The therapeutic value of watching others work

There I was, sitting on the floor of my living room, watching a video of this super intelligent and prolific guy frustrated. He was trying to livestream his work session, but an app on his computer kept hanging.

And there I was, feeling at peace because of it.

Bitting more than you can chew is an expression that summarizes my default behavior rather well. I love doing things. Many things. I always have several projects cooking, a few more incubating, and many more in the queue, screaming for my attention.

I like being that way. However, it's an inexhaustible source of frustration for me (and sometimes for others as well.) For others, it can be not easy to follow me. And a source of frustration for me because I always feel like there are not enough hours in a day.

Furthermore, the mundane constantly gets in the way of reaching my goals faster. The mundane AND the super mundane, like updating a computer or dealing with an application that refuses to work.

Oh, how I wish I could do even more than I already am.

I marvel at other people's achievements when this happens (usually a few times daily). I fantasize about their perfect routines, unflappable focus, and consistent productivity.

So, here I was, watching this person I esteem struggling, facing the same trivial issues as I am. And it was profoundly relieving. It was therapeutic even.

It made me dedramatize my little, regular productivity hiccups.

We human beings constantly feel the need to compare ourselves to others. Not necessarily to make sure that we are enough. Not always to learn from others. But because we want to make sure that we are doing things right.

So-called "study with me" videos by famous creators are popular among students.
Developers like watching other developers code. And I enjoyed watching this researcher trying to find his way through a complex research paper while dealing with infuriating software problems.

That night, I went to bed comforted.