Tell them about it.

shoutPeople often say to me, “Hep, how can you advocate do-nothingness when you yourself own and operate a wildly successful blog?” They, of course, make some excellent points, and the answer is multifaceted.

First, running your standard blog is about as close to doing nothing as doing something can get. Although, it is true that maintaining a high-quality site such as this one does take at least a little bit of effort. In the end, I decided that my knowledge was simply too vast to not share. I also knew I could offset my small contribution to the world’s productivity with the sheer volume of new weekwasters I would be training, thus restoring balance to the force.

But how did I manage to work around my spectacular inclinations towards nothing? By violating a very important rule — a rule any time-waster should know and heed. The easiest way to make sure a project never gets off the ground, is to tell people about it. Tell every detail, to everyone, as soon as you have an idea. I told no one. I just worked secretly on my project, and as you can see, something happened. Don’t be like me. Using this rule, you can easily make yourself feel accomplished without doing a thing.

Do you have an idea that combines Neflix subscriptions and pizza deliveries? Did you just get inspired to make a series of paintings about the internet? Thinking about writing some poetry*? You have a couple options. Either get started right away, and wow people with the result, or tell everybody you know about it, so they think you’re cool. The end product in both cases is pretty much the same (people say, “Oh, neat”), but in one scenario, you have to do some actual work. If you talk about it early and often, you get the result upfront, and then you can give up.

So, talk to your friends, tell your ideas, and then don’t do them. Nobody likes a showoff.

*Actually, writing poetry doesn’t count as doing something. It’s utterly useless.
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