The last 2 months have seen a decline in my output. To combat this, I am implementing a new process that I hereby name the "CAR|CDR" system of productivity. CAR & CDR come from LISP Lore. I picked the name because I like saying CARKIDER phonetically.
It is really quite simple. I have a dynamic list of everything that is important to me. From projects to people to ideas to consumption to whatever. I enumerate every alternating day as either being a CAR (Head of the list) or CDR (rest of the list) day. For instance, this week MWFU are CAR (Head) days and TRS are CDR (Rest) days.
On CAR day, I shouldn't be doing anything other than the most important task on my list. I purposely choose, and in doing so free myself, to ignore all the other task in life that I deem important. It means that I don't pencil in any other things that day, I don't try to squeeze some other concern in there. I also attempt to limit the number of decisions I need to make on CAR days to only things concerning the CAR item. It is a CAR day, that is its all encompassing purpose.
CDR days are for everything other than the head of your list. For this reason I am fairly flexible about what I should do within the rest of the list. Your CDR list should always contain basic things like "exercise", "enjoy life", "have fun", "socialize", as well as directly actionable things like "pay taxes", "study category theory", etc. I really just let whim and urgency dictate what I do on CDR days. CDR days are for inspiration, they should be the opposite of focusing on a singular purpose.
There are so many things going on in my own life and in the world as a whole that I don't have a good why. Explaining why is too big a question, and I suspect I could not do it if pressed. All I am sure of is that I am not able to focus on tasks like I once could. I think partially it is my brain rebelling against the monotony of my current life; the constraint of spending almost my entire day in a 13' x 17' room as we wait out this pandemic. Without a clear path forward, I am trying random strategies I think up and seeing if they help.
As for the question of why this strategy? I think it has to do with the idea of focused vs diffuse thought. I think my mind/personality is being softened as contact with much of my previous environment diminishes. It isn't just the lose of people, it is also the roles and activities and parts that I previously played. The CAR day gives me time to put my full intellect and focus towards a task, shutting out the outside world. The CDR day gives me time to softly adjust to the new world, without having to think about my most important thing upon that day.
I hope it helps me out.