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The Only Alternative is Nothingness

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The Only Alternative is Nothingness

You know already that to add a new habit to your daily routine, you’ve got to schedule it.

But what if your habit requires creativity (e.g. writing a blog post) and you’re not feeling creatively inspired at the scheduled time?

The correct answer is: do nothing.

And by nothing we mean absolutely, positively nothing. Or at least, absolutely nothing positive.

In their book Willpower, author Roy Baumeister and John Tierney reference the work process of famed author Raymond Chandler, who scheduled four hours of writing time every day. That did not mean that he actually wrote four hours a day. His writing output, as you might expect, depended on the comings and goings of his creative muse.

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The key to Chandler’s productivity was that, even on days that his muse was not in attendance, he would not allow himself to do anything else. Said Chandler: “(A writer) doesn’t have to write, and if he doesn’t feel like it, he shouldn’t try. He can look out of the window or stand on his head or writhe on the floor, but he is not to do any other positive thing, not read, write letters, glance at magazines, or write checks.”

Our bet? If the only option to not engaging in a desired behavior is an hour of thumb-twiddling or ceiling-staring, you might find yourself suddenly feeling a lot more creative.

* Because I’ve written about it a billion times, most notably here.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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David Squires

The Only Alternative is Nothingness

Published

on

The Only Alternative is Nothingness

You know already that to add a new habit to your daily routine, you’ve got to schedule it.

But what if your habit requires creativity (e.g. writing a blog post) and you’re not feeling creatively inspired at the scheduled time?

The correct answer is: do nothing.

And by nothing we mean absolutely, positively nothing. Or at least, absolutely nothing positive.

Advertisement

In their book Willpower, author Roy Baumeister and John Tierney reference the work process of famed author Raymond Chandler, who scheduled four hours of writing time every day. That did not mean that he actually wrote four hours a day. His writing output, as you might expect, depended on the comings and goings of his creative muse.

The key to Chandler’s productivity was that, even on days that his muse was not in attendance, he would not allow himself to do anything else. Said Chandler: “(A writer) doesn’t have to write, and if he doesn’t feel like it, he shouldn’t try. He can look out of the window or stand on his head or writhe on the floor, but he is not to do any other positive thing, not read, write letters, glance at magazines, or write checks.”

Our bet? If the only option to not engaging in a desired behavior is an hour of thumb-twiddling or ceiling-staring, you might find yourself suddenly feeling a lot more creative.

* Because I’ve written about it a billion times, most notably here.

/* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */
var disqus_shortname = ‘instoremag’; // required: replace example with your forum shortname

Advertisement

/* * * DON’T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */
(function() {
var dsq = document.createElement(‘script’); dsq.type = ‘text/javascript’; dsq.async = true;
dsq.src = ‘http://’ + disqus_shortname + ‘.disqus.com/embed.js’;
(document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0] || document.getElementsByTagName(‘body’)[0]).appendChild(dsq);
})();

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular