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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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When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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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

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/* * * 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

When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular