ever get there.  Those people bound up in the schedule of civilization’s mechanics don’t get to explore the timing and rhythm of a project, something that like a book, story or movie has a beginning, a tumult of conflict, confusion, and then finally, resolution.


One of the great things about project rhythm that is absent from most 9-5 jobs is the inherent momentum that exists with a project.  A worthy project is often difficult to take a break from, and symmetrically for the worse, if a reprieve does come about, it can be hard to restart as the enormity of the task becomes apparent with a few steps back.  In this sense it’s like the dreaded Monday workday, but for a good project, the weekend can seem arbitrary, even like an unwelcome obstacle to be avoided.


The rhythm of a project is non existent compared to the regular workweek.  The rhythm of a project resolves to a single tone of being incomplete, a perpetual annoyance that converts into a satisfying sense of achievement as effort is poured into the aim.

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

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Podcast Ep. 983: Project Rhythm

Tinkered Thinking

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