I recently came across this essay by Paul Graham that I thought was a fascinating perspective on procrastination and how some forms of procrastination can actually be a good thing and ultimately help you reach higher aspirations.
He makes an interesting point that most people write about how to cure procrastination but in fact, it’s impossible to do as there is an infinite amount of things you could be doing. No matter what you work on, you’re not working on everything else. This leads to the question of not how to avoid procrastination but how to procrastinate well.
He outlines three types of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. The author argues that the last option is good procrastination.
His example of the type-C procrastinator is the “absent-minded professor” who forgets to shave, or eat, or even look where he’s going while he’s thinking about some interesting question. The type-C procrastinators put off working on small stuff to work on big stuff. Small stuff is essentially anything that might be called an errand or a temporarily inconsequential task like doing your laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the house (I’m a bit of a neat freak so I struggle with putting this one off), mowing the lawn, etc.
Despite potentially annoying the people who want you to do the errands, the reason it may pay off is that real work needs two things errands don’t: long stretches of time and the right mood. If you suddenly get inspired by a project or big idea, it can be a net win to disregard everything you were supposed to do for the next couple days to work on it. Those errands may ultimately take more time when you finally get around to them but if you accomplish a lot during those few days, you will net more productivity in the end.
One of my favorite interview questions to ask candidates is “On a scale of 1 to 10, how lucky would you say you are?” I love this one because of the scalable number, and the array of reactions people give about their answer.
The number can reveal a lot about someone. There’s no wrong answer to this one, but the person who very quickly answers “10!” followed by a list of family and friends and health records, is usually a very different candidate overall than the person that says “Pretty average..a 5 I guess.” It helps to give me a glimpse into that person’s optimism, enthusiasm, and outlook.
But it’s the explanation that comes after the number that really counts. Some of my favorite answers have been things like “2. I’m not a very lucky person at all, but I don’t use that as a scapegoat for my outcomes”
Some other popular answers:
“I don’t believe in luck; I’m blessed”
“I don’t gamble so I don’t know” or oppositely so “I suck at roulette”
So whether you believe in luck or fate or neither, and whether you’d give yourself a 2 or a 10 on the scale, it’s your reasoning and opinion behind it that matters most. When it comes to my opinion, I like to refer to this cool quote:
A few hours of backroads driving and everything starts to look the same. I was on my own searching, for what I was not quite sure: adventure, fun, solitude?
Winding through these opens roads gave me ample time to think about my reasons. Not just for why I was out here in the middle of nowhere but, why I did anything.
I guess that is why many of us seek these wild places to find something, to find ourselves. Bumping around in my little truck I am not sure if I found myself but, I did realize something: I love stories. I realized that all I wanted to be was an old man with good stories.
I often find myself lost and grossly ill prepared. I am not sure if this makes me an awesome adventurer or a terrible one; either way, it makes for great stories.
So Dive into life and find your stories.
P.S. Happy Valentines Day!
Morning! For those that don’t know, I was able to attend the Wearable Technologies Europe Conference in Munich last week on behalf of SlideBelts.
The talks at the conference consisted of product announcements, comments on the wearable market, ideas about how fitness tracker data could be more efficiently utilized, and so on. Of course, Pokemon GO also made multiple appearances.
One part of the conference was dedicated to the Wearable Technologies Innovation World Cup where the approximately 24 finalists had a chance to give a 3-minute elevator speech before the winners of each category of the competition were announced. It was super interesting to see what these teams and businesses have developed. The products ranged from noise cancelling earbuds to underwater communication devices for divers. But no matter what or how well executed the product was, speaking with the inventors and CEOs was intriguing. They were so eager to tell people about their product, and it showed how genuinely proud and passionate they were about it.
As we forge forward into this developing market, let’s stay excited. Motivated. Inquisitive. There is so much out there, but also so much to be discovered.
And don’t worry - although I was just there to do some recon, take notes, snap pics, and so on, I had a SlideBelt in my bag and regularly had the opportunity to pull it out and show it off ;)
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln
Happy Friday, everyone! Last night I had the pleasure of attending a Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at the American Legion Hall in Placerville. Two people, in my opinion, that had an amazing impact on our country. And Lincoln's birthday is on Sunday, which is part of the reason we all get the 20th off!
I love this quote because it emphasizes the importance of our current years and not all of the years ahead. SlideBelts has taught me a lot of things, but most importantly, it has helped me become a better person. You've all helped me transition my negative thoughts and attitude into positive. When I focus on the current years, I tend to think more positively because I know how crucial they are and how much they are going to mean to me in the future. It has taught me to be happier and be more appreciative of everything around me, because then everything falls into place the way it should.
So let's enjoy our Friday, make the current years count, and take this momentum we have into the weekend so we can kick some more butt next week.
Great job, Brenda!
As interviews ramp up this week and most likely for the next few weeks, it never ceases to amaze me the amount of thought and energy that goes into conversations that are had post-interview about candidates among the executive team.
More input and scrutinization goes into answers and candidate behaviors than you may think. From the outside, these discussions may even sound a little extreme or nit-picky, but a team this awesome doesn’t happen by chance.
To quote Brig on something he recently said about an almost-hire: “It simply takes a lot of hustle if we want the best, and there are rarely any shortcuts.”
All this to say that you, Crusader, are here for a reason today. You were hand chosen, whether very recently or years ago. Those crazy convos were had about you once upon a time, and the team collectively agreed that they saw something amazing in you. So rise up and attack today with enthusiasm, knowing that you are empowered, because the title of Crusader is not given out lightly.
Also, this wise fashion tip:
I am a big fan of TED Talks. TED is a nonpartisan, nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. One of my favorite inspiring talks is by Drew Dudley called Everyday Leadership. He says that many of us unfortunately don’t view ourselves as leaders and we perceive leadership as something reserved for the extraordinary -- basically changing the world type stuff.
We take moments where we truly are a leader and we don’t let ourselves take credit for it or feel good about it. He believes that we have all changed someone’s life -- usually without even realizing it. He asks that we celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.
How many of us have had a moment where someone said or did something that you feel fundamentally made your life better? I think many of us would answer yes to this question but did you ever tell that person they did it? Surprisingly, the more common answer is no. Drew wonders why not and makes a joke that we celebrate birthdays where all you have to do is not die for 365 days and yet we let people who have made our lives better walk around without knowing it.
Here is a link if you’d like to watch his 6-minute talk and hear his story that redefined his view on leadership which he calls a “Lollipop Moment”.