Tweaking vs. Fiddling

I’m not a morning person. I tend to do my best work in the wee hours hours of the late evening, where I find that my creative juices are flowing. So I generally stay up late and get up late for that reason.

I’m also not working so much as an individual right now either. I am working more collaboratively these days, as part of a larger team where things need to be tracked across the miles. So I generally use Asana now rather than OmniFocus for that reason.

I’ve not been working out too much lately. I get caught up in work, family and other aspects of my “life” and exercise has fallen by the wayside. So I generally don’t work out as much as I used to.

As of late, “generally” hasn’t been applying to my life all that much. So I’m doing some general tweaking.

This isn’t the same as fiddling, mind you. I have my tools in place and they are working for me. Fiddling generally involves avoiding the things you need to do rather than work towards making those things happen. You wind up getting caught up – and have to play catch up as a result.

Tweaking is making changes that are necessary in order to better optimize your situation – in this case, my ability to shift between work mode and life mode. Tweaking are changes for the sake of progress; fiddling are changes for the sake of change.

Big difference.

So while I’m not fighting my body clock, I’m shifting it. I am going to get up at 7 am and hit the sack at midnight. That means I am shifting my waking hours an hour or two earlier, but not in a drastic way. It’s a tweak that needs to be done so I can help my wife have a better start to her day and allows me to have more time with the kids before they head off for their day.

As for my task management system, I’m spending more time working in Asana with team-based stuff and I’m keeping a close eye on OmniFocus as it still holds some of my longer-term individual projects. As I get more proficient with Asana, that may change. But I’m not going to spend an inordinate amount of my time on that right now. i’m simply going to learn as I go, with a deeper dive to happen somewhere down the line. The tweaking takes place in how I use Asana, rather than how I manage my tasks and projects. Fiddling isn’t an option, nor do I want it to be.

By tweaking my waking hours, I can tweak my exercise habit (or lack thereof). I’m going to get back to running – starting today. Whether I go with my old Couch 2 5K routine or dive into the Rebel Running Guide by my pal Steve Kamb over at NerdFitness, Im going for a run today. This simple tweak involves a three-day-a-week commitment, and I’m worth it. So is my family.

By tweaking the right things at the right time, they can all feed each other in a way that makes you more efficient and effective. Proper tweaking makes things better, both directly and indirectly. There’s no such thing as proper fiddling, but it sure can impact things both directly and indirectly.

So…do you tweak or do you fiddle?

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Photo credit: Michael Kenny (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)