The Subtle Art of Getting Jack-Shit Done

By Seamus Anthony

By Seamus Anthony

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you start out with a really punchy list of awesome things that are going to get done and then it all goes pear-shaped?

Well, I am in the middle one right now and it’s been a darn good litmus tester for all the Zen waffle I spout, let me tell you…

Entrepreneurial Action Stations – Go! Go! Go!

The week started out looking like it was going to be a corker, I had two articles coming out, one about The Way of Retreat over at the Change Blog and another about meditation over at Pick The Brain. Next in line was the release of a new e-book here at Rebel Zen, not the Curly’s Law one featured up top right (you should grab that now if you haven’t already), but one on Meditation (with a twist).

Then we (as in Steve, my business partner and I) were planning to finally launch PeoplePages for our client LivingNow. Only Steve has been struggling through great swathes of jungle-like code (or whatever that impenetrable babbling is behind the scenes here at the Internet-show) which incidentally is why he hasn’t written for this blog for a while.

On top of that we have another very exciting project we are about to launch (It’s hush for now but not for long) and I am getting back out there and resuming playing my songs live again tonight.

Enter the Tradesmen…

Just to add a bit of extra spice to the mix, we begin renovating our house this week. Anybody who’s been through that before might already be able to guess where all of this is heading.

So that we may be fabulous this Australian summer, we are getting a lovely deck added out front, which requires rewiring the house first and running the main cable under ground.

The electrician assured me it would be far cheaper to call in a specialist digger to dig the trench. So I do so, and in he comes with his mean looking machine and I tell him exactly where we need the trench dug and go in to get back to work.

After twenty minutes of pretty much failing to get anything significant done due to the racket, I notice the internet has stopped working so I figure it’s just having a moment and decide to get up and see how the great trenching expedition is faring.

Not too well by the worried looked furrowing the digger’s brow as he stares at the ground, mumbling to himself.

As I am walking over to see what’s up, I notice that the straight trench I asked for has turned into a kind of a Z pattern: straight across my drive, then down one side of it, then across the outside of the front fence line.

As I walk up I see he is holding up a length of severed wiring about two inches thick.

“I guess that’s why my internet isn’t working then”, I venture, genius that I am.

Why he went around the front of the fence line I never figured out, why he didn’t just do as asked I never figured out. But I pretty quickly figured out that it was going to be my job to spend half a day on the phone to the main telephone infrastructure provider over here in Australia trying to get them to get it fixed.

It took several hours for a telco-man to rock up, look at the issue, (while the digger hid behind a tree, I might add), spend an hour on the phone talking about it with a large population sample of Melbourne, tell me we have taken out the whole street and then drive off, without any reassurance as to when somebody was going to fix it.

Business As Usual on The Eastern Front (Not!)

Meanwhile, the electrician rocked up, got into a barny with the digger, and made him re-dig the trench the way it was supposed to be done in the first place, which resulted in our driveway looking not unlike a scene out of Mel Gibson’s ‘Galippoli’.

I figure at least I can write some stuff up on Microsoft word, but then the digger tips his bulky great machine over on to its side, ten minutes after the electrician and his burly apprentice had left. The next hour and a half is spent helping him to get it upright again.

Fast forward three days, mostly spent dealing with more shenanigans of this sort, and generally keeping everybody onside in the way that trades and service men like (if you want to get anything like a good job done). This means spending many precious moments listening to their (mostly disparaging) opinions on everything from tradesmen of other varieties to “all that computer stuff”. Oh, and making coffee.

(By the way, rigorous testing on my behalf has revealed that ALL tradies without exception have theirs “white with two”. Unfortunately it wasn’t until this morning that I realised that if you run out of cow’s milk and offer soy instead, they will all decline enthusiastically. Our household no longer stocks dairy, apparently it’s bad for you.)

… and no internet until this morning.

Ground Yourself in a Sense of the Greater Perspective

Now it would be a lie to say that I spent these last three days stomping around in a terrible mood due to the frustration of it all, after all, I don’t do all this personal development jazz for nothing.

It would also be a lie to say that I didn’t have a knot in my stomach that was becoming increasingly bothersome. “Just so much to do and so little getting done!” I felt like screaming as tradesman after tradesman rocked up at random and proceeded to waste half an hour of my time over nothing much. But I didn’t scream, I took some extra time with my little bubs, and did some meditative-breathing-in-action while contemplating the frolicsome sounds of springtime whipper-snippers and swearing tradesmen.

If Nothing On Your To-Do List Gets Done, Does It Really Matter?

When I finally logged on again today at home without the imposed rush of the interim library computer session I realised that yesterday was world Blog Action Day (or something like that) and the topic was Poverty.

This made me feel glad that I didn’t let all my little frustrations and dramas get to me too much, and that I managed to keep a sense of greater perspective about it all. It’s important to keep it real because, with the exception of those who experience major life-tragedies, the kinds of trials that all of us (whether we are working, middle or upper class) go through are Mickey Mouse compared to those suffering the plight of poverty, war and injustice.

And anyway, I am back online now and we are looking forward to releasing our new e-book early next week. Please opt-in below for your free updates by RSS or email or join our mailing list (and get another e-book free) so we can let you know when it’s ready.

Hi, I'm Seamus Anthony. I am an author, artist and musician from Australia. Here at Rebel Zen, I document my journey as an creative artist and human and in doing so, hopefully help you in your own progress through your life of creativity. Go get your free E-book by me: "Taming The Monkey Mind".

7 comments Write a comment

  1. Actually, if there is no reason not to, I will happily crack a fruity at a great volume but experience has shown that it is no good acting the pork chop when you need others to get stuff done for you, and of course it’s also no good in front of the little ‘uns!

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