Thoughts, reflections, and ideas

On embracing my chaos

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Over the past few years, I’ve tried and failed many times at giving my chaotic self some order — something that inevitably made me feel anxious.

I tried to organize myself using todo apps. I always used any random piece of paper that I found near me. I also tried to file, categorize, and prioritize issues on a GitHub repository. Still, I ended up resorting to a .gitignored TODO.md document. My note-taking apps are a mess. Thinking about how to label and organize my notes is an unnecessary mental burden for me. When something pops in my head, I want to jot it down and move on.

A caveat to my chaos is that it is not very compatible when collaborating with other people, for example, at work or doing open source. Some level structure is necessary for coordination to happen. Because of that, I sometimes pause, reflect, and give my chaos some structure to work with others toward a common goal. It’s not natural to me, but I don’t know about a better way. For example, I write up project roadmaps and visions, capture ideas or bugs on GitHub issues, or do brain dumps in the shape of blog posts. I did a lot of those when I maintained Tuist, and it had a positive on the community we were able to build around the tool.

I embraced chaos as one of my traits to mitigate the bits of anxiety that structuring the chaos brought me. Moreover, I adopted a tool like Logseq that allows me to capture the chaos in a raw state and defer giving some shape later. I usually do the latter if it’s essential to be able to get back to in the future or if it’s something that I plan to share with others.