DISCLAIMER: STRONG FUCKING LANGUAGE
There are certain things that we do in our daily lives that restrict our creativity. Well, to be more specific, we waste our creativity.
So what do I mean? Well, everyday we refill our creative tanks, or what is better known as mental energy. Some of us can study for 5 hours, others can only study for 1. The point is that we all have a limit, we all know this, but we forget a second part to the story. We do not expend our creative energy whenever we are doing something we deem productive.
Instead, we expend it whenever we have to stop and think about what we should do. We waste our creative energy on deciding what we should eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We waste it on thinking what we should wear, what shoes to wear, and what colors match our eyes. We waste our creative energy whenever we go out of routine, whenever we are undisciplined.
Like the famous Navy Seal, Jocko Willink, once said, “Discipline equals freedom”. So one quick get away from this post, would be to routinize as many parts of your life as possible to save your creative energy for what is truly important. But this post is titled, “Say No! to almost everything ; )”, so I think I still have more to talk about. One more routine to share. One more discipline to instill. And I’m sure by now, you guys know what I am talking about.
The Art of saying No
More specifically, saying no to what is unimportant so you can focus on what is truly important. Too many of us agree to doing things that we do not really want to do, or need to do, and we waste our time and energy thinking up excuses to release us from our self-imposed societal prisons called obligations. We say yes to drinks to co-workers we don’t particularly like, we agree to stay behind and help someone with a task that they are fully capable of doing. We agree to projects that are unnecessarily difficult, time consuming, and mundane. We have to learn to say no to what is not needed in our lives, for the sake of our sanity and creativity.
A quick way to fix this problem is called the “fuck yeah” principal. I forgot where I learned this, probably from the Tim Ferriss Podcast, but it is a great mechanism for sorting out your life. Here’s the equation;
If you are approached with a proposition, and the answer in your head is not “Fuck Yeah I want to do that!”, then say no.
Now this guards against mainly two things.
- Things you don’t want to do.
- Things you kind of want to do.
What happens to the things that you kind of want to do, the things that sound fun in the moment? Once the date you agreed to meet approaches, you start to dread ever making that decision in the first place. This protects you from that. The “Fuck Yeah!” principal protects your time so you can protect your creativity, and work on the things that you want/need to work on.