Tag Archives: productive

Productive or Insulting Criticism

As Seth Godin explains clearly in his book Linchpin: “But it’s clear that no matter what sort of creative work you’re doing, no matter how acclaimed or successful you are, the Lizard will seek you out and probably find you. What happens after that is up to you.”

The Lizard he is referring to, is the Lizard brain that tells you to avoid anything that’s scary, unknown, or that will invite criticism. The Lizard brain tells us we’re not perfect.

Nobody is perfect. Nobody has ever been perfect. Walt Disney was told a mouse would never work, Jerry Scienfield was booed off the first stage he walked onto, Steven Spielberg was rejected from University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times… the list goes on.

When we do ship our product, we subject ourselves to boundless criticism. We are bound to hear it, get it, and if we’re smart, we should take note of it, evaluate it, and make the necessary changes to make our product a better product.

Productive criticism helps us identify specific areas to work on, it gives us focus points to research and develop further.

Any other criticism shifts from cultivating the genius inside of us to stifling the genius inside of us.

Interpret it as you wish.


Productive Procrastination

168. Man Sitting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art 9-9-2008

A lot of time is spent procrastinating about events that are on the ‘to-do’ list. I know, I’m guilty as charged, and I’m sure some of you are too, after all, were all human. Unless you’re an alien from a far away galaxy that’s monitoring our inter-waves like some galaxial cowboy tracking my reports because your trying to flatter me, then yes, indeed you are human.

Now, as procrastination sticks in, my thought process goes, what is it that I’m getting tired or bored of doing, or just annoyed at having to do? Then I also find myself with thoughts going through my head of other things that I’d rather be doing, not necessarily unproductive thoughts, just not productive in the current task undertaken.

So I go ahead and get distracted; clean the fish tank, write a blog, order some pizza, have a cup of tea, or clean the washroom.

A revelation I’ve had now is that this is productive procrastination. This isn’t bad in the traditional sense.

Yes, it’s a distraction, but it’s still getting things done. I have a to-do list most days out of the week, and with this kind of procrastination, it’s getting done! I’m finding that all my tasks are getting done, and I’m staying sane at the same time. It’s hard to stay focused on one topic, subject, or medium for one great length of time, so it’s always good to get a break.

I find that it helps me focus better when I come back, I feel refreshed and alert and awake. It is really healthy to get the blood moving regardless of if you are changing your focus or not. Sitting in one place for to long, you will find that your blood starts to pool into your ass and legs, and your brain starts to loose its freshness (bad things).

In fact, I’m not sure if its rumor or not, but one of my university professors told the class that studies have been made, showing that if you exercise for 15 minutes your ability to learn, process, or test is heightened by at least 15% capacity.


So what I’m saying is to get up and walk around even if you aren’t looking for a distraction. Even pace around the room, stretch your legs, do some favorite yoga moves, whatever it be, just get some exercise and blood flowing through your veins. But remember, procrastination is something that nobody can ignore, it happens even to the most focused of people, but if you procrastinate in such a way that you can productively be moving forward in your day, then there is no need to feel any kind of regret or mal content with what your doing, stay positive!


How do you stay focused? Seriously, sit down at a computer and monitor what you do first.

Today, this is how it went.

  • Log on.
  • Open up firefox.
  • Log on to class website, and open up lecture slides.
  • Read the first few slides.
  • Open wordpress, comment on a few freshly pressed.
  • Open hootsuite to see what the twitter crew is doing.
  • Read a few more slides.
  • See what twitter friends are up to.
  • Open tumblr to follow a few new friends tumblr’s.
  • Start writing this post.

I don’ t think this is productive, is it?

It’s turning into summer time, and that means long grass, bare skin, sunny days, and photography opportunities galore! Nice blue skies and beaches! But it makes me think about how I’m spending my time, which is a usual worry for me.

Many people have been telling me that I worry too much, or think too much. I usually embrace the fact that I can think, and enjoy this facility as a human being, but sometimes going with the flow is a very fun thing to do. The problem lies, however, in my duties. I have a duty to focus on work/school to get it done. To pass, to accomplish, to succeed, to make my parents proud; so how can I do this all, when I’m getting distracted with so much?

Some people enjoy spending their time watching TV, or stalking on Facebook, or lamenting on Twitter, but I like to think that I do these things for slightly different reasons (which work out to be the same in the end I guess), but am I just justifying it to myself? Must I cut it all out to focus on one or two areas? Do I feel like I have a obligation to complete what I’ve started for my ‘fans’ or ‘friends’?

What do you think? Would I loose some people in my life if I stopped? Would anybody even notice? Would I be able to sleep at night?

How do you deal with this?