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Getting shit done

April 19, 2012


Some inspiring things I read today.

“The sad fact is, unless you’re under ten years old, if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else is going to show up and do it for you.”

Step 1. Get nice and clear about what you want.

Step 2. Get completely, impeccably, bullshit-free clear about where you are now, with respect to that.

That’s it, just those two. Simple but not easy.

Put another way:

Understand exactly what you want. Understand exactly where you are. Notice the difference.

Please note that there is not a follow-up step called “beat yourself to a bloody stump about not being where you want to be.”

If you’re in New York and you want to go to San Francisco, how much good does it do to beat yourself up about what a lame-ass you are not to be in San Francisco? How far west does that actually move you?

Not one millimeter? Hmm, interesting.”

“Productivity often poses as the self-development genre but it is not. Self-development and productivity are two very different things. What is best for us as individuals is often bad for productivity.”

“Hyperfocusing on productivity often gets in the way of the messy, circuitous, and discursive routes of personal development.”


I’ve started writing, at last. I’ve stitched some of the patchwork squares into larger parts of quilt. I even wrote 800 words of the introduction. I’ve also reached that pleasant stage where my reading is starting to feed back in on itself – instead of each new article giving me a handful of new important sources to look at, I’m now finding that maybe some of that handful will be things I’ve already read, or at least things I’ve identified that I need to read. Which makes me feel like I’m getting to grips with the seething mass of books and articles and pulling things together, rather than constantly being led sideways in half a dozen different directions.

And I enjoy my work – I feel satisfied when I improve a sentence and excited when I find a new journal which had a special issue on my region. And I don’t feel exhausted all the time either. This is more important than meeting a deadline. Though I’m trying to do both.

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