Aristotle: ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’
Here is what I repeatedly do:
- I drink too much
- I eat too much
- I complain that I’m putting on weight and am hungover and not getting any work done
- I vow to change my ways
- I don’t change my ways
- I worry, analyse and go over and over things in my head.
- I procrastinate
- I check Facebook
- I check my emails
- I check Facebook again
- I squeeze my blackheads
- I write to-do lists
- I do nothing on my to-do lists
- I re-write the to do lists, dividing them into subsections
- I do nothing on the sub-sectioned to-do lists except for underline the headings and doodle little stars on the really important things
- I spend four hours researching productivity and to-do list apps
- I get overwhelmed by the choice and go back to writing things on the back of the envelope.
- I lose the envelope
- But it’s not my fault, I just need to buy new files and stationary – THEN I’LL BE ORGANISED.
- I buy a new diary
- I feel bad about spending twenty quid in Paperchase
- I have a drink to make me feel less bad
- I drink more. Eat more.
- I complain about being broke
- I complain about being single
- I pretty much complain about anything
- I watch Made in Chelsea
- I go to bed and lie awake thinking of everything I’ve ever done wrong. Ever.
- I set my alarm for 6am because I’M GOING TO BE PRODUCTIVE TOMORROW
- I press the snooze button from till 8.30am…
Here is what I don’t do:
- Make a plan and stick to it
- Exercise regularly
- Keep arrangements
- Keep my word
- Wash my hair (Ok, well, obviously I do but usually two or three days PAST the point where it’s getting gross and greasy and itchy)
These are the 39 HABITS OF HIGHLY INEFFECTIVE PERSON. Does it have the makings of a best-seller?
I’d like to say that all of this is an exaggeration for comic effect but it’s just not.
For years fear used to drive me – fear of getting shouted at, fear of not doing a good job, fear of not being good enough, fear of being too fat etc…
This year that fear has largely gone. I’ve learnt to say F**K It to career success! F**K It to worrying about my figure! F**K it to worrying what people think etc. F**K It to getting things done.
If friends asked me if I was around for lunch, I’d kick off my work plans and join them. If there was a party on, I’d be the last woman standing. I’m living in the moment, I’d tell myself!
And it was wonderful. For a while.
But I think I might be reaching the point where saying F**K It to everything is no longer serving me. I am furious with myself for how little I’ve got done over the last few months and I’m feeling gross in my ever-growing, hungover body. I look at the mirror and see the bloated face of a Pillsbury Doughboy. I’m not even going to tell you what my a*se looks like, except there now seems to be four of them.
I remember having this conversation with the lovely John Parkin when I was in Italy on the F**K It Retreat. I was asking him about the F**K It theory and saying how far could you push it.
Me: I say F**K It to worrying about work, and diet and money, I’d just lie on the sofa and eat biscuits forever.
Me: But I can’t do that
John: Why not?
Me: Well, I’d just lie there and do nothing for the rest of my life. I’d never leave the house.
John: OK and what would that be like?
Me: But then I’d get bored and fed up and guilty
Me: So then I’d have to go and do something
John: There you go – you’re off to the next thing…
I’ve reached that point now. Time to get my S**T together. Get off the metaphorical (and actual) sofa.
HABIT ONE – BE PROACTIVE TO COME TOMORROW.
AND I’M ACTUALLY GOING TO KEEP MY WORD ON THAT FOR ONCE.