Following a rabbit trail online recently, I came across the /now page movement started by Derek Sivers and Gregory Brown. A /now page is a summary of what one is up to and a public declaration of priorities. Sivers says:
People often ask me what I’m doing now.
Each time I would type out a reply, describing where I’m at, what I’m focused on, and what I’m not.
So earlier this year I added a /now page to my site: sivers.org/now
A simple link. Easy to remember. Easy to type.
It’s a nice reminder for myself, when I’m feeling unfocused. A public declaration of priorities.
Sivers also found it helpful when turning down requests. He could point to his /now page, which states his current priorities, and the refusal was less personal.
How did this become a movement? Gregory Brown saw the idea and made a page. Sivers tweeted a link and within a few hours eight people had made their own /now pages and and Sivers tweeted those too. Good ideas do that. They take off, as this one has.
Why I Made One
The value was immediately obvious. For years I've been easily compelled by other people's urgent, and sabotaged by my own distractibility.
After sustaining a concussion four months ago, I dramatically curtailed activities, as though shaking out a full jar of Busy and deliberately choosing which rocks to put back in. In December I pondered the year ahead and decided on six big rocks to fill the jar of my time. One quiet early morning recently, I drew it like this:
And then I chose a few specifics for each which reside on stickies in my notebook.
It made sense to put it all together in the /now page format to hold myself accountable and just plain old serve as a reminder. If I was distractible before concussion, you can imagine how much I need concrete plans afterwards.
The /Now Page Now
The /now page movement started in late October 2015. Sivers declared, "I wish everyone had one!" and invited people to post link to their /now page in a comment section. As hundreds of links flooded in, he realized they needed a dedicated site and volunteered to code it.
You can find all such pages at nownownow.com. There's a simple format for each person: photo, /now page link, and an 'I' statement of what each person does. (These are all personal sites. No businesses.) and a link to a profile page. Sivers sends each person five questions to answer. The answers make up each profile page so you can get to know each person listed.
Every time you refresh nownownow.com, the order of profiles shuffle. There are 916 as I write this. The Twitter account @NowNowNow tweets a link to a different /now page each hour.
(To add your own /now page to Sivers' site read the details here.)
A Personal Statement
Nownownow.com makes fascinating reading. I'm inspired when I read the succinct and definite statements people make about themselves. It's a challenge to distill what you do down to a sentence or two. Actually, it's quite an achievement to actually know what you do. As I read the page, I found myself asking, "How do they know that? When did they realize they were a ... or a ....?" To air a phrase from my British childhood, "It's brilliant!"
Also if, like me, you tend to qualify every statement with wafflers like, "Well, I'd like to ..." or "One day ..." or "I think what I do is ..." then it's a dramatic feeling of purpose and deliberate choosing to craft one's own statement.
After shedding a few layers of apologies to myself, I came up with this (and somehow it's made quite a difference):
I got lost for a few days and had a delightful time tinkering my /now page into being. There's a link in the navigation bar above. It's a permanent page, not a blog post.
It will be updated as needed so if you want to know what I'm up to, check back there and find out. There's a 20-second version and a 3-minute one, mostly for my own purposes, with plenty of rabbit-trail-links, if you're interested in an online wander.
It's easy. Just add /now to paperblogging.com