Getting Prolific, Day 2: Diversify Your Creativity Across Multiple Genres

Are you operating your life sequentially or concurrently?

In the programming world, there are two types of computation.

Sequential and concurrent.

The first is when only one thing happens at a time. Programs depend on actions being executed in the proper order to produce correct results.

Concurrency, on the other hand, is about independent computations executed in an arbitrary order. More than one thing happens at the same time.

Which approach is more effective? Is it better to execute sequentially or concurrently?

In my experience, not as computer programmer but as a human being, there is simply no contest. Concurrency is the way to go.

Firstly, it’s more satisfying. Pursuing a reasonable number of priorities at once makes you feel more engaged, alive and challenged. It’s funny, people often ask me how it’s possible to write five books at the same time, and my answer is, concurrency. The human brain thrives in diversity. All your different endeavors don’t need permission from one another to start, continue finish.

Remember, we’re adults, so we can do anything we want, as often as we want. There’s no rule that says we have to be one thing in this life.

Unfortunately, we’ve decided to heed the authoritative voices from our childhood warning us that if we don’t pick a lane, stay in it and own it, we’ll end up in a ditch on the side of the road.

Not true. The second benefit of concurrency is that it’s far more efficient. Working sequentially makes things more complex, as you’re constrained by linearity. There’s no breathing room for organic growth and adaptability in the moment. Straight lines make you a slave to goals you may set when you were a different person with different needs.

Whereas allowing more than one thread of execution to happen simultaneously activates the full arsenal of your gifts.

Third, concurrency is incredibly practical. Because life itself isn’t sequential. There’s no computer program for operating humanity. Life isn’t a straight line, it’s more of a whimsical, spiraling whirl of chaos and joy, where just when you get there, there disappears.

The correct sequence of actions is impossible to prescribe beforehand for any given possible event. Sequential only makes things more complex, as you’re going against the grain. It’s the simplicity of concurrency that enables its practicality.

Finally, in addition to being more satisfying, efficient and practical, concurrency is more fun. When your life is a collection of independent computations executed in an arbitrary order, there’s no straight jacket on human potential. You realize that you have enough arms to do everything you want to do.

There’s no reason you can’t keep all your passions in play, accrue as many hyphens as possible and diversify your life across multiple genres and mediums and arenas, while still staying true your dominant identity.

Because focus isn’t about activity, it’s about identity. It’s not about hammering one nail all our lives, it’s about hammering lots of nails, one way, all our lives.

It doesn’t matter how many different things we do, it matters that we’re the same person when we do them.

Are you operating your life sequentially or concurrently?

Enjoying these creative meditations? Go to www.getprolific.io, subscribe and get daily how-to articles and email inspiration on how to beat writer’s block, plus 300+ proven creativity tools. Beat writer’s block for only $12/month!

Author. Speaker. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. CEO/Founder of getprolific.io. Pioneer of Personal Creativity Management (PCM). I also wear a nametag 24/7.