An unwanted corollary of thinking time – the topic of my previous post – is the possibility of feeling unproductive or lazy. There is a distinction between the two – thinking is doing, after all.
And doing is important. We should do stuff. And we all have free time. So we should look to do stuff in our free time (whether it is at work or home). Not tomorrow. Not the next day. Today. Now.
(Incidentally, Clay Shirky’s post on how our social surplus has populated Wikipedia is well worth a (re)read. As fun as drinking gin is, I think crowdsourcing is more worthwhile).
I’m sadly a deadline worker. I get things completed on time, but it usually involves a late night on the eve of submission.
And of course not everything has a deadline. So things slip. And slip. And slip. So I’m instiling self-imposed deadlines on all of my activities. Starting with this blog.
I have several drafts in WordPress filled with a few rambling thoughts – my online post-it notes, so to speak. Some get written, some don’t. The worst offender is a post on the relationship between music and marketing that has been in my drafts for the best part of a year, and it has been some time since I stopped collecting news stories from Music Ally or Songs for Soap.
So I’m deleting it. I still have the bookmarks if I want to revisit the topic from a different angle, but for all intents and purposes that blog will not see the light of day. The deadline has passed.
Why? Because the quality of an output (whether a blog or otherwise) is a function of its context – its place and time. All the links in that draft are now old. Madonna may still be with Live Nation, but Groove Armada may not be associated with Bacardi for much longer. The interest is drying up, and the trend has passed. So my blog post dies.
If we think we have a good idea, we should execute it while it is still fresh (albeit considered). We shouldn’t save our best ideas, or wait for the “right moment” to come along. We should act. We learn by doing and we become stronger and better for it. New ideas will come. In the same way that saving money is bad for the financial economy, saving ideas is bad for the creative economy. Because not only do we improve from acting, our peers and associates benefit from the (hopefully) positive externalities of our ideas.
Therefore, I am imposing a deadline of Sunday to respond to Charles’ excellent post on cultural bias related to warped percerptions of Microsoft. It’s a cracker and has rattled a few cogs in my brain.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaewalk/