On Getting Shit Done
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.
How I Grew Up Online
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic