Learning to be less productive

Posted: March 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

I read a lot.  I have my news feed in the morning when I wake up. Then on the subway either a book or magazine; when I get to work my twitter feed gets me caught up on the world.  Than throughout the day I jump between blogs, TED talks, youtube content and random articles that friends send over and look intriguing.  It’s a lot.  But when knowledge is the new social capital you kinda have to know everything…right?

I’m not sure…What I do know is that I can only do so much in a single day.  And when those days are overrun, even by brilliant people online giving advice and sharing insight it doesn’t leave a lot of time for producing.  And as any trend following junkie would now (because I read it in 17 different articles this morning), doing is the new knowing.

And it’s a trend that’s catching on; but catching on quite slowly and as a late comer to the game I think I understand why.  Human nature…  Reading is much easier than writing.  It’s also a heck of a lot less scary.  Watching is easier and much more passive than filming, and after filming comes posting.  And after posting comes comments, and criticism and realization that you’re not quite as smart as you thought you were.

At least that’s the story we tell ourselves.  So we (and by we I mean I) go back to reading more articles and watching more TED talks.

And than comes a certain day.  And I’m not sure quite what sets this day apart but I imagine it’s different for everyone.  It’s called I don’t give a shit day.  It’s a day where for some odd reason you aren’t really worried about criticism or people who won’t like what you have to say.  This is a day where real work gets started, the scary, intimidating type of work that actually matters.  Chris Guillbeau calls it Legacy Work, Seth Godin calls it Art, I call it significant work.  It’s doing the thing that’s going to make a big impact, a tsunami sized splash that engages and ignites people to change just a little bit.

It’s this day when the reader becomes the writer.  The student starts to teach and the quite kid in the back raises his hand.  It’s a pinnacle moment we all have that should be celebrated at any age.  I’m nominating it for the next national holiday.

  1. Yup, I do that sometimes–learn more than do. It’s a weird feeling because you’re not being lazy but you’re not really doing anything either.

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