the metaphorical kids are asleep. the metaphorical bone is hanging out of the dog's metaphorical mouth dripping with hypothetical saliva. imaginary husbands and wives are fake fast asleep, snoring and dreaming of calorie-free coffee heath bar ice cream. at long last you are alone, and with a sense of dread, you move toward the solemn tasks collected in the last several weeks.
you write a check for health insurance, begrudgingly noting that your policy has increased in cost by 88% in the last four years. you inwardly squeal with small delight in your first GSD triumph of the day. a bill paid. and, using for the first time a sticker with your address on it, greatly increasing your efficiency. that's perhaps 30 seconds of writing you can deposit directly in your time bank ™.
absolutely free time, or as i like to call it, discretionary time.
how to you save in your time bank? 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner? save customer service calls for commute hours? say goodbye to energy vampires? pretend you only need six hours of sleep? skip boring sentences in bedtime stories?
how do you spend that discretionary time?
getting shit done: the art of pimping out your organizational system
for maximum speed and optimum pleasure.
there’s a chain of events that causes your splendidly planned
organizational system to purr like a finely tuned ride or sputter and
clunk like some shitty car, an example for which i can’t think of right
now. never mind that. the question is: after all this work organizing
everything, are you actually getting shit done now, and if not, why
not? have you streamlined the seven hours of work you used to do into
one hour in order to spend six hours staring at your thumbs? or do you
now know exactly what each next action is and everything is so clear
it’s scary? have you gotten so clear you’ve thrown the action list out
your window, for fear you might actually get all your shit done? what
happens if you do get everything done? what will tether you to this
earthly realm? if there’s nothing more for you to do, will you still
have a purpose? it’s ok, you didn’t have a purpose in the first
place–at least, not one that’s fulfilled by the items on your action
list… but i digress.
procrastination: your secret weapon.
do you believe that there are uber-organized geniuses whose sheer
throughput you will never surpass? yeah, i guess there are. but you
and i, we’ve got the next best thing: the secret weapon of
procrastination. ever try to get one thing done all day, like writing a
business plan, avoid it for hours and hours on end, and subsequently
get 18 other things done instead? i just installed a keyboard tray,
cleaned my apartment, cleaned out two closets and sorted out two boxes
of crap to go to goodwill, worked out at the gym, met with two clients,
answered ALL of my email, and worked on my website. all under the
ominous threat of writing a business plan. everybody that gets anything
done has a secret procrastionation weapon. you think bill gates just
gets shit done cause he’s perky? no! he’s probably got to take the
garbage out at his house, and he’s a neat-freak, so he goes to work all
day just to avoid it, and earns three billion dollars, so he can pay the
housekeeper to do it.
getting shit done: the building blocks.
"a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Confucius
i love starting projects. the brainstorming. the new ideas springing forth like athena from zeus. the world rolling out at my feet. the wind in my hair. everything opens up. there's a palpable sense of possibility. the sun breaks through the clouds. nothing can stop me. except the next step of the project (but i'll address this discursively).
and there are a lot of ideas out there. some fall away (or get shot down by well-meaning friends–never tell people your unhatched ideas), some you nurse and coo into being, and others seem to arrive fully-formed and raise themselves.
choosing to support the project whose brilliance shines through you is wise. the strength of the project and of your conviction will naturally attract the generous assistance of others, and we want to be part of something bigger.
so you choose a project. wind in hair. high as a kite. etc. it's likely you'll eventually hit a point of resistance. what happens then? you and your big ideas. you dreamer, you. what were you thinking? all the right things. just too fast. and it's dangerous when you're that high.
so i've spent a lot of years with big ideas. and turned a few of them into big projects. and struggled with frustration and resistance and doubt. and i've discovered a secret.
the best way i've found to bring an idea to fruition is to move in (almost imperceptible) increments with unshakable dedication to the smallest of efforts.
example: eating one dozen donuts in a sitting. you can't do that shit all at once. you start with a bite a day. within a few weeks, you could be eating dozens of donuts per day. mmm, heart attack.
example: you aspire to cover your entire house with small colorful sticky dots for a very large game of finger Twister. whee!
example: one day you could hold the world's record for the most jumps on a pogo stick.
example: worldwide nuclear disarmament and ensuing reign of peace.
example: thinking of a lot of examples.
example: learning esperanto. actually, that's dumb. don't bother.
slow and steady. slow and steady.