Making shitty use of my time…

A couple of weeks ago I was struggling. I was trying to write something. I had spent 2+ hours on the project, and written FOUR variations, and deleted 3.5 of them.

I had been eating and sleeping poorly for four days straight, and both my body and mind were at relatively low points. My creativity was low. My energy was low.

So, even after two hours of thinking and despite having just left a four-day event with some of the most brilliant minds on the planet, I couldn’t come up with anything valuable to share.

Lulls in our lives happen. No big deal.

Here’s where I fucked up.

After 10 minutes of staring at my laptop with glazed eyes and dull hum in my head, I realized I just wasn’t feeling it. But instead of acknowledging my low state, I pushed and said, “I WILL write something valuable.”

Two hours later and I was still foggy-headed, with nothing written.

I fucked up because I chose “PUSH THROUGH”.

Instead of observing my state and ADJUSTING my morning, I ignored my current low state, and FORCED out something over the course of a way-too-long period of time.

And I wasted a good chunk of my day because of it.

I could have completed other work that needed to get done that required no creativity. I could have completed the errands I need to run. I could taken care of simple tasks that asked little of my brain’s or body’s energy.

But I didn’t acknowledge my state, and I didn’t rearrange my time. So I was left with unfinished simple tasks, a mediocre product, and frustration about my morning.

As entrepreneurs, our perseverance and determination are often lauded.

But too often we use these traits as weapons against ourselves, focusing on end results despite the cries of our bodies and minds.

In the short term, we pay the price in decreased productivity, decreased quality of deliverables, and frustration. 

Over the long term, much like the athlete who refuses to take rest days, we pay the price by harming our bodies + minds and actually reducing what we’re capable of.

  • We aren’t giving our best interviews when we’re sleep deprived.
  • We aren’t writing our best content when we’re foggy-headed.
  • We aren’t exceptional, compassionate leaders when we’re irritable from food sensitivities.
  • We don’t get high quality work done after we’ve been working for the last 10 hours.

But we push through anyhow.

All for the payoff of temporarily feeling good that something important “got done” (typically with mediocre-to-shitty results).

Repeat this often enough and you’re running a mediocre-to-shitty business + experiencing a mediocre-to-shitty life.

The most successful humans are the most adaptable.

  • Observe.
  • ADAPT.
  • Repeat.
  • Succeed.

So, strive to adapt to changes in plans, unexpected outcomes, constantly-changing states.

Be like the river current that effortlessly flows around obstacles in its way.

Or, don’t do these things, act like I did, and let’s see who wins the medal for doing things the hard way first.

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