Welcome to the 19th issue of Inward Ventures, my weekly share of what I’m working on and fiddling around with. I share thoughts and ideas I come across in my continuing quest for self-improvement, productivity, and education for myself and my coaching clients. I strive to excel in my writing, creativity, and, well… LIFE. Thanks for being here. Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks.
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do (something) with little effort or care.
"they half-assed the redesign."
done with little effort or care.
"he did a half-ass job."
Yes, I’m gonna tell you to start half-assing things.
I know, I know, hear me out! This’ll be a 5 min read, and as is my wish for my readers, a 5 minute think, followed by 5 minutes of A.C.T.I.O.N.
I feel like I always have to insert the usual THIS OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT APPLY if you’re prepping a patient for surgery, staring down your first time at a double black diamond ski trail, or have a million-dollar contract on the table at work. C’mon, you KNOW what I’m referring to.
I’m talking (tawkin’) about THOSE things. We all have THOSE things in our lives, y’know the ones that hover around us, that we know we should do, heck, we WANT to do many of them!
What stops us? We don’t think we have that precious resource to get started, time. We don’t have an hour to make that phone call or take that yoga class. You don’t have 30 minutes to walk the dog, or 2 hours to clean the house, or a free weekend to start that DIY project. We don't think we have enough time.
I’m calling BS on that incomplete sentence. We don’t think we have enough time to do it perfectly. Amirite?
While I’m better with this now, I struggled in the past, and at times, I still do. I have to gently remind myself that most things* don’t have to be done perfectly; they just have to be done.
I don’t have to have a perfect workout; I can half-ass it. And of course, I’m going to use a workout analogy; c’mon, this is me!
If I don’t have an hour, twenty minutes will do.
If equipment isn’t available, I can skip or substitute it
If my effort isn’t what I’d like it to be, so what? Maybe I didn’t sleep well, or I’m coming down with something. 🤷♀️
If I forgot my Garmin watch (headphones etc.) and now I can’t track my steps or heart rate, listen to music, etc., Toughen up, buttercup! Pretend it’s the 70s when savages like my dad would run for HOURS without music or trackers. He didn’t even wear a hat; he wore a sweatband! #gross He ran in silence and tracked mileage using his car’s odometer. #beastmode 💪🏼
What that all boils down to is: SO WHAT. A half-assed workout is still better than NO workout.
-- minutes is better than zero minutes
How many calls have I put off because I think I don’t have the time? I still fall into this trap. I don’t have an hour to catch up with Sharon, so I’ll NOT call her. As I type that, it sounds so silly and see-through.
Just call. A 10-minute phone call is better than NO phone call.
My paint by numbers experiment was a huge success for this reason.
I didn’t create a huge barrier with getting started. It was inexpensive, didn’t require classes, or buying lots of intimidating supplies. I made this for the whopping investment of $9.99 (and 6 weeks of short but consistent bouts of painting.)
Full disclosure, as I went along enjoying the process more and more, I did put more time and money into it, buying better quality brushes, a book, and watching videos on technique with acrylics. I’m in love and officially have a new hobby.
This isn’t huge for me, but it’s a common one out there: no time to cook/ prepare food. Whoops, I meant a perfect meal. There’s that word again!
I gave this up years ago. No more one-at-a-time individual meals. I make batches of veggies and protein in big batches and have leftovers for 3 days and then repeat.
Do I LOVE a good meal that’s been made fresh and not reheated? Of course! I realized, though, that for me cooking was often a giant, sometimes overwhelming time-suck, a pain-in-the-can, frankly. In exchange for half-assing dinner (by defaulting to perpetual leftovers), I ended up with more time out of the kitchen and fewer dishes to clean. Less cleaning? I’m sold!
Maybe half-assing food for you means ordering meal prep kits or buying pre-cut or steamable veggies or pre-cooked proteins. Who cares? Maybe it’s an entire meal service with portioned meals for a week. So what? It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be done. *This is not a free pass for daily pizza or McDonalds, wiseguy.*
So, where can you half-ass a project or situation in your life?
At work? A big project you’re dreading, and you only have 15 min? Perfect. Establish a new password, gather necessary documents, set up your Asana or Trello board. Just get started. 15 minutes is better than … you get it.
Applying to grad school? Chunk it down; what are the steps? Take 15 minutes and start locating programs. Just find them, don’t dig deeper. Remember, you’re half-assing it. Just pull up IDK, let’s say, 10-12 programs.
Later take another 15 minutes and start going through the programs. Start weeding out what you know you don’t want. Don’t look for the perfect program (or doctor, a new car, job posting, or book topic to write about). This a half-assed attempt!
Next 15 minutes, put in another consistent, focused bout of work. 15 minutes is long enough. But, but, but… it’s gonna take forever to write my book/find a job/apply to grad school this way!
That is the sound of me taking the air outta your Excuse Balloon.
I mean, you’ve been putting it off for how long already? What’s another week, or 3, or even a year to get this done? This is how I’ve made much progress on my book, a little bit every day.
PRAS - A modern disease
What can you do in 5 min? How about this colossal PITA: Reset a password.
Do you know how many times I have put off doing certain things, like logging into my health insurance account, because I dreaded knowing I would have to go through the onerous “Forgot Your Password?” garbage? More times than I would like to admit! I have Password Reset Avoidance Syndrome. I just made that up, but it’s a true #firstworldproblem
The solution is: accept you’re going to do a half-ass job, and all you’re going to get done is the password reset. Not doing the project or finding the doctor or paying the bill or making the stained glass, or writing the chapter. Just reset the password:
pull out your craft supplies from storage; that’s all
organize the wires/cables, no more
find the websites, email contacts you need, write the email later
locate the missing document, file it later
You might find momentum and make more progress than that. If so, cool! If not, that’s cool too. You did the hard part, the prep; going back will be easier now.
This leads me to the wrap-up.
Start half-assed, finish strong.
THIS IS KEY. When you’re finished, set yourself up for success by making your next experience easier.
Post-workout: I rinse my shaker bottle, put it in the drain, place my HR strap and workout notebook (yes, I am old) in my gym bag for next time.
Painting: I rinse my brushes, lay them out to dry, line them up for next time with my paints, make sure all lids and caps are set.
Book: I save the docs, do a word count, text accountability partners with word count and streak, organize my papers on the desk with the outline and chapter breakdown.
Password Reset: WRITE DOWN new password LOL
Start half-assed, finish strong. You can do it! 💪🏼
It’s a new mantra, a new acronym! #shafs
Let’s do it, babycakes 💯
Whatcha got for me? Please email me or comment below; I’ll gladly respond in more detail. As always, I promise I will do whatever I can to be there for you and to support you. HIT.ME.UP. I mean it! 🙌
Need an accountability partner? Writing (or working out or WHATEVER?) lemme know 😍 I trade daily word counts; it’s quick, fun, and motivating, I promise!
Thanks for sharing and forwarding my posts and emailing me questions and little wins ~ you guys are the best! Keep the mail comin’!