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I Do(n’t) Give a Fu%#

If there is one thing I feel often and hear others say regularly when asked how life is, “busy”, is a common response. At the age of thirty-four, I often long for the few responsibilities I had at seven.

I have to go to work, clean my apartment, run errands, cook, read my book, check email, go to events, watch TV, respond to Facebook comments, volunteer for nonprofits, visit with friends, catch up with family and on and on ad infinitum. The cycle never seems to stop. Where in the hell is true free time? Is there a way off this productivity-driven, distraction-prone hamster wheel?

What I go back to at times is something I heard from Derek Sivers, which asks, “when you have a request or opportunity in front of you, are you pumped up about it? If your internal response to it had to be one of the following 'hell yeah’ or ‘no’, which would it be?” As an entrepreneur compared to salaried individuals, Derek without question has a degree of autonomy over his schedule many of us with a boss do not. But as I look at my typical day, the question remains, “are there moment I am giving my time and attention to something where I’m not a ‘hell yeah’ but rather a half-interested ‘sure’?”

Is there really no time to clean my apartment or have I chosen to give the last hour to on-and-off text messages, social media and re-watching that episode of “Chef’s Table” for the third time? Am I focusing on what is important and valuable to me or am I allowing what feels urgent and is easier to crowd my time? (e.g. War of Art)

When I begin to casually reflect on my day, I see the many moments I give into distraction or the easy thing on my list rather than jumping after the hard or important thing. I hope to work into my inner-monologue and would encourage anyone else feeling busy, to review the time we have under our control and to ask, “is what I’m giving my effort and attention right now important or urgent? Am I giving way to distraction or am I focused? Am I a “hell yes” with what I’m committed to and if not is it really a “no” and I just haven’t figured out how to walk away from it?

I aspire to do great work but also pursue and make time for the things I enjoy. What roadblocks, distractions and guilt-driven commitments are keeping me from what I really dream about? Will I be disciplined and courageous enough to commit to the important and exciting things rather than the easy and wandering? Do I give a fu%# about what I'm focusing on or not?

How much more time would I have and less busy would I feel if I lived life as a “hell yes” or “no”?

Go Forth Boldly

“Discipline = Freedom”, Jocko Wilink

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