The New Age of Getting Shit Done

getting-things-doneGetting shit done nowadays is easier, cheaper, and more effective than in anytime in the history of man.

Corporations are more efficient than ever (the better-non-bail-out-ones that is).  But the average person is less effective than ever.  The gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening.  Why is this?

You would think that with all the advances in technology and automation in our world that it is allowing more of the under class to reach new heights, right?  Well it just isn’t the case.

My theory on this is:

  1. We have more distractions than ever
  2. Resistance (coined by David Pressfield in this book–buy it) is more prevalent than ever

Distractions

Technology has granted us many things in our modern lives, but it has also caused many problems.  Distraction, lack of human interaction, procrastination, paralysis by analysis, and similar things keep us distracted and less effective than we would be if we just grabbed a pen, paper and a tele and got to work.

We get bogged down by email, the newest GTD productivity tool, funny cat videos on youtube, and the plethora of information, products, and social media all vying for our attention.  Because of this, most effective people that use technology are constantly returning to simpler means to reduce these distractions.  Many writers still write with pen and paper.  One writer I read about uses a laptop with super glue in the ethernet port–making it impossible to connect to the internet.

To be effective you must tune out the noise.

Resistance

David Pressfield coined the term Resistance to describe the inner hesitation, procrastination, and resistance that is created in our subconscious and that grinds us to a halt in our productivity.  He talks about the need to create a routine and to do the work.  Ultimately, the fundamental fix to overcoming resistance in all its manifestations is to START.

Starting the work is by far the hardest task in the world (while avoiding distraction is second on the list).  If you want to start getting more done try this:

  1. Set aside 5 minutes for a project or do list item
  2. Make your goal to only spend the 5 minutes.  (This will get you to start and remove internal Resistance)
  3. START

What will happen next will amaze you: you wil get shit done!  And you will likely work longer and harder on that project than the original intended 5 minutes.  That is the power of just starting.  But that is also the power of overcoming resistance in the mind to starting at all.  You must find ways, excuses even, to get yourself to start.

Starting is the single most important thing in the world for getting shit done.

You don’t need fancy GTD tools, a simple text doc or do list will work.  What you need is to start.

You don’t need to finish a project today.  You just need to start.

You don’t need anything in the world. You just need to start.

Start.

Colin

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