I think I'm suffering from information overload. I've heard enough time management advice and read enough stupid fucking life hacking articles to last me several lifetimes.
There seems to be so many “experts” offering time management advice it's blinding. Then there's every other internet marketing types offering 10 ways to do this, 23 ways to do that, the ultimate guide to everything, and so on.
OK so I've written articles with these kinds of headlines before myself and I probably will again. But it's the continual rehashing of the same content I believe is a real problem.
For every article there is telling you how to do a thing one way, there's another telling you to do the opposite – It's relentless. Round and round we go ad nauseum.
So the productivity specialists, the time management gurus, the life hackers, all you turkeys with little life experience who've been copying each other's content for years…
You're fucking outta here!
I've decided to throw my shoe at all of it. (Well most of it, at least for now).
The first thing I've done is clear out my inbox, unsubscribing from most of the newsletters that I receive apart from about 3 or 4 that I value.
I never really got the time to read most of the emails I received anyway, most of it was sales tripe and just cluttered up my inbox.
No more inbox pressure. Ahhhh….Peace.
Why These Articles Are So Popular
It seems to me that we live in a world where most people worship and idolise a few. We want to know everything about this select successful few to the point that we drown out our individuality.
We think that if we copy what they do then we can succeed too. If it worked for them it can work for us, right? From what I can tell, these guys and girls paid attention to no one else.
People like Vaynerchuk for example, have become internet sensations and the world want's to know how they did it, as if it's some kind of formula that can be copied.
The truth of the matter is that “32 Productivity Tips From 32 Silicon Valley Billionaires” type articles won't help you and I find success, because it's not how they did it that matters, but rather why.
Tools and systems are fine and help us organise, but you and I have got to build our own unique formula. We've got to connect with our why.
Of course we can learn from successful people, but the rest of us would be better served by putting the blinkers on and focusing on ourselves rather than the noise.
I admire other people's success, of course I do that's why I built this site, and I aspire to greater things, but we've got to know how much to take away and how much to leave behind.
There are sources of great information out there, no doubt about it, but digesting it over and over is such an exhausting exercise and we need to switch off from it.
Follow Your Intuition
I'm the same as you, I'm looking to achieve, to succeed, to find a way to realise my goals. I've got personal goals, financial goals, family goals, business goals etc…
And most of the advice I'm exposed to tells me if I am to achieve my goals I've got to be structured, measured and regimental with how I spend my time.
But I know something different regarding time so I've got this conflict going on.
I ask myself “Should I listen to these ‘experts' or should I follow my own intuition”
My heart says “fuck all that craic, do your own thing”
My head says “You've got to get organised”
The truth is that I'm already exceptionally organised, and so are you (and I'll get into that in a bit).
I think it's more conducive to success to be consistent and focused in the completely opposite direction to everyone else, rather than to copy what others are doing or have done.
Indulge me for a bit here…
Before everything there is an idea, then thought. I don't think it's correct to call ideas thoughts, because in my analysis the thought comes after the idea.
You could say the idea comes to the conscious mind from the subconscious mind. There's little or no “time” between these two things, but definitely, for me, the idea comes first.
Ideas will be matched to us. I believe that we never get an idea that is not suitable for us, if we did what would be the point of the idea in the first place.
When we follow our intuition we get a sense of being drawn, being pulled towards, rather than us pushing and forcing.
Pushing is conscious mind stuff and I experience it when I am trying too hard. I think it's better to back off than to keep pushing when things feel like this.
I've found that the best ideas come when I'm relaxed and in good form. Equally I've found that I can't think for shit when I'm under pressure.
Working Under Pressure
I can't stand being under pressure. The feeling of other people's demands bearing down on me is unbearable. I'm sure some of you felt this too whether you work for yourself or not.
Our time is certainly not our own to manage when we are under pressure from others to produce.
I find that when I am providing service to other people, their time and budget constraints just wear me out. I've always felt that way.
When someone wants to hire me, I've got to set the rules of the game because I'm producing the end result. I'm creating the thing.
When I allow the other too much influence they get in the way and we end up with a pile of shite. If I'm going to create something for you then get out of my way please!
Whether I've offered my services, or someone has come to me directly, it doesn't matter. If I'm to create something that is meaningful and valuable for them then I must drive the bus.
I have to decide how long it will take and how much it will cost. If it's not a fit for you then that's just feckin' dandy, we'll part company and there's no love lost.
If you hire me to bake you bread and you've got your hands in the dough then we don't get good bread.
I've come to realise that I cannot create something great where the concerns, fears, anxieties or lack of trust of the part of the other has taken the lead on the project.
You see there's no amount of work and effort will ever relieve an anxious state of mind. The only good working environment to operate in is a relaxed one.
Everyone Is Perfectly Organised Already
Everyone is organised and efficient by default, but we can only get aligned to this when we are doing what we love.
Too many of us are focused on pleasing other people and doing things that we'd rather not do. So no wonder why we have time shortage issues.
Time shortages and inefficiencies are really a result of being distracted by the noise of things we would rather not do but feel obliged to.
Noise of other people, consideration of too many opinions, not trusting ourselves, wanting results too soon, making rash decisions, fearing a negative outcome etc etc.
We take in way too much data.
A single minded totally focused approach with total self belief are the primary ingredients to success. You've got to be the only cook in the kitchen.
Although it will take some time for the bread to bake so you've got to be prepared to wait. Vaynerchuk's loaf took 15 years.
When we do what we love our work becomes almost effortless, it's like time stands still. Managing our time becomes a pointless exercise.
Just like you, I'm super organised, efficient and productive with certain things and with other things it's completely the opposite.
Yeah I still have to battle with the fucker in my head that says “you should be doing this, that or the other” but I'm getting better at ignoring it.
The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket. – Andrew Carnegie
We Are Born To Succeed.
When we consider the complexity of the human body and of the universe as a whole, we can easily see that every one of us is remarkable beyond words.
We are built to succeed, born to be great. We are the ultimate idea of success, but unfortunately it's beaten out of us (psychologically speaking) from the day we are born.
The trick is to try filter out the noise and reconnect to the one thing that excites us. Organisation and precise management of our time will come effortlessly when we find it.
It's not about getting more efficient or striking things off your ever increasing to-do list. And it's not about being great at doing shit you'd rather not do either.
It's not about doing the difficult stuff first. Get rid of that shit, give it to someone else to do or don't do it at all.
It's about focusing on the one or two things that energise you, that give you pleasure and enjoyment. It's about spending more of your energy on the things you're good and efficient at.
I'd rather spend all of my time doing what I want, what makes me happy. I don't believe in doing boring shit because other people think I should.
I could be gone tomorrow. This is my time – I'll spend it whatever way I want to thanks very much.
And I think you should too.