Plans pass if they’re not scheduled

It’s amazing how much time can pass before I return to a process if I haven’t automated it.

For instance, I missed publishing yesterday. But it doesn’t even feel like. It feels like I just published.

Also, another example, I gave a speech the last Monday in August and hoped to give another September 19, which is tomorrow. I didn’t schedule it, though – I just hoped I’d have another prepared and then I’d be able to schedule it.

Well, I haven’t prepared the speech, so I’m not giving it tomorrow. I’ll have to wait at least another two weeks for a chance to present again.

But again, if I don’t schedule it now, like at tomorrow’s meeting, I bet I won’t give it in two weeks either.

That’s how time slips by. If the process isn’t planned and scheduled and set with reminders, it’s easy for two weeks, three weeks, a month, a year and a half, a decade to pass without returning to the process, sometimes without even starting the process.

Writing my memoir falls into that category.

Starting the podcast for falls into that category.

Adopting a child falls into that category.

There are many more.

The crucial skill I learned, forgot, and now have to relearn again (for the rest of my life)

“You gotta ship.”

That’s it. Even when you’re tired. Even when you’re empty. Even when it’s not that good (because even when it is that good, it still won’t necessarily feel like it).

I used to write and publish (ship) every day.

I fell out of practice.

If you look back through the archives, you’ll notice a ton of duds. Most of what I’ve published here falls into the forgotten category.

But if you look back over the empty holes where I haven’t published, 100% of that falls into the forgotten category.

What’s that quote from Jordan, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”?

Well, it’s true.


You gotta ship.

Or shoot.

Or publish.

Or whatever the word is in your context that means… get. it. out. there.

Idea Machine [EXPERIMENT] – Day 6

I’m toying with the idea of trying to schedule a speech to deliver at each meeting for the rest of the year. I have seven speeches left to complete my Competent Communicator series. There’s about seven meetings left for the year, one every two weeks. It would definitely be a challenge.

To informally prepare for it, before I commit to it, here are the next seven topics corresponding to the seven areas I’m supposed to focus on for each speech. And then of course I’ve got three extras in there as options in case I need them:

  1. How to say it: “For need of a nail.”
  2. My body speaks: “The end of boredom.” (start off lying on the floor – why is this not boring? Then juggling – why is this not boring at first but then is after a few minutes?)
  3. Vocal variety: “What I’m learning from interviewing”
  4. Research your topic: “How to not have a baby (even when you want to)”
  5. Visual aids: “Couch Surfing.” I don’t have a plan for this yet, but I’m sure I could come up with something on it once I dig into it.
  6. Persuade with power: “How to dry your hands.” But really it’s a head fake (Randy Pausch style) for being open to learning to improve even the most basic tasks. Particularly those in fact because those are the ones that when optimized, leverage the greatest impact.
  7. Inspire your audience: I’m not sure on this one, so here are a few options, encoded in titles that have a lot more behind them than I’ll share here for now:
    • “The Done List.” But focus on its important for being grateful, not on what’s actually on it.
    • “Do you have to have no arms or legs to be inspiring?”
    • “The standard of meaningfulness” (instead of excellence). If I don’t speak on this, I’ll write the blog post.
  8. Bonus topic #1: “Choosing a longer life.” Someone asked the question, “If you could live 100 extra years, would you?” Some people answered no. That seems so contrary to my gut reaction. Why would they choose that? But the more I thought of it, would I really want to live longer if I could choose to? Maybe the first, automatic “No” was the better response.
  9. Bonus topic #2: “Minimalism.”
  10. Bonus topic #3: “The Failed List.”

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