I can’t get in the mood to do my work if I don’t have my special things

Domestic Oil


The Context

It’s essential to know what we like, how we work and where we thrive. But there’s definitely something to be said about training ourselves not to have such rigid preferences about everything. To be agnostic and flexible about the details of our process. Things like time, form, location, duration, intensity, outcome, platform, company, environment and mood, these are all expectations with which we burden and complicate our ability to thrive. Nothing against ritual. People should do whatever works for them. But at what point are we using our preferences as crutches? Are we giving ourselves excuses and back doors and easy outs to not do things, just because they’re not perfectly tailored to our exact specifications.

The Tool

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Domestic Oil

DOMESTIC OIL — Reducing your dependency on optimal and external creative circumstances to thrive

Hughes, the legendary director, producer, and screenwriter whose eighties and nineties movies defined a generation, once said that good writers can write anywhere at any time. Certainly, most writers would probably produce better work if they could write under optimal circumstances and could control every single aspect of their surroundings. But unfortunately, life pays zero attention to what we require for it to be successful. And we can’t rely solely on externally driven motivators to get things done. Those things are nice, but unpredictable. Our locus of control must come from within. Otherwise, out of our addiction to perfection, we will talk ourselves out of doing the things we need to do. We must be flexible as the rubber man in a carnival sideshow.

Scott's Take

Scott's Take

I'm perplexed by the people who can only work out first in the morning at the gym, otherwise they’ll never do it. Or the people who can only write at nighttime in their favorite leather chair with the television on, otherwise they’ll never get it done. Or the people who can’t hold a conversation with any coworkers until they’ve had their precious three cups of coffee. That's too much dependence on foreign oil. Not good for your personal economy.

The Rest

Learn to become less superstitious and more agnostic in your process. Practice doing things in the pockets of time that others normally discard. And remember that just because you travel out of town or forgot to pack sneakers or don’t have wifi access, doesn’t mean your productivity should come to a halt. How are you learning to reduce your dependence on foreign oil?

The Benefits

Become less superstitious, more agnostic in your process
Grow more flexible and less rigid with your preferences
Simplify and raise your ability to thrive in any work environment
Strengthen your internal locus of motivation without making excuses

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