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Tim Ferriss: Timing always sucks

Tim Ferris:

For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up all the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.

procrastination decision making

Paul Graham on per-project procrastination

Paul Graham, writing about How to Do Great Work:

Since there are two senses of starting work — per day and per project — there are also two forms of procrastination. Per-project procrastination is far the more dangerous. You put off starting that ambitious project from year to year because the time isn’t quite right. When you’re procrastinating in units of years, you can get a lot not done.

One reason per-project procrastination is so dangerous is that it usually camouflages itself as work. You’re not just sitting around doing nothing; you’re working industriously on something else. So per-project procrastination doesn’t set off the alarms that per-day procrastination does. You’re too busy to notice it.

The way to beat it is to stop occasionally and ask yourself: Am I working on what I most want to work on?" When you’re young it’s ok if the answer is sometimes no, but this gets increasingly dangerous as you get older.

Paul Graham procrastination great work

Tim Ferriss on being busy

Tim Ferriss:

If you consistently feel the counterproductive need for volume and doing lots of stuff, put these on a Post-it note:

Being busy is a form of laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.

Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.

Tim Ferriss procrastination

Easy Choices, Hard Life

David Heinemeier Hanson on Breaking the inertia of mediocrity:

The sad truth is that most of us are cowards whenever we can be. We usually know what needs to be done, but we shrink from the responsibility to do it. Unless occasion calls upon us without a choice, we’ll find a way around.

Whenever I find myself looking at a coward in the mirror, I remind myself: Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life. Make the hard choices. Even when it’s possible to punt. The inertia of mediocrity will not break unless you break it.

David Heinemeier Hanson DHH decision making Tim Ferriss difficult conversations