I have an almost overwhelming amount of stuff to do right now. It’s all really interesting work, and I’m happy doing it – there’s just a lot of it right now. When I find myself in situations like this, I often end up paralysed, which makes things even worse. That is the situation that I was in yesterday morning, when I ran across a post by Julien Smith (who bewilderingly seems to get less credit for Trust Agents than Chris Brogan does) called Life Doesn’t Start Tomorrow.
Julien’s post really gave me a kick in the pants. In it he asks everyone to take 5 minutes to do something that they’ve been putting off. So I did some revisions on a paper that has been in my inbox for a couple of weeks. Then I went to talk to my co-author about it, and he then submitted it to a journal. It took more than 5 minutes, but it was a huge relief to get it off my plate. Then I went to talk with John about another paper that we’re working on, and we figured out what we’re doing with it. He’s submitting it today. Then I got a new hot water heater ordered and scheduled some maintenance on my car. Then I did a complete rewrite of another paper I’m working on with John and sent it to him. We’ll get it submitted over the weekend. After going home, I wrote a blog post (another one exhorting people to action!). Next, I reviewed a consulting report for a project that I’m working on, sent it back to my collaborator and we sent it to the client. I finished the day by doing some reading with our new kittens Wallace and Schumpeter.
It was the most productive day I’ve had in a long time – and it was all a cascade from that first job that I got done at Julien’s prompting.
So today, I’m going to do the same thing for you that he did for me – I’m asking you to go do something. Here is how he finished his post:
Q: What is a five-minute action you can take today that will make tomorrow better? I don’t care if it’s cleaning your house or writing one paragraph. You’re going to do it now.
A: Drop everything right now, act on that for five minutes, and then come back and tell me what you did.
I am like your conscience, except I don’t accept bullshit. So I expect you to comment here today, or you clearly aren’t actually reading.
Do it now.
It worked for me – today is much better than yesterday now that I have all that stuff done. You can do the same – so it’s the same deal:
Take action for five minutes NOW – then report back.
(cartoon by Hugh MacLeod – you can subscribe to his great newsletter here, but only after you’ve done your five minutes of action…)