Get to Work

Taken above Memorial Drive along the C-Train walkway. It was -25 degrees Celsius and I had already walked to my car wondering why I hadn’t stopped to capture the image. It’s cold, I’d have to take off my gloves, get my camera, and the excuses piled up. I resolved to go back. How easy was it to make those excuses and hurry to my car ignoring the beautiful view. Get to work.

Well a lost post doesn’t make the work any easier. Had something ready to go this morning, hit publish, and lost to the ether. Sadly, the gap between hitting publish and draft is a black hole of the Internet and your post ends up vanquished if it hasn’t survived the trip.

The essence of the post revolved around the idea of work, and getting things done. I provided my own take on some of the interesting reads I’ve uncovered, noted the challenges I’m constantly facing with this very topic, and perhaps leave you feeling content in your own abilities to get things done or else lacking in that I set you up only to leave you hanging.

I’m leaving you hanging because the Internet is fickle. What I will say is this. We are always faced with the choice whether to act or not. It’s clear in my own process that inaction sometimes feels like the easier option. Easier because I can review my day and feel as though more things didn’t get finished, or worked on, than did. Procrastination is my muse and I’ve found an endless assortment of ways to feed her.

Ryan Holiday’s Daily Stoic has been a constant for the past month or so and has exposed me to many interesting and thoughtful quotes to contemplate while writing out my morning pages. This one, given the topic, felt quite relevant:

“Why then don’t you complete the work, if you have the right aim and I have both the right aim and right preparation? What is missing? … The work is quite feasible, and is the only thing in our power. … Let go of the past. We must only begin.” Epictetus, Discourses, 2.19, 29-34 (From The Daily Stoic)

Just begin. Begin. Start. What were you doing right before this, or plan to do right after? Are you reading this as a distraction from something else you ought to be doing but aren’t? Start. Don’t worry I’m in the same boat. Rather than looking at my lost post as a setback I started again. I wrote these lines down immediately after it happened:

Write a new post. Stop complaining.

There it is. No excuses allowed in this case. Did something get bumped from my To-Do list? Sure, but this felt more important and worth the effort. If you have the right aim, as I’m sure you do, then what are the things holding you back? This is the type of question that needs to be written down and thought about. It’s not a simple answer I’ve come to find. Myself is generally the easiest and quickest answer. Sure, myself is an answer but be specific. What specifically about the way you think about a task is holding you back from doing it right this second? Do you need permission; there you have it. Do you need more motivation? Good, think about the reason you started down this path in the first place. To take care of yourself and your future perhaps. Maybe it was for your family or simply your well-being. Close your eyes and think about that for a moment. Ok now do it again but if you are like me you didn’t actually close your eyes.

Write down the list of reasons, in detail, that hold you back from getting things done in your day. Want to know what is high on my list? I have too much to choose from and I am always on the hunt for more stuff. Simplicity for me is an answer and something I need to be constantly reminding myself. Avoid the need to over complicate and distract. Keep it simple. A quiet room, my laptop, no phones, Edgar (if he’s being good), and my notebook. This is the result. Short, and to the point.




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