After becoming nauseous from my morning office chair spin, three things became apparent: first, I needed to work on an apology and a cat shampoo product after propelling recycled orange juice onto my feline pet. Second, I'm still not sure if the actress in Blade Runner was Hannah Daryl or Daryl Hannah. And third, I may not be cut out to be in business with myself.
Last month I decided to become a sole trader, owner of my very own business. It came with all the incentives: no morning commute, meetings at times that primarily suit me, and a poo schedule that doesn't coincide with Dave from accounting. LIFE. WAS. Meant-to-be. GOOD. When planning the business, I took everything into consideration from my limited skillset to my limited tie collection, but I had forgotten one important factor that may determine the outcome of my business: when it comes to work, I suffer from dissociative identity disorder.
Some days I have the drive and ambition to be the best at what I do, but at any given moment I can become distracted, disinterested and blah, blah, blah— look, a skittle! And the process leads to penning obvious jokes. And because it's clearly not my fault that this happens, I resort to blaming those around me. It's a self-destructive process that leads to many conflicts between future hall of famer self and future hall of gamer self.
My current slant on life seems to be, “I want to be the very best, except on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.” But really I need it to be, “I want to be the very best, except on Mondays and Fridays.” It's a small difference but at least it should be an achievable goal and one for the greater good of my company. The long-term success of my business depends on me being as focused as possible— DARYL HANNAH, definitely Daryl Hannah. Just a quality actress. Very good in Wall Street. —So I began writing down some ways that I could accomplish being a lot more focused—specifically on Tuesdays, then I thought, what am I doing writing these down? BING it!
So after a few results slowly appeared on Bing's superfast search engine I engaged with the second link—because you should never engage with the first option but always the best option—or in my case, the second option. These were a few of the suggestions to maximize production levels:
1. Make a deal with yourself.
You simply tell yourself something like: When I'm done with this chapter/these reports I can take a walk in the park and enjoy an ice-cream.
This notion is ridiculous. I am simply unreliable and I'll low ball myself during the negotiation stage. Next.
2. Act like it.
If you don't feel motivated or enthusiastic then act like it.
I just started mimicking Brad Pitt's character in Fight Club. This led to searching for more quotes from the film, then it occurred to me that I hadn't been tracking Edward Norton's career between the Fight Club and The Incredible Hulk years—he was in The Italian Job remake? Poor guy.
3. Ask uplifting questions in the morning.
Here's what you do: every morning ask yourself five empowering three-part questions this way:
- What am I ______ about in my life right now?
- What about it makes me _______?
- How does it make me feel?Put in your own value in the blank space. For instance, a couple of my questions are:
- What am I happy about in my life right now?
- What am I excited about in my life right now?
Answers: a) Breakfast b) Breakfast c) Breakfast d) Breakfast e) Breakfast…y.
Five questions? IT'S THE MORNING! I am barely awake and I'm hungry.
One question: What's for breakfast? Done.
4. Do something small and create a flow.
After the deluge of toilet humor that would initially sink any sensible thoughts in regards to this suggestion, I began to butterfly stroke my way to the shallow end in the hope of getting a foothold on the process of starting small to create a flow. …Nope, turns out I'm just too childish to look beyond the suggestion of a bowel movement.
5. Compare yourself with yourself, not with others.
Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation.
Spot on. Wednesday me is so much better than Friday me. Nobody can touch Wednesday me, he's pretty great. I tried being James Franco once but it's creatively and sexually exhausting.
6. Remember to have fun.
Or create fun in a task. Then you'll stay motivated to do and finish it.
No, that's not at all helpful, thank you.
7. Act like your heroes.
Read about them, watch them, listen to them.
My hero is John Belushi. …This can only go badly.
8. Get out of your comfort zone.
I moved slightly to my left and I've got to say, I'm not hating it. The slight breeze entering through the door way and up my trouser leg is certainly an extra unexpected perk.
The most popular suggestion by a country mile is to incorporate motivational quotes to help increase productivity. I've always been very reluctant to embrace this concept because I can't help but become cynical towards them.
Let's look at a couple of examples and I'll show you what I mean:
“If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission.”
“Who said that?”
“So you're not quoting yourself at all and felt embarrassed to write your name alongside it?”
“No, someone else said it for sure.”
“…But not you?”
“No not me, I just wrote Anonymous. Don't know who said it. Overheard it at a party.”
“So it's not an actual quote because nobody knows who said it and therefore the existence of said quote is questionable.”
“…I think it was Dave from accounting.”
“Does Dave want to achieve greatness in accounting?”
“I think so.”
“Doesn't Dave have a boss?”
“Yeah, Frank. Great guy.”
“Does he not have to get permission from Frank to achieve tasks?”
“…Yeah, but Frank's pretty cool about Dave's quest for greatness so he only has to report to him like three to four times a week.”
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
You certainly could achieve certain dreams when you're an anti-Semitic and racist white male growing up in America during the early twentieth century.
But in regards to Walt's quote, I read about this one guy whose dream was to hang glide from a cliff in New Zealand and during the launch he tripped. Yep, you guessed it…he looked ridiculous. Not all dreams can come true.
All of the suggestions are ludicrously unhelpful, and many of the quotes I came across were just variants of the only necessary fundamental life quote, “Try not to die today.” Most are worthless bars of text that insult your prior actions as a decent human being.
But maybe after that one internet search I have actually found the answer to my dilemma. Maybe I'm allowed to take my eye off of the goal once in a while because I'm human, and the expectation of being at my very best for more than a day a week is unrealistic. Maybe I'm allowed to spin a chair and puke on my cat during office hours. Maybe my business will be ultimately fine when I'm not “feeling it” and tasks will eventually get done because I care.
So I guess I'll try a little harder on Tuesdays and try not to die every day until that once in a lifetime opportunity of meeting death arrives. …My guess is that I'll die on a Tuesday. I don't like Tuesdays.