Tag Archive: Procrastination


Interruptions

Common Misconception: Your productivity is foiled by interruptions.

Harsh Reality: You allow interruptions to feel productive.

When the road ahead is tough terrain, you are easily diverted onto side streets.  Stopping or going in reverse on life’s freeway feels like failure, especially when everyone else appears to be racing by with relative ease.  Thus when struggling to move ahead on the chosen road, you consider every diversion, detour and alternate route.  Any exit ramp that might offer the chance to get moving again, even if it takes you further away from your desired destination.

Two months ago I was struggling to maintain my new exercise regimen, dietary changes, schedule adjustments and blogging activity—the very things that had enabled me to achieve so much during the first six months of the year.  My steady progress had slowed to a crawl.  It was frustrating.

And then my day job presented a very attractive side street.  Two major projects that required my unique combination of skills and talents.  With little hesitation, I changed course and allowed my rigorous pursuit to be interrupted for the benefit of my employer.  The subsequent busy days and nights provided temporary satisfaction, but ultimately kept me from moving closer to my desired goals.  I recognized it about a month ago, but was unable to get back on track.

So I am going to try again.

Sabbatical

It has been more than a month since my last post. Really. Check the dates. 33 days. Gone.

And the lack of blog activity exemplifies my general approach over the last four weeks. Occasional exercise. Lots of bad foods. Sporadic reading. No writing. No progress on 2MG. No weight loss.

In short, the pursuit was far from rigorous for most of June.

However the month away was not a complete loss—far from it. Family, house and day job kept me busy and I am typing this post while sitting in my newly renovated basement office (now with carpet!!). I reached out to a few linchpins, connected with some old friends and made good impressions with several new contacts. Overall it was a nice sabbatical.

But I also missed the benefits of the rigorous pursuit—structure, discipline, creativity, productivity, and above all else, purpose. So now is the time to resume getting smaller and thinking bigger.

More to come.

Mistaken Identity

Ever been called a perfectionist? I have. Many times. It used to bother me, but not anymore. A perfectionist believes producing something that is less than perfect is unacceptable; therefore he refuses to provide visibility to his work until someone or something else forces him to do so.

I am more than willing to share what I have produced, but I won’t start producing until something or someone else forces me to do so. That makes me a procrastinator, not a perfectionist. I have trouble starting, not stopping.

And so whenever someone accuses me of being a perfectionist, they have wrongly assumed I have produced something of value and refuse to share it. When in fact, I simply don’t have anything. Thus, despite the negative connotation, I don’t mind being labeled a perfectionist. If forced to choose, I would rather people think I refuse to share my gold than to assume I have none in my possession.

Taming My Lizard


For the last decade, I have been searching for the “right idea” to invest my entrepreneurial energy; a Utopian business model derived from self-improvement buzzwords—passion, purpose, prosperity, etc. Since I function like a walking think tank there has been no shortage of options, simply a lack of confidence in any of them.

Then one night I stumbled upon a video—The Crisis of Credit Visualized by Jonathon Jarvis—that caused a “That’s it!” moment and inspired a new idea. Over the next six months, I did what I do best: I thought about it.  I hashed it out in my head, poked holes in it, played devil’s advocate and attacked it from every possible angle in an effort to prove it could not work.

Ultimately, I failed. And there I stood, in my basement staring at a cinder block wall full of Post-it® Notes (Super Sticky, of course) that represented the components of a really great idea for a new blog site: 2MinuteGenius.com.

And I didn’t do anything.

Now admittedly, I have a long history of dreaming about many things and delivering few. It is not that my ideas are quixotic, I just struggle to bring them to reality without a strong, extrinsic, kick-in-the-butt, get-it-done-or-else form of accountability. If someone else doesn’t fire the starter’s pistol, I’ll simply sit by the starting blocks in my sweatpants and “visualize” how I am going to run the race. Bottom line, I would have accomplished little to this point in my life if not for the expectations and deadlines imposed by my parents, my wife and countless teachers, professors and bosses.

Then one night, Seth Godin reminded me about the lizard brain, a concept I first learned from Clotaire Rapaille over a decade ago. Seth asserts the lizard is ”the voice in the back of our head telling us to back off, be careful, go slow, compromise…that’s because the lizard hates change and achievement and risk.” And because you cannot get rid of the lizard, your only option is to figure out a way to tame it.

For me the lizard has been quieted via accountability created by third-parties.  But that didn’t exist for my great idea.  No one knew about it but me.  No one cared about it but me.  No one was waiting for it, expecting it, desiring it, demanding it.

Hence this blog—a first step toward creating accountability for the development and launch of 2MinuteGenius.com.

More to come.  Right, lizard?

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