John Leonard an audience of one.

About Projects Now Archive

I know just when to do things.

I have been struggling with productivity today, because my jaw is aching and my teeth are bleeding and I feel tired and grouchy and oh for god’s sake just leave me alone!

This is the best time to get something done. Funnily enough, I had just that thought when I was moping about the house and it has led me into writing todays’ post (I’m writing this on Sunday for posting later on in the queued series I have built up). I felt like crap and I wanted to lie down on the sofa, despite the fact that I knew I was just feeling sorry for myself. I took this as my cue for getting up, grabbing my mac and just starting to type.

These sorts of inspirations don’t lend themselves to easy editing later on, but as I’m mentioned earlier, I don’t tend to edit these posts - I just leave them where they stand as markers of my writing ability at the time that I threw them together. For me right now, the writing is the important thing. I must keep going on at the ability to sit down at a laptop keyboard and type, even when it feels like my mind is empty and I just can’t think of anything to keep me going.

I suffer really badly with ‘put it off until tomorrow’ syndrome - otherwise known as blatant procrastination. I have a wealth of thinking on the reasons and have tried multiple ways of dealing with it, but ultimately it does all come down to simply getting up and doing the thing that you have been putting off. There’s an argument for having a bunch of tracker tools and reminders to keep you in the zone - and I certainly have a wealth of those - but there is no replacement for just getting up and doing the work. That’s why I am plugging on now, writing this, when I should really go back and check the work and the quality of what I’m writing, instead of letting it just spill out of my mind and onto the page.

The desire to stop, go back, and revise as I write is another thing that has to be avoided as much as the desire to not get up and do the thing that you are supposed to be doing right now - the voice that causes doubts, or gives you alternate things to do when you know you should be concentrating on the thing that is important to you. Seth Godin put it brilliantly when he has described it several times as the lizard brain. The Lizard brain is the neaderthal mind and reaction to challenging things that causes you to stop and crawl back into your cave - just do nothing.

All of us have this, it’s just our ability to ignore it that is stronger in some rather than others. I have a particularly weak ability to do it and I use a variety of tools to get me up and get me going, and ignore the lizard brains’ cries to go back and edit and revise and do something else altogether that is an awful lot easier.

I won’t go into them now. I’ve just managed to blast out 500 plus words, my target for the day, by simply keeping my head down and writing. My apologies if it’s all garbage, but it’s been produced in the face of wanting to do something else so it stays.