it’s better to disappoint a few people over small things, than to surrender your dreams for an empty inbox. Otherwise you’re sacrificing your potential for the illusion of professionalism.
What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
It’s much easier to whine and sabotage yourself and blame the client, the system, and the economy. This is what you hide from — the noise in your head that says you are not good enough, that says it is not perfect, that says it could have been better.
In 1971, renowned social scientist Herbert Simon observed, “What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”
Amid this constant surge of information, attention has become our most precious asset.
Increasingly, creative minds are torn in two opposing directions. We’re asked to apply our intellectual capital to solve hard problems — a creative goal that requires uninterrupted focus. At the same time, we’re asked to be constantly available by e- mail and messenger and in meetings — an administrative goal that creates constant distraction. We’re being asked, in other words, to simultaneously resist and embrace distraction to advance in our careers — a troubling paradox .
Creative minds are highly susceptible to distraction, and our newfound connectivity poses a powerful temptation for all of us to drift off focus.
For activities that require conscious attention, there is really no such thing as multitasking, only task switching — the process of flicking the mind back and forth between different demands.
Waiting for inspiration to write is like standing at the airport waiting for a train.
It’s easy to blame the tools, but the real problem is us. Rather than demonizing new technologies unnecessarily or championing them blindly, we must begin to develop a subtler sensibility.
The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say 'no' to almost everything
It’s quite frankly easier to do the trivial things that are “urgent” than it is to do the important things. But when we choose urgent over important, what we are really choosing is other people’s priorities over our own.
Doing busywork is easy; doing your best work is hard.
When was the last time you made something that someone wasn’t paying you for, and looking over your shoulder to make sure you got it right?
An overemphasis on perfection can lead to enormous stress (think angry flare - ups or spontaneous tears). At best, it can make you hesitate to immerse yourself in a new project. At worst, this pattern can lead to you abandoning your creative pursuits because of the toll they take on you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
A professional is someone who can keep working at a high level of effort and ethics, no matter what is going on — for good or ill — around him or inside him.
Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work.