What Muhammad Ali Can Teach You About Getting More Work Done

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” That famous quote from Muhammad Ali really does captures the spirit and essence of productive, joyful work. Let's break it down: 1) “Float like a butterfly.” You move lightly and freely around and through your work until you see an aspect of it that inspires you. (Inspiration = an easy opportunity to do a bit of writing, editing, outlining, planning, telephoning, or other work.) And then you: 2) “Sting like a bee.” Go right for it; do the work as much and as well as you are able. And do it with assertiveness and gusto. But once you've done your best, don't push it! You never see insects “push it.” Instead, when they think they are done stinging in one place, they go out and float again until they find the next opportunity to sting. You also never hear butterflies and bees say self-critical things like, “Damn! That sting wasn't all it could have been.” Or, “Why couldn't I have gotten more pollen out of that flower?” Or, “Wow, I really do suck as a … [Read more...]