Doing the work

Sweep sweep sweep. I'm good at it. Excellent multi-tasker, incredible at getting lots of small things done. But I must get big things done as well, or I deteriorate. I've gotten more done on 8-hour flights than almost anywhere else. I once pretty wrote a whole (short) book on one flight from Copenhagen to New York.

So yesterday, this post by Danielle Laporte landed in my inbox:

When I was checking just five more emails before I went to bed, I was sweep-sweep-sweeping. When I scanned my to-do list for just one more thing that I could check off before I let myself out to play, I was sweeping. When I felt rushed to leave a party or zoom home from the park … sweeping — always feeling like I was working for someone else, even tho’, ha! I’ve worked for myself for years. And the thing with sweeping — impeccably — is that the work is never done — especially when one’s career is taking off. Sweep sweep. Sweep.

And today this one by Seth Godin:

Fear is the enemy of creativity and innovation and of starting things. The resistance hates those things—they are risky, they might not work, so the resistance pushes us not to do them.

On the other hand, it loves the notion of to-do lists and favors and multi-tasking and yes, continual partial attention, because those are perfect hiding places, perfect places to avoid the scary work but still be able to point to a day's work, well done.

I feel like sometimes we strike an unconscious bargain with the universe. "Please give me lots of to-dos, so I don't have to deal with the fear of doing my work." And the universe willingly complies.

Instead, try the opposite. Strike a bargain with the universe to keep petty to-dos out of your life, and promise to focus on doing your work instead.

Where are you avoiding doing your most important work?

Are you taking the time, shutting out everything else out, and focusing on just that?


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