A goal is a dream with a deadline.
The damnedest thing about having a job is that when I had days off, I inevitably found myself bored. How ridiculous, huh? I’d whine and complain about how much I hated my job, but when my two precious days off came I didn’t do anything with them.
I lazed around surfing the net. “One of these days, when I get my own gig going…” and here I was with free time and doing nothing with it.
How many of you are like that? Spending the weekends doing nothing of importance. Sure, you may do yard work, clean the house, hit the gym, grab lunch with friends or family and all that other baloney.
That isn’t productivity, that isn’t accomplishment. That’s minutiae and it only momentarily takes your mind off of the intense boredom.
It wasn’t until I started my own business, and working 24/7, that I stopped being bored. Building something is time-consuming and time-consuming activities leave little time for boredom.
Of course, after you have built your business or your foundation the boredom can and will come back.
Cut to a couple of years later, I had made a few bucks and had no real need to work very much. I got bored again. To combat the boredom I up and moved to China. That certainly cured the boredom. At least, temporarily.
Lately, it has occurred to me that I rarely get bored. I’m so not bored that most of the time I turn down social invitations. I just can’t be bothered when I’m busy.
What has changed?
I have occupied myself with several projects and endeavors. I don’t work on all of these at the same time, that’s multi-tasking lunacy. I work on one at a time, I give it all my energy and then I move on to another one.
Working this way, there have been many days when I work morning to night, not even eating. It certainly doesn’t feel like work. It’s a learning experience. It’s a building experience. It’s time-consuming, energy-consuming and leaves no time for boredom.
When I do have a momentary lull in work that’s when I take time off and go to the gym.
Working the way I do, I have found one extremely effective method for curing any boredom. Using this method, I have not felt bored in months.
I call the method Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun.
The looking down the barrel of a gun method involves two steps:
1) Working on a project
2) Setting a deadline, or date of completion, for the project
It is very easy to work on a project and never, ever finish it because you don’t have a deadline to meet. Working this way, it could take years to finish something – if you even finish it at all. When you set a deadline you must complete your mission. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. You’re looking down the barrel of a gun.
When you have a deadline you are under pressure. You know that a deadline is approaching and you know you must complete your mission at all costs. I have found that it is much easier to work when you are under the gun than when you have no specific due date.
For reasons unknown to me, creativity is enhanced when you are fast approaching a deadline.
Writers are notorious for speaking of deadlines. “I had a deadline fast approaching and I hadn’t even started yet”. If it were not for deadlines, most of the books in the world would have probably never been released.
Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, I will leave you to judge. One thing I can guarantee, those writers were not bored in the days leading up to the deadline.
So, friend, if you are bored perhaps it is time you looked down the barrel of a gun.