January 22, 2016

On Getting Shit Done

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Someone asked me recently, during a podcast interview: “what tactic or theory do you believe makes someone more successful?”

What a question.

But I do sort-of have an answer.

I’m not going to define what “success” is – because it’s crazily different for absolutely everyone.

But that one thing I swear by (and I notice it in others who succeed in doing something whole-heartedly), is having some element of tunnel vision.

The opposite of tunnel vision, is looking, all the time, at what other people are doing/saying/posting. It’s the niggling obsession of constantly half-looking at what others are doing and instantly thinking: oh fuck, should I be doing that?

Without realising, you are chipping away at your uniqueness, your identity. You are slowly forgetting what YOU want to do. You are lost in a sea of Other People’s Lives.

Not-having-tunnel-vision means you are influenced heavily every day that affects what you end up doing – and it can also make you think: maybe I’m not very good, maybe I’m not good enough. 

It’s not easy. Duh. And I’m not saying that I ignore EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE in order to get my shit done and have my own voice, but, I have become quite good at blocking out noise. It’s hard and scary to sort of ignore what other people are doing. We’re nosy by nature. We want to know. And it’s not good to be totally oblivious. But, to a certain extent I do block out a fuck load of stuff that might get in my way.

Back in the day, like only a few decades ago, we had NO IDEA what others were doing. We just plodded along. Happily.

Here are a few things I have done in the past (when on a deadline, or working on something that required a new level of willpower):

1. I have muted things (and people) who disturb my positive vibe.

2. I have stopped scrolling mindlessly. Checking myself when I’m clearly just wasting time.

3. I do not read certain blogs that moan and groan all the time.

4. I am, on the hole, quite oblivious to mean tweets, because I don’t see them. (Who knows who might have unfollowed me, I am genuinely unaware and will remain that way)

5. I have not replied to demanding and rude messages because actually, guess what! You don’t have to. Delete, and move on.

6. I have said “no” to things that are not important to me, or do not benefit my life in any way.

7. I have culled and curated my social feeds so I see a range of stuff from people I admire

8. I have made Twitter lists of inspiration to go straight into the good stuff.

9. I have stopped looking for external validation before I do something that feels right.

10. I have put my phone on aeroplane mode when I get a wave of a big idea.

I have switched on my tunnel vision at times when I’ve needed to press on with my own stuff.

Tunnel vision your way towards your goal.

I’m not saying you have to be a mole in a hole – but it is worth attempting to block out some of the bullshit. The Internet can be a bit ridiculous sometimes. A draining bubble.

It would be a shame to get too distracted by it. It’s a shame to momentarily forget what you want. It’s your life.

  • I like the idea of switching your phone to Airplane mode when you need to focus. I used to have a browser plugin that would block certain sites at certain times of day too (sites that I would procrastinate on during hours I should be working). It definitely helps to have something to force you to switch off now and then.

  • Nice reminder of how to get things done. To be too focus on things that matter so that the things that don’t matter don’t take up too much space.

  • It’s something I’m definitely guilty off: looking at other people and wishing to have their life. It’s a good reminder that sometimes it’s important to just focus on you and no one else. It’s your life after all. Thanks for the reminder!

  • I definitely spend far too much time comparing myself to other people my age, or other people in the same field as me, and speculating whether or not I am as good as them. It’s really silly – ultimately I *do* probably have different goals to them and should be focusing on myself!

    Love the airplane tip – I’m definitely guilty of getting lost in an Instagram/Twitter hole when I should be working!

    Lucy x

    http://www.alittlelucy.com

  • This post really resonated with me. I spend a lot of time commuting to and from work so I mindlessly scroll social media to pass the time. But this has become a habit I continue at home and one I need to break. I’ve started leaving my phone in another room and it’s so refreshing and a great way to unwind after a day staring at a screen at work.
    Defo one to mindful off – especially as a millennial!

    Ruth | ruth-writes.co.uk

  • Oh! The putting your phone on airplane mode is a good idea!
    I usually put it on the other side of the room but even hearing the phone vibrate will distract me, even if I don’t check it.

    http://teriyeung.com/

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