As Kurt Cobain sang, Something in the Way, Mmm, there are always things that will get in the way between you and your work. And then there is the Mmm bit… You can call it procrastination if you like, most of the time these are the bad habits that we pick up along the way. Here are three that are pretty common ones, that I suggest you ditch immediately.
Waste. Of. Time… And grey matter. Observe someone who is watching a TV show for few minutes. Sitting there, motionless, staring at the glaring screen. Not exactly a productive state, is it?
Not only you are not being productive, but todays grotesque TV shows can leave you brain dead after some time. I recommend watching (a bit ironic, I know, but bare with me) Charlie Brooker’s How TV Ruined Your Life series or any of his Wipe episodes to have a satirical view on the subject. Mindless entertainment can put your brain in a lethargy-like state and make it lazy.
I used to read a newspaper each morning on my way to work. Somehow it just felt right to stay up to date on latest news and events. Then, I read The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris. In his search of minimizing wasted time, he stopped following the news completely and he recommended that in his book. I had a go at it myself and it must be three years now since the last time I picked up a newspaper. The fact is that you are not going to miss out on much. From dodgy government deals, killings and war, through celebrities caught on camera leaving a nightclub all the way to sport section and a puzzle, there is not much content that could possibly stimulate any creative way of thinking. If there’s is anything worthy talking about, well, you will hear someone mentioning it somewhere eventually, otherwise it is just noise. Besides, everything in your regular newspaper (or any online news service for that matter) is written in the most cold and neutral tone, which doesn’t help much, either. Pick up a novel instead, it will do you a world of good.
I am against religion because it teaches us to be completely satisfied with not understanding the world.
– Richard Dawkins
Now, not to offend anyone with this (it can be a delicate subject as I found out over the years), but the truth is that religion can stand in the way of creation (well, apart from the first chapter). I don’t think that Daido Moriyama would shoot these series and others with prostitutes in Tokyo if he was your regular church-goer.