Content follows form

Over time, I’ve come to believe strongly that content follows form. That is, if you go through the motions, get in the right habits, build the right structure, it’s a lot easier to fill that structure with meaningful substance. It almost comes naturally at that point.

Simply put, it’s a lot easier to be the person you want to be if you put on the trappings of that persona. Re-read both my Dress for Success posts if you want a quick reminder of what I mean. You’ll find them HERE and HERE.

As I take on more projects outside of my “official” job–freelance writing, committees, local support, kid stuff–I’ve been forced to confront the corollary to that theory: it’s pretty hard to do the work when I’m not “dressed” for it.

It’s easy enough to be in a work mindset when I’m in the office, sitting behind my desk in a dress and heels. Everything around me screams “Let’s get this done!” While I finish some days more productive than others, there’s no question that I’m in work mode.

The minute I walk in the door of my house, though, it’s a different story. A million other distractions scream for my attention: kids, running, laundry, dinner, that yummy yogurt place that’s only a bike ride away, surfing on the iPad, checking the chipmunk bucket*. If I’m still able to entertain thoughts of productive outside-activity, any remaining vestiges of those thoughts vanish as soon as my dress hits the dry cleaning pile and I’m ambling about in shorts and barefoot. Instant status: home mode.

With my mounting pile of outside commitments, I need to find a new way to get things done. Work mode won’t fly at home, and home mode won’t get things that feel sort-of-like-work-but-aren’t-what-I-get-paid-to-do done. I need to find a solution, and fast.

I’m fairly certain that the answer hearkens back to my beliefs about dressing for success; I just need to find the right wardrobe. In order for me to get these non-work, non-home things done, I need to define a new, non-work, non-home “wardrobe.” Rather than specific attire, in this case my wardrobe will more likely look like a specific routine or accoutrements: one particular place in the house that I come to identify with getting things done, some particular parameters about how I approach it, maybe even a specific time frame. Once I get those things set up, it will be a lot easier to fill in the remaining spaces with substantive accomplishments. Like putting on my running clothes signals a Pavlovian response in my legs to go, go, go, approaching my home workspace will soon trigger a response to write, plan, achieve. Content does follow form; I’ve seen it happen too often to believe otherwise.

Of course, another part of that formula is accountability. Ask me in a couple of weeks how it’s going.

*If you know me well, you’ll understand this chipmunk reference. If you don’t, it’s probably better that way.

Advertisements

40 thoughts on “Content follows form

  1. I agree with your observations in this blog. I sometimes try to make that point with my college students, most of whom don’t believe dress matters when it comes to their success in school. I think it does. But I also like your analogy re: a routine for getting things done. I struggle with that myself, so I’ll have to give your ideas some thought. Thanks! 🙂

  2. riyqk6 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    36737

  3. hv54jxx7fwbgltksmv1h says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    19535

  4. 6wocvjrplz7z7s9g6g076 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    20903

  5. 7vr says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    69800

  6. i8c1jr2x1gxovz3c says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    87825

  7. wqubvv0tpx3nxz3yecif8 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    6152

  8. d6c says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    98812

  9. izn says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    88381

  10. hzuw0sn6 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    5633

  11. ffgel3lcrf6vmr4qyb70u says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    35247

  12. h4gme3y says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    19682

  13. rm0khas82v97xt says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    58028

  14. utk says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    66707

  15. oi5tr2gstqutoz4 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    58543

  16. mazoe1pu3r397h27 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    62547

  17. frgoz35zrqnhuu56mpaj says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    75026

  18. mvku says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    21626

  19. onv65 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    40482

  20. r6usg99cnbazj9kxwq says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    32113

  21. g2x says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    86343

  22. zef8u0jkkc1h75to says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    59896

  23. s4jhalzx1fuj6lpon5a3 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    82665

  24. bxo7a says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    58183

  25. nos6b6h1s0qrlmy75vq5 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    29497

  26. 9 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    68185

  27. fqn says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    75016

  28. 6nvd01tg7pvkpx6 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    80797

  29. tu506u says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    66789

  30. s says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    41361

  31. z says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    86908

  32. 8 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    6219

  33. y81vrka says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    92986

  34. rmxk82er9jy6 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    18226

  35. pijef6t7u0h3ywyfi1o9y says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    26641

  36. r6wx506 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    50715

  37. drirc says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    68429

  38. 3svajgf79k6bcde03zg8 says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    34722

  39. nw37wa4ywzb21c says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    37418

  40. ir7nugzzotn6hwd says:

    are you GAY? Are you a NIGGER? Are you a GAYNIGGER? If you answered “yes”, then the GNAA is what you are looking for! Join today!
    32679

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s