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Finish and Thus Don't Duplicate

Want to hear one of the strangest things I've found by time tracking?

Often, a really big and important task will only take 20 minutes of time to do when I sit down to get it done.

The thing is, it's not really 20 minutes. It's 20 minutes of action, after already spending three hours thinking about it over the course of a few days.

But it dawns on me - the hardest part of many hazy tasks is figuring out what to do. Almost any time we look at a hard task, our mind runs through the quick options and makes a decision.

A lot of times, we leave things alone if there's no great action to take. But, that means we're probably duplicating the thinking part of the effort many, many times.

Opportunity All Around

Reader Joe Geneva sent this to me via email, I thought it was quite good and he kindly let me share it -

Hi Sebastian, just wanted to remark upon something I've seen lately. The sheer amount of opportunity around me.

In any given day there's more opportunity then you will ever have time for, probably more then anyone one person can use. Yet we don't use it. We procrastinate or rationalize, we make excuses for ourselves and for others, and talk among ourselves about why we can't achieve things, or put ourselves down. We never truly seem to recognize how much sheer opportunity there is to be taken.

I often hear people remarking about being bored. This irritates the hell out of me, especially when I'm somewhere where i know for a fact there's 20 easily found activities to do. Why do people seem totally oblivious to this... do they have no motivation to improve themselves, or think they are already perfect or something.. It seems a bit mystifying why people don't constantly look for ways to get better at things.

Now after all this criticism its time to talk about myself a bit, and touch on another subject. Why is it so hard to improve ourselves? I don't mean improve our productive time or finding things to learn, i mean why is the desire to get better so hard to achieve, and especially see the big picture. For example, if you give it some thought, you can take any problem, break it into its basic components, figure out what you need to learn, then Google it. It's that easy (for those of us with internet). Yet we don't do it nearly as much as we should. I could list about 20 things off the top of my head to Google right now, information that might alter my life immediately. Yet its really hard to go through with it... As though we were actively holding back ourselves.

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