Today’s post comes to you courtesy of my morning.
I woke up today excited to get some work done. I have been cruising through a handful of new ideas lately and the results have already started to show up – it’s been encouraging.
Then today I woke up, stared at my calendar for way too long, wasted time in my inbox, and surfed the WarriorForum for at least a half hour.
It’s now 12:45 and while I’ve done some stuff, I could have done lots of stuff. So, for myself and anyone else out there who is staring at the stains on your ceiling instead of writing a blog post, contacting clients or building a new website, let’s get to it.
The Internet sucks. It’s distracting. It’s always on and if you procrastinate long enough it will give you an excuse to do something else. Bad mojo my friend. We want focus. Laser tight, get shit done focus and the Internet is ruining it.
So, flip off your WiFi, unplug your LAN cable, or go into a lead lined bunker and get to work. We all think we need the Internet to get work done. Alas, that isn’t the case.
While I’m on the topic of the Internet wasting your time, stop checking your email. Once a day, twice tops. Unless you are a neurosurgeon getting questions from patients in his inbox, there is no reason to check your email 25 times a day. So distracting.
Multi-tasking is Bad
I used to brag endlessly about my ability to multi-task. “You should see how many things I can do at once,” I’d say. Well, I should have stopped much earlier. Multi-tasking, as productive as it makes you feel, is usually a waste of time. The truth is, as Timothy Ferriss says in The Four Hour Work Week, there are only one or two really important things you should be doing. Nine times out of ten, if you are multi-tasking you are finding an excuse to ignore the really important stuff on your to-do list.
I’m a hypocrite on this one, but I’m working on it. You should too.
Last week, I was sitting in my office, staring at my computer, trying as hard as I could not to work on something that was due the next day. I decided that if I was going to procrastinate, I should at least feel productive. So, I started writing. I didn’t get my project done until the last minute the next day, but by channeling my distraction into something productive, I created a killer blog post that netted a couple hundred hits and an inquiry for our services. Who says good things don’t come to those who find whatever excuse they can to not do their work….
I spent the first 6 years of my career not meeting people. Now I’m meeting people and things are growing faster than ever before. Not a coincidence. People, as scary and different and judgmental as they can seem, are amazing and when you go out of your way to meet them, help them and befriend them, you put yourself in a position to succeed.
If you don’t feel like working, so be it – go comment on some blogs, send messages on a forum, put out a craigslist ad – do something to meet people and grow your social network (the real kind, not the digital time-sink).
Time is your most valuable commodity and yet we regularly flush it down the drain in an attempt to avoid the stuff we don’t want to do. I’m a long ways off from getting under 20 hours a week, but if I’m going to spend that much time working, it might as well be the most productive work I can do.