“Figure out what you want. Say it out loud. Then shut up.”

Easy (yet often neglected principle) that will make you more active and productive.

…and I would add: “Get to the work.” (The title of this post is the section of Amy Pohler’s book “Yes, Please!” And also a really good message.)

I definitely love to write, but I also enjoy reading about writing, talking about writing and learning about writing. I am a huge fan of the books about writing. We must be life-long learners and learn whatever we can on the subject, right? However, all these actions, no matter how relevant and useful, will make a minor difference if I don’t actually sit down and write.

What is funny is that while talking about writing and learning about it, I actually feel really accomplished in terms of writing. I feel as if I’m investing a lot of quality time in what I love the most. I feel as if I’m a writer already. (Just please don’t ask me how many words I wrote last week. Last week was crazy.)

That is the tricky part. Talking about something feels almost as good as actually doing it. So we often mix up the two.

I often sit down to meditate and fall into this train of thoughts:

“I have devoted my time to meditation. This is really good. I will be more focused. I will deal with emotions better. I could write the post about it. In the form of a list, probably…wait a minute I am not meditating, I am actively thinking. But I’m thinking about the meditation. It probably doesn’t count.”

But it does count. I am not meditating. I am only thinking about the meditation.

Did you feel particularly fit and sporty during the Olympic games, watching your favorite athletes winning the medals? Me too. Everyone. Olympic games make us feel accomplished in terms of exercise without leaving a house. (Facebook does the same for the socializing.)

In her great book “Better than Before” Gretchen Rubin talks about the strategy of monitoring. (I also wrote about it HERE.) When you can track relevant metrics, you are much more likely to change your behavior. Gretchen gives an example of a couple who stopped drinking once they started tracking their expenses and realized that they spend thousands of dollars on beverages yearly.

All of us have our own versions of this. We generally underestimate how much we eat and spend, and we overestimate how much we work and exercise. And endless talking and beating around the bush makes us less and less accurate in our estimations.

Solution: find a good metric. Measure a number of written words, footsteps, clients, hours of deep work. Do a little bit more and talk a little bit less.

Amy Pohler said:

“I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.”

Don’t we all want the same? Now let’s get to work.


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