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Entrepreneurs have many many many many many many many thoughts in their heads – all at once.
The strategic, tactical, hopes and visions (in all their splendor – in color, no less!), fears and terrors, immediate problems to solve, long term opportunities to grab, conversations to have, networking to do – everything you do is a front for the ten others you could have, instead. You could wish for 48 hours in a day, but you’d soon think of enough more to fall short of time even then.
My wife keeps reminding me to “slow down, relax, breathe. Nothing’s running away”.
And its true – nothing is indeed running away. In fact, when you’re thinking of too many things too much all at once :
You often mess up both the tactical, and the strategic
There’s so many experiments to run through to create features, A/B test them, try different marketing messages, plan your finances, hiring, and so much more. Your mind’s constantly “failing fast” and jumping to the next thing to try out, barely giving the last one enough attention, time or opportunity to work of fail decently. Half-hearted attempts abound in the graveyard of big ambition, and being too caught up is a very good way of getting there.
The strategic suffers too. Your attention span becomes shorter and shorter and holding a long term thought or idea in your cluttered head through its different phases, ups and downs is nigh on impossible.
You lose it with everyone else
Everyone’s too slow! Nobody’s driven enough. They obviously cannot think of the next idea at the pace at which those are occurring to you. They’re obviously not experiencing the same pain and agony that you are about all those little things that aren’t working. Everything needs ten times the time you think it should, to get done. If you had done it, it would get done so much better, so much sooner, and with so much more impact and results.
Its a lousy way to be if you’re at all dependent on building and growing a team of any size to scale your idea or business. Impatience with incompetence and lack of effort is fine, but there’s a fine line between that and impatience with lack of hyper-performance or the same levels of involvement as you have. And when your brain’s thinking of something all the time, it’s an easy trap to fall into.
You desire a lot, accomplish a little, and feel dissatisfied all the time
This is self explanatory 🙂
Hey, you became an entrepreneur to derive more satisfaction out of solving something that your previous job did not allow for, so enjoy those little victories, and even the battles. Setting up extreme levels of expectations and letting it get in the way of having fun doing what you’re doing just sucks.
You risk your health!
And sometimes, kills. You’re not getting younger. You’re probably exercising lesser than you should. You get breathless more often, sleep at odd hours – and badly at that, develop acidity, and back pain. The need to finish everything today overtakes your being, and the body and mind obviously suffer.
It’s NOT worth it. And it’s not necessary. The opposite of procrastination is not trying to finish it all at one go. Pace it well, keep aside time for the strategic and budget enough time for experiments to run their course. Take time off for slowing down, meditating, meeting people without expecting “productive outcomes”, and a vacation from time to time.
There are appropriate occasions for extra effort, speed at the cost of all else, but always is surely dissatisfied and bad one. Being realistic in your expectations of yourself, those around you will make it more possible, more fun and much more worth the whole effort.
Take it easy. Now breathe…..