Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Merlin Mann | Sep 8 2005
Procrastination can drive most of us into a spiral of shame that’s as mundane as it is painfully personal. We know what we should be doing, but some invisible hang-up keeps us on the line. Unfortunately, the guaranteed consequence of procrastination is growth in the scale of the task you’ve been putting off—as well as the anxiety that it creates. All the time you’re putting something off, your problem’s getting bigger—both in reality and in your head, where your colorful imagination is liable to turn even the most trivial item into an unsolvable juggernaut that threatens to overwhelm you. And that means extra stress, more procrastination, and the music goes round.
My favorite tonic for procrastination—which I have mentioned in passing previously—is what I call a dash, which is simply a short burst of focused activity during which you force yourself to do nothing but work on the procrastinated item for a very short period of time—perhaps as little as just one minute. By breaking a few tiny pebbles off of your perceived monolith, you end up psyching yourself out of your stupor, as well as making much-needed progress on your overdue project. Neat, huh?read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 5 2005
Merlin Mann | Sep 1 2005
Ben Franklin nerded out in so many ways. Check out his cool little book for tracking his adherence to “13 virtues.”read more »
Merlin Mann | Aug 1 2005
Try a nice simple to-do list that you can really manage.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 27 2005
Merlin Mann | Jul 25 2005
Really good article on the problems and implications of the interruption-driven lifestyle. Full of great bits, including this:
I really do encourage you to read the whole article, because it gets to the heart of a problem that’s contributing to most everyone’s stress and feeling of being constantly overwhelmed. And you might want to follow it up with seeing how Billy G. reportedly carves out a “Think Week” each year.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 22 2005
This article's advice on “installing” a new habit is really quite good, but it's also useful just for its inspiring examples of what Danny and I have called “useful landmines”-pre-emptive ways to make failure in a given situation as difficult as possible. A few I especially liked:read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 19 2005
Merlin Mann | Jul 15 2005
As a consequence of being too lazy to take the trash out a couple nights ago, the smell of salmon took up residence throughout our kitchen. In addressing the stank, I ran across this ginormous page full of of links on cleaning and stain removal including a handy collection of homemade air fresheners.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 13 2005
As usual, I’d really hoped to play down the goofy “cult” label, but, oh well, I imagine that’s the angle some editor destined the story to have. So it goes.
Still it’s a good piece if it helps a few new folks get it together, and I certainly can’t complain about the exposure (and very considerate deep-linkage).
Thanks for the opportunity, Robert.read more »
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