I recently read a book. It’s called Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. It’s slightly less than 100 pages dedicated to convincing you to…how do you say…do the work!
Seth Godin seems to be leading the new revolution in marketing and creative productivity in business and life, so of course he is the reference in this book. Pressfield borrows (steals?) two of Godin’s concepts to build this book: shipping and resistance.
i’ve already discussed these concepts on here, but suffice it to say shipping is completing a venture, while resistance is all the internal obstacles that stand in your way (insecurity, self-doubt, bronchitis) and keep you from doing the actual work.
One particularly useful concept in the books is breaking down any task into three parts: a beginning, middle, and end. The trick, of course, is to start at the end and work your way backwards.
Ingenuity at its finest!
Now, if you didn’t catch the not-so-sly reference above, i been on this, kiiiid. What Pressfield has managed to do is present an easy-to-read manual on everything you already know in a package that makes you feel good about yourself. For real. The book is 7.5 x 5.5 with a font size of “big ass.” You see a book like this and feel a rumble in your loins like, “yo, i’ll merk that thing in a day.”
But then you get it and you read it and you’re like, “i just wasted a day.”
What i’m saying is if you’ve read any of the hundreds of thousands of books on marketing, business management, or whatever else on the “featured” stands at Barnes & Noble, you’ve read Do the Work.
This, of course, is what Pressfield says: research is also resistance. We can read, read, read, and then read some more. Reading is not doing the work. It’s like setting the table, but not cooking the food. (that just came to me!)
More than three books i’ve read have suggested no more than three books on any given subject.
So, for my birthday this year, no gift certificates to B&N or Amazon, please. i’d much rather have one to Guitar Center.
Oh, and i must mention that if you ever feel a rumble in your loins, you might want to consider consulting your physician.
So what do you think? Why do we find so many reasons to put the real work off? How many times have you sat down to work on your computer, but paused like “i should clean my desktop first”? How do you overcome it?