My last newsletter was a month ago. I don’t have a reason for not writing it, I just didn’t feel like it.
To be honest, I don’t feel like writing this one either. But that’s precisely why I’m doing so.
Shit gets tough. Life happens. And the number of things I need to do is starting to pile up, this newsletter included.
As I procrastinated, an increasing number of awesome topics presented themselves. Unfortunately, my lack of will to write made this backlog of interesting but complex ideas, feel even more intimidating. Thus compounding my inertia.
Faced with this problem, many people prescribe taking a break.
They’ll say that sometimes the best thing to do is stop beating yourself up, switch off, and spend the day watching Netflix instead. Sometimes, this works.
But other times, it’s hard to switch off. Despite your best intentions to take a mental break, you end up watching TV with a sinking guilty feeling you can’t shake. Netflix and no chill.
You want to do something about it, but here’s the irony: procrastinator’s guilt is so heavy, it’s incapacitating. So you end up watching Netflix all day in spite of yourself.
I know this happens to everyone, and I’m not special. But this also means most people can benefit from this little reminder:
Sometimes the best way out is through.
Pick something small and do it badly. Then on to the next thing. Do that badly too. Keep going till you’re done. Motivation and standards be damned!
Forcing your way through an unwieldy buildup of procrastination is not going to be pretty. But sometimes the best way out is through. It might not be pretty (take this fairly uninspired newsletter for example), but at least it’s done. And, however small, “done” is still something to be proud of.
There! I’ve made it to the end of this newsletter, and that’s all I was hoping to do. I can’t say I’ve found my motivation again, but I’m not letting that stop me.
Thanks for reading. If you’re dealing with your own messy bundle of procrastination, I hope you manage to make it through too. Please let me know if you do!
Fresh From the Interwebz
A wonderful meandering post about reinventing yourself and your career. Most of the jobs that are in hot demand now didn’t exist a decade ago, and the people filling them are the ones who’ve managed to reinvent themselves. If you’ve been meaning to give something new a go, perhaps reading this will give you the guts to try. Personally, I’m probably on my 4th or 5th career iteration. My biggest skills now all have to do with learning and communicating. Technical chops are present, but secondary. Link to article →
The band OK Go makes some of the most creative videos of all time. Here’s a TED talk about how they come across ideas. This was a lovely presentation, done in the band’s unique style, that sheds insight into their creative process. Worth watching if you’re into creating things. (I’ve categorised it as work, but really, this could be about anything!) Link to video →
This Atlantic article interviews adolescent boys to find out what masculinity means to them, and their struggles with learning to man up in the present day. The #metoo era upended many male traditions and left a vacuum in its wake, making it a struggle for kids to define what it now means to be a man. Link to article →
This company shows how normal it is for an 11-year-old child to be hounded by sexual predators on social media. Read this to see what it’s like for a child online, and what you can do to prevent it. Trigger warning: It’s quite explicit. Link to article →