I struggle a lot between the type of work I want to do, the type of work I currently have to do, and how to find time and energy to produce the work I want to do late at night or early in the morning with those small flakes of time I can scrape away from my day job and family to write or pursue other personal projects.
One of the main enablers of this dichotomy is spending too much time recreationally listening to productivity podcasts. The danger of this is that I become more efficient but still feel bad because I’m not as efficient as the people I listen to and I’m still not where I want to be professionally, but that’s another topic for another time. Every so often, I’m hit with something that is brilliant in its simplicity, and I have one of those moments that I want to lay upon you now.
Tim Ferriss, master life hacker and author of all kinds of things you can learn to do in four hours, recently had an aside on this subject on his New Year Resolution-themed podcast. He said– I’m paraphrasing here–Think about that big goal you want to accomplish in 2016–lose 50 lbs, write a novel, plan your wedding, etc. Instead of getting bogged down in the hugeness of that goal, take a minute and think about this: What if it was easy to accomplish your goal? What would that look like?
If you want to lose weight, it’s not a huge shift of everything you do and/or eat, start with cutting down on carbs and walking 5,000 steps a day. Something small that can give you an early win and you can build upon. Build-up your habits one at a time, instead of trying to make some cathartic sea-change that you’ll crash after doing for two weeks because you can’t handle that much change that quickly.
For me, the goal to get writing regularly again. I get a lot of ideas for lengthy blog posts, long-form fiction, etc, that get archived and never acted upon. I’ve been like that since I left Lifehacker three years ago. That’s crazy.
So here I am, making a not-too-well-researched quick post with forward momentum.
As you might imagine, it wasn’t too hard. I’m not sure if I’d say it was easy, but all it took was five minutes of thought and twenty minutes of typing, researching, and finding an image. Boom! Done.