The famous line from Musonius Rufus was that labor passes quickly but the fruit of labor endures. It’s the same with discipline: the vigilance is temporary, but the fruit of that vigilance can be enjoyed long after the sacrifice has been forgotten. When you’re on the fence about going for a long run or working on a big project, remind yourself: discipline now, freedom later. The labor will pass, and the rewards will last.
Procrastinating “is the biggest waste of life,” the Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote. “It snatches away each day…and denies us the present by promising the future.”
Want to stop wasting your life?
Here are 8 Stoic tactics to beat procrastination:
Take it action by action
Create a routine
Cut out the inessential
Create a sense of urgency
Find the right company
Get one small win
Forget about outcomes
Demand the best of yourself
The Stoics come down hard on procrastinating. “Putting things off and always deferring the day after which you will attend to yourself,” Epictetus said, “you will live and die as someone quite ordinary.” Stop deferring.
Think inside the box
Giving yourself tight constraints–in essence a small box to work within actually often pays huge dividends.“Picasso pioneered new art forms by denying himself of luxuries, thus forcing more creative rethinking of fundamentals,”. As the artist self-imposed experiment that limited him to working with a single color as an example.
It’s natural to think of innovation as bringing more new stuff or ideas into the world, but as Snow points out, “innovation is often an exercise in reducing complexity.”
Iterate, don’t ruminate (Over thinking of something)
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” Have true words ever been spoken? If you want to be more creative, don’t sit around thinking about how to be more creative. Try stuff. And then try more stuff. Continuous iteration, experimentation, and hard work are the basic building blocks of breakthrough ideas.
Great creators like Picasso, Produce millions of variations of their ideas until they get it right."
Life is easier when you know what you want—but most people don’t take the time to figure out what they want.
It’s not that we are completely lost, but our efforts are often slightly misdirected. People will work for years and ultimately achieve a lifestyle that isn’t quite what they were hoping for—often, simply, because they never clearly defined what they wanted.
An hour of thinking can save you a decade of work.
You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.
You’re under no obligation to remain the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or even a day ago. You are here to create yourself, continuously.
How to write a story?
Once upon a time, there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
It’s called a ‘story spine’.
Creates a setup, change through conflict, and a resolution.
Useful for writers, marketers, and anyone selling anything.
What is Parkinson’s Law?
Parkinson’s Law is the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion.
How do you overcome Parkinson’s Law?
- Clearly outline your vision statement and drivers.
- Clarify roles and responsibilities
- Understand what’s in and out of scope.
- Identify your trade-offs
- Set your timeline