Self Help

I Want to Do All the Things Finding Balance as a Polymath, Multipotentialite & Renaissance Soul - Arcadia Page

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Matheus Puppe

· 4 min read

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  • The book discusses strategies for managing multiple projects and interests as a “polymath” or person with diverse skills and passions.

  • It addresses common challenges like project overload, losing track of projects, and making time for learning and projects.

  • To reduce project overload, the author recommends letting go of older projects that no longer spark joy or fit one’s current interests. Focus on a small number of projects that are exciting.

  • For managing projects, the book recommends working on 4 projects at a time - 2 main focus projects, 1 backup, and 1 “passion project” to reward progress. Goals should span all projects rather than individual goals.

  • Strategies include batching similar projects, setting clear and measurable weekly goals, and allowing flexibility to work on any project to meet the goals. This gives freedom while maintaining accountability.

  • Other tips include using a journal to track learning, combining skills across projects, and sharing work online to stay motivated. The book provides strategies for polymaths and multipotentialites to sustain diverse passions and learning.

Having a weekly goal for creative work is good, but it’s important to set it at a level that is achievable yet still challenging. The goal should not be so easy that you finish it in one day, nor so difficult that you spend hours struggling each day to reach it. Leaving some extra time allows for rewarding personal passion projects while maintaining motivation toward larger goals. While passion projects may not directly contribute to metrics, they can help expand one’s abilities. However, it’s important not to get too rigid - flexibility is key. When juggling multiple creative projects, it may become necessary to focus intently on just one if progress is lacking on others due to distraction or fatigue. Maintaining personal awareness of productivity signs is important for determining when to shift focus. With project planning, checklists help track tasks and goals whether digital or on paper. Flexibility in planning methods allows adjusting to what works best.

The author has found that using a composition notebook is an effective way to keep track of ideas and inspiration, combining elements of a Scanner Daybook, Bullet Journal, and Lynda Barry’s approach. Composition notebooks are affordable, portable, durable, and can handle a variety of media like artwork, notes, collages, etc. The wide ruled lines provide good readability and space for marginal notes. By bringing the notebook everywhere to capture anything, the author is able to collect ideas, plans, and reflections in a flexible yet structured way. The composition notebook format supports this kind of multi-purpose idea capturing better than dedicated sketchbooks, planners, or journals due to its low cost, versatility, and ease of storage.

  • The author prefers using a composition notebook rather than a traditional Bullet Journal notebook because it helps avoid note mixing and ensures each note has its own dedicated page. This encourages expression over perfection.

  • Some pen options that work well include Sharpie fine tip pens, tombow Fudenosuke brush pens, and Staedtler markers. These don’t bleed through the paper.

  • The author outlines their formatting approach: tracing a hand on the first page, drawing frames around pages, including titles, dates, indices, task lists, etc.

  • Notes include plans, recipes, stories, comics, book notes, blog posts, character designs, art exercises.

  • Archiving options discussed include making lists in a note-taking app organized alphabetically, magazine-style clipping and binding, and scanning pages. Naming scans with titles and dates helps organization.

  • JPEGs and PDFs are both suitable scan formats, with tradeoffs around previewing, multiple pages, and editing.

  • The Notebloc app is recommended if scans will be unorganized, while the Bullet Journal companion app works better if following the Bullet Journal format.

  • Remxing skills from different hobbies allows polymaths to see connections and apply knowledge in new ways, creating unexpected outcomes and surprising audiences. Learning skills partially is okay since they can be combined later.

The author discusses finding balance as a multipotentialite or someone with many interests and passions. They benefited from remixing skills from different hobbies and projects into new creations. This helped with originality, expedited learning, better improvising, and reduced overwhelm.

The author provides an example of how they applied past skills in paper crafting, sewing, zine making etc. into a bookbinding project. They advise noticing how existing skills can remix into new projects.

Some tips for blogging include defining interests, shareable skills, top focus topics, crafting a purpose statement, and finding an overarching theme. Balance is needed between focus and switching between projects. The key is having fun with lifelong learning while sharing knowledge and experimentation with others.

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About Matheus Puppe