Make Sh!t Up

26 Jun

I have had this effing form to fill in that has been hanging over me like a shit sandwich for weeks. It is the sort of form that makes your eyes and brain bleed just looking at it: 28 pages of online questions, including detailed information about previous addresses and jobs, for which of course – you no longer have any memory, let alone documentation; numbers, codes, references, and counter signatory on passport photographs from someone with a degree in nuclear physics. And it goes on and on and on. I’d look at the form *weep* and do something, anything else instead.

I realised that the only way I was ever going to get this thing done was to create an artificial deadline, to make up reasons why it was incredibly urgent and important, to elevate it to the status of THE THING that must be done before anything else. It was during my run yesterday when I decided that I must do this form afterwards, that I must not stop until the job was done, that I had a deadline that afternoon, that if I didn’t do it by 3pm I would be punished, would lose work, would let all sorts of people down. And it worked.

Artificially creating an environment whereby there is a deadline approaching in a couple of hours makes me uber productive.

This tactic only works if you thrive under pressure. If you are the opposite, and crumble under pressure, the opposite trick may work for you. Trivialise urgent tasks instead, tell yourself that its so easy, a trained monkey could do it, that in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter at all, its not important, he isn’t really the CEO of X and terrifyingly important but a silly old man who probably doesn’t have a clue what he is doing anyway and will be delighted to hear from you.

The Grit Doctor says:

Making shit up is my bread and butter.

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2 Responses to “Make Sh!t Up”

  1. Jess June 30, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    Hi Ruth – this is such an effective way to get sh!t done! I am studying to be a teacher, and when those looming assignment deadlines are rearing their ugly head, I create a new deadline normally 2-3 days prior to it being due, and work towards that. I then have 2-3 days to edit and finalise the bulk of the assignment. Works every time ! Just brought your new book, so looking forward to getting inspired 🙂
    Thanks ! Jess (NZ)

    • gritdoctor July 1, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      fab do let me know how you get on with it!

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