Embrace the Stuck

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

James Altucher ticks off ten reasons to regard procrastination as a "superpower." In the build up to his list, the entrepreneur makes the following claim, which I am not sure I agree with, even when I take "instinct" to be a colloquialism for "intuition":

Image courtesy of Unsplash.
Procrastination is the body and mind's way of telling you that you need to focus on another task. It's like this secret guide that points the direction to what is really important in life.

You have to trust that instinct and [be] good at listening to it.
This can true for you anywhere from never to most of the time, but that doesn't affect the value of the list in terms of getting "unstuck." So, without further ado, I'll present the list:
  • Plan B
  • Give Up
  • Start in the Middle
  • End in the Middle
  • Experiment
  • Do Bad Stuff
  • Smaller Is Better
  • Surprise Myself
  • Read
  • Play
As you might have guessed, each bullet above comes with an explanation, for which I'll provide a sample below, of the one for "Do Bad Stuff":
I have to make a list of ideas for a project I'm working on. I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to come up with good ideas. So I was procrastinating. IF you can't come up with good ideas, come up with bad ideas. Bad job, good job, it doesn't matter. The key is: DO.
Some of these explanations are better than others -- e.g., "Surprise Myself?" How? -- but the list overall might be a good one to consult the next time you're stuck. And, for that purpose, the article include an infographic.

-- CAV

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