A little while ago I wrote a short essay to myself to stop doing things I hate. Then a few days ago a friend gave me a copy of his almost-ready-to-send-to-the-publisher book (print book) and part of it was on this topic. It spurred me to revisit my words and turn it into an article.
How much of your routine do you absolutely hate with every fiber of your being?
My least favorite part of writing here (actually, the only thing I dislike) has always been finding images for my articles.
I hate the whole process.
I hate thinking about the photo. I hate searching for the photo. I hate uploading the photo. I hate linking to the photo.
How To Lose $19,500
Dealing with photos for this blog is a seemingly simple action, but it would sometimes take me upwards of 30 minutes to complete the process. 30 minutes x 3 times per week x 52 times per year = 78 hours. It's a completely inane task that costs me $19,500 in lost productivity (based on $250/hour) every year. I'd have to be clinically insane to pay $19,500 for something I hate.
Interesting things come to light when you put an actual dollar amount on your time, don't you think?
Recently I was reading ZenHabits (Leo removed photos last year) and I thought to myself, "What would happen if I stopped using photos in my articles? So what if almost everybody else uses them on their blogs? Is it necessary?"
Do you know what has happened since I stopped wasting time on photos?
Did you guess nothing?
Nothing has changed, things are going well.
Even more than that, what I definitely feel by not posting images is relief. A sense of happiness when I've finished an article instead of a feeling of "ugh, now I gotta find a photo for this."
Sometimes I have a strong vision for a photo that I'd like to include in the article. In those instances I can usually find that photo in a couple minutes and I'm happy to do it. But you'll see that, for the most part, there haven't been images on this blog for a while.
Why is it that we let ourselves get stuck in these situations that don't have a positive impact in our lives?
What are you currently doing that you hate doing?
Or where are you following the crowd just because you "have" to even though you don't actually want to? Do you really have to continue doing it or have you just brainwashed yourself into believing that?
- Do you really have to answer every comment / tweet / e-mail / facebook message?
- Do you really have to "connect" with people on Twitter?
- Do you really have to do your laundry?
- Do you really have to drink to have a good time even though you feel like shit afterwards?
- Do you really have to choose the "safe" (although not safe at all) path of University > 40 year job > 20 year retirement > death?
- Do you really have to wash your hair with shampoo?
- Do you really have to pop pills and waste money to deal with allergies?
- Do you really have to post to your blog on a set schedule?
- Do you really have to write long articles even though you enjoy concise thoughts?
- Do you really have to make breakfast every morning?
You never have to do anything you hate doing.
You can always find somebody else who will be happy to do whatever you hate. Or you might find that you don't need anybody to do what you hate. It might not need to be done at all!
Does this mean you'll be perfect and never do anything you hate? No way. I do a lot of things I hate.
Sometimes it's because I can't find someone to do it in the time frame it needs to be done. Sometimes it's because it's 4am and I want it done right away. Sometimes it's because I want to get a better grasp of how something works and I know I'll only have to hate it one time.
But now when I have a feeling of "I hate this" I mindfully step back and ask myself: "Does this need to be done? If yes, who can do it for me or how can I love it?"
What part of your routine do you hate doing? Are you going to quit being a fucking wuss and stop that?