I used to work on a slow desktop computer in the damp spare room of the apartment I shared with my then girlfriend. How different things would have been if the office had been nicer, the computer had been faster. My then girlfriend and I later bought a house, sure it needed some work, but it was a nice house. I set up a desk and computer in one of the spare rooms. It was cold, and it was winter, but everything would be better once we renovated, then I’d get started on all those projects.
Now the order of events here might not be quite right, but my then girlfriend and I renovated, had a kid, got married, had another kid, and renovated again. I bought several computers, some were pretty fancy for their time, but guess what? The projects never got done, why?
The Resistance, that’s why. What’s the Resistance? Steven Pressfield describes it in his book, The War of Art: “Resistance is what keeps an entrepreneur from making the cold calls he knows he has to, to get his business rolling. It’s the force that keeps an aspiring painter away from her studio or makes a writer back off from the blank page. Resistance stops us going to the gym, from meditating, from donating time to a cause we believe in.”
I, like most people, have made resolutions at the start of the year and had my head in my hands at the end of the year wondering what went wrong. Every year I say it will be different this time; it never is. I’ve moved from goals to themes, from themes back to goals. I’ve made them private, I’ve made them public. I’ve written them down, I have even laminated them.
This time it will be different (we’ll see) as I’m coming at it from a different angle. What I wasn’t doing before, was making the things I wanted to do a priority. Now that may seem ridiculous, surely if they were things I wanted to get done they would automatically be a priority. Not so. They were the things I’d do when I’d done all my other stuff. Other stuff is the stuff that gets in the way, the daily shit that rains down from January 1st till December 31st. Work stuff, home stuff, all that stuff. From now on, I’m adopting a new strategy.
- Be deliberate in all that I do: What I mean by this is, by all means, watch TV, or take a nap, go out, etc., but be deliberate about it, realise there’s a trade off. Stop standing by and letting things happen to me. Stop being a spectator, stop being the Accidental Generalist.
- If you want to do it, schedule it: No more just trying to fit things in. Set a schedule and block out the time in my calendar. If it’s in my calendar, it’s getting done!
- Track/Measure: The old adage that things that get measured get improved is an old adage for a reason, it’s true. The measuring also gives a view of the journey, project, fitness/eating regime, etc. Hopefully, seeing improvement will help me stay on task. If I don’t see any improvement, then maybe I’m doing something wrong, or maybe it’s not even worth doing.
So there it is, the new plan – it’s pretty basic. Adam Gilbert from Mybodytutor.com says consistency is boring, but it works.
Back to tools. It was never the tools that were the problem; it was not being deliberate that saw me running on the spot. Having said that that’s a picture of my tools, and home office, surely there are no excuses now.