Hopefully you’ve had a more productive day than I have. I knew exactly what I had to do today for my startup, and yet I found all sorts of things to do instead.

I’ve come to the opinion most of the time most people know exactly what they should be doing to finish their software, build their business, make something, love somebody. But it’s as scary as walking across a room full of hissing, crawling snakes, and it’s so easy to turn back again and again.

I don’t have any 12 step plans or five bullet point posts to make it any easier to make that walk. But there is some comfort knowing anybody who wants to create has to make that walk every time, and everybody “important” you’ve ever heard of made that damn walk ahead of you.

What’s more, if you can see how what you are trying to do actually makes this world even a minutely better place, I think you can levitate at least some of the time right over those snakes.

Give it a try.


  1. Amen Bob! The day comes and goes and the big, important tasks never get attention.
    Then I stay up late to get them done which is probably why I don’t get them done the next day…

  2. I’m guilty of the same thing. I have a to-do list of things I need to finish before I launch, but other things keep getting in the way. I think part of it is that launching creates the possibility of failure, whilst having “just one more thing” that always needs to be done let’s me continue day-dreaming about my impending success. Even focusing on the minimum viable product hasn’t helped (because there’s still always one more thing I need to add to reach that point). I wish I had the answer….

  3. I can’t even get over how far I’ve gotten into the pit with the snakes and day after day, I struggle to get things done, between interruptions, lack of clarity on which is the urgent AND important task to be working on. I don’t say no to the urgent and unimportant stuff. Somehow those grab me away and distract me.
    But the worst thing for me is that I make up for it, not by planning better, or by saying no more often. Instead I fall into the trap of working longer and harder, and go into the death spiral.
    I know all about Peopleware, 8 hour work days, the importance of downtime, but I’ve become a complete and utter fool and fallen into the pit of snakes (or is it the “pit of despair” like in the Princess Bride, where Wesley gets the life literally sucked out of him.)
    This month I’m pushing back, have an occasional beer, doing a little recreational reading, and you know what, creative ideas have started to pop back into my head, and I’m finding that during the day, I’m starting to get things done! Must keep pushing back against work when it starts to become a time thief.

  4. I find that sometimes limiting my work hours actually helps me be more productive.
    “While completing a novel, famous authors tend to write only for 4 hours during the morning, leaving the rest of the day for rest and recuperation. Hence successful authors, who can control their work habits and are motivated to optimize their productivity, limit their most important intellectual activity to a fixed daily amount when working on projects requiring long periods of time to complete.”

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