This is Called “Situational Perfectionism”

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Situational perfectionism is when something happens that causes your perfectionism to spike. Examples include: *You’ve invested in your writing or other dream – say, by taking a class or buying a piece of equipment – and think, “Now, I’d better make that pay off.” *You’ve just finished a workshop or class, and are feeling all, […]

Three Great Success Tips from Ted Behr

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My friend Ted Behr went to a success workshop and came back with three great tips.

Click to read his article.

Coping with Harsh Criticism

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My friend and former student Kirstin Butler wrote a fantastic post on coping with traumatic rejection. I won’t go into a ton of detail about the feedback itself, because I know it was well-intentioned. But it also contained a few comments — I believe the exact phrase was “total rewrite situation” — that hit me […]

“Scope Creep” will Poison Your Projects!

“Scope creep is poisonous,” a client of mine recently said after finally finishing an academic paper he had been procrastinating on for more than three years. He had a full spaghetti snarl of reasons for not getting it done–and remember, our reasons for procrastinating are always valid–but after he worked through them and started to […]

Seth Godin’s Icarus Sessions A Great Idea – and Coming to Your Town

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It’s so important that you be able to stand up and say, “This is who I am and this is what is important to me, and here’s why it is important.” If you don’t you remain ashamed and isolated, which feeds procrastination. Uber marketing guru Seth Godin knows all this and is organizing a global […]

Register Now for January Classes (Boston and Online)

New Englanders! Register Now for my winter Grub Street Writers classes! 1) How to Write a Lot, 6 Tuesdays, 10:30a – 1:30b, starting Jan 8 2) The Time of Your Life, Sat Jan 26, 10:30a – 6:30p Everyone! Register now for my next online class! The 7 Secrets of the Prolific, 4 weeks beginning Monday […]

Special Offer: Donate $1+ to Rolling Jubilee, Get Free Books!

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Rolling Jubilee is the wonderful new program from Occupy Wall Street that purchases and retires distressed consumer debt: Rolling Jubilee is a…project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. […]

Four Things Your College Career Center Got Dead Wrong

Over the years, I’ve helped many new graduates look for work; and one of the things I’ve learned is that a lot of the advice dispensed by college career centers is flawed. Below are four of the most common errors I see: three having to do with resumes (easily correctable), the fourth having to do […]

More on Millennials

Got a great response to my last blog post defending millennials (who should need no defense). Colorado-based writer Teresa Funke, author of the Home Front Heroes series of kids’ books about World War II—which would make a great holiday present for any book-loving kid you know (hint, hint)—wrote a particularly stirring reply and gave me […]

David Foster Wallace on Time Management

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From a graduation speech he gave at Kenyon College in 2005: Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that…”Learning how to think” really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to […]

Are Millennials Spoiled?

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In my workshops I teach the benefits of an antiperfectionist viewpoint: one that is compassionate, empathetic, nonjudgmental of yourself and others, etc. Yesterday, a 20-something participant raised the question of whether her and her generation had been too indulged (and thus weakened and infantalized) by excessive praise and other support from parents and others. The […]

How To Be An Effective Decision-Maker

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I was recently interviewed by Entrepreneur.com for an article on decision making. The writer’s questions were excellent and thought provoking, and I wanted to share my answers with you. Best, Hillary Q: For leaders you’ve encountered or researched, how have you noticed that decision-making tends to get in the way of productivity? Can you give some specific […]

Six Motivational Tools to Jumpstart Your Work Year

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Dear Friends, Fall, and the beginning of the work/school year, is probably my favorite time of year. So much excitement and potential. As usual, my beginning-of-fall post outlines resources I offer that can help you get off to a running start. Please see below. Also, I’m well along the way in my new book, How […]

If No One Falls Over, We’re Having a Great Class!

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One of my recent newsletters discussed a misguided essay (and now, regrettably, book) by a prominent philosophy professor on his notion of “constructive procrastination. I’m happy now to refer you to this essay, I’m With Stupid, by a writer who is not, to my knowledge, a prominent professor, but who nevertheless has figured out a […]

No Such Thing as “Good Procrastination”

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The Wall Street Journal recently published an article extolling the benefits of what the author calls “structured procrastination.” In “How to Be a Better Procrastinator” John Perry, an emeritus professor of philosophy at Stanford University, says: “But are procrastinators truly unproductive? In most cases, the exact opposite is true. They are people who not only […]