It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post, which is exactly the sort of thing people write when not sure how to start a blog post.
Why, then, start writing now?
This post is borne of a desire to, if not do more, to do more without thinking it over all the time. It’s very top of the head, I’m not going to spend ages editing it, I want it done and then I can do something else.
That isn’t meant to sound quite so much like this will be a post with zero effort putting in. The aim is to redress the balance.
Let’s go back a long way and then not so far.
Yes Man – Good Book, Dull Film, Interesting Concept
Ages ago, I read Yes Man – it wasn’t life changing, I didn’t have a big epiphany but I did find it interesting.
The idea of just saying yes to everything is too far out there for me, it might led to some great experiences but also it would leave me constantly on edge. It’s just not me, or even close. I doubt it suit anyone really.
In the book, saying yes to everything leads to adventure, friendship and discovery; in real life it would just lead to prison and debt.
Nobody really has a nagging doubt that says they should do everything ever suggested of them, even if we might all at times wish we did a few more things.
I’ve always been able to live with that though, what really eats me up i a feeling that I’m not ever doing the things I want to do or that every decision simply takes far too long.
Here’s one example, I play the guitar, I’ve been wanting a new guitar, I know my budget, it should be a simple enough process, a fun one even but it just becomes ongoing stress.
There are so many guitars, whichever one I get there will probably have been one slightly better or if I wait maybe the guitars will drop a little in price, or a new, better model will come out.
It is simply never the right time to make a decision and yet I don’t park the decision, it just eats away, always there. I’ll research guitars at midnight on my phone – the same guitars on the same sites – I’ll watch YouTube reviews of ever more guitars when I should be working.
I know that whichever one I choose I’ll be happy with and yet I can’t make the decision.
If it was just one decision eating away that would be bad enough but it’s endless ones. Is it the right time to start re-design this website, something I’ve been meaning to do for ages? Instead of just doing it, I agonise about it.
If they seem like fairly unimportant decisions, that’s because they are. It can be anything, I’ve agonised for hours over which Udemy course on video editing to buy even when they’re all reduced to under £10.
It’s not really procrastination because I’m not putting things off to instead have instant gratification. If anything it’s the opposite of that, it’s spending far too much time on a small decision rather than just making that decision, and perhaps then enjoying a bit of R&R.
It’s also really fucking unhealthy, I don’t have the best of mental health and this just adds another layer of constant worry – and this on things that often should be fun! Buying a new guitar should be enjoyable, it shouldn’t create months of stress.
And that brings me to the second reference, the more recent one. I was browsing Ted Talks (I’m so cliched!) and came across the video below – Inside the Mind of a Procrastinator.
As mentioned, I don’t think mine is quite procrastination and yet I’m not sure that matters, it is still a negative thought pattern that leads only to unhappiness and also stops me from ever doing or creating anything of note.
Getting On With It
The cure also seems to be the same. To just do stuff and get it done. Do it, move on – and that doesn’t have to be moving on to the next project, just the next stage of the same thing. So, in redesigning this site (all black, what was I thinking), make a start, then refine. Constant progress.
Choose a guitar – and I have done – then enjoy playing it. Then start the YouTube channel I’e been wondering about for ages – the last thing the world needs is another YouTube channel featuring a middle aged man playing the guitar, but I’ve been wanting to do it, only not doing it. I just need to do it, if the videos bomb they bomb.
Ultimately, nothing can be worse than not making a decision. I might make this site look worse, I might get 0 views for a guitar video, I might have to buy another Udemy course to fill holes in my knowledge.
There’s also the new washing machine to choose – ours has been broken for weeks – I should probably get a new dog collar for the puppy too before her neck get any larger. Any of the four saved to my Amazon wishlist will be fine.
These are all things where a decision has to be made. It’s not thinking about maybe having a trip of a lifetime next year, it is small things turned into big causes of stress.
The delay also never achieves anything, it has never once saved me from making a bad decision.
It’s time for a change. A change not to be rash, not to say yes to everything or even all that much (I like my sofa, my favourite mug and my TV) but a change to make quicker decisions and just get on with stuff I want to get on with.