Stop distractions by willpower alone

I like to think I’m like you. I’m human (this is assuming you’re not a bot) and I enjoy news, gossip and meandering down rabbit holes, essentially the bulk of what the internet is. Every now and then though I realize the time I’ve wasted. This article is my attempt to convince myself and then through your exposure, convince you to, how to stop distractions by willpower alone.


The reason why willpower is the focus here is because it’s extremely easy to rely upon apps and imposed restrictions to temporarily cure your fix. Your willpower though, the much more adaptable beast, is the one you need to take the reins of. If I have an app which tracks your activity, initially it might make an impact, but you can always turn it off.

If you have a smart TV, the ease of moving over to YouTube or Twitter or the like continues on. Distractions will be everpresent. It’s you that needs to change.

The simplest way I can advise to kick this off is to tell yourself how much time you’re wasting. Following that, equate it with a goal that would fulfill you more.  “I’m spending an hour a day on social media/news websites/Youtube” – that becomes 7 hours a week. That’s a conservative estimate by the way. Nobody spends that little when indulging. It’s usually short bursts, but over the course of the day it could easily add up to two or three. Anyway, take that 7 hours per week and ponder what could be done with it. Could you get in shape? Could you start to learn a new language? Could you set it towards a creative or financial endeavour?

The power of habit intertwines very much with this, willpower is what starts your change, habit is what maintains it. If you enter a routine of repetition on anything, after enough time it becomes second nature.

I’ve become a big fan of Jocko Willink, a former navy seal who very much champions discipline. His famous quote, “Discipline equals freedom” couldn’t be more true. Once you actually have the factors in your life that you want controlled under control you can head clearly in the direction you wish to with the other hours in the day you have available. We all have the same time, it’s how you choose to use them. So stop distractions by willpower alone, you have the strength to. You have the strength to choose.


There are good ideas and bad ideas. Not every idea

why fight?

“Show them how tough you are. Speak calmly and quietly because you're strong.”

don't be a victim of circumstance

The seasons of our life song

STEVE: What's the time?
Robbie looks at his watch.

ROBBIE: Five ten. Why?
STEVE: No. Look again.
He looks again.
ROBBIE: Yeah it is.
STEVE: No. Look again.
ROBBIE: What? I just did. What time is it then? You have a watch.
Steve looks at his watch.
STEVE: Ah, see, that's it. [beat] It's time for you to fuck off!
ROBBIE: You fuckin' bastard, haha.
STEVE: I think this is the first time in ages I've actually been in a happy mood.
ROBBIE: Haha, and you're not even drinkin' a real drink! How long has it been?
STEVE: Um... About five and a half years.
ROBBIE: Shit. Why'd you stop again?
STEVE: I think you know why. I don't think a drunk man can do what I do.
ROBBIE: Haha. Yeah, good point.
Robbie takes a sip of his drink.
ROBBIE: Why don't you have a few tonight with me?
STEVE: I'm takin' it today ain't my birthday?
ROBBIE: You're takin' it right. I know you done Joe's thing, and I ain't got nothin' for ya. So why not? A few ain't gonna make ya an alky. Fuck, you never was. So just have a little fun like old times.
STEVE: [smiling] You're a fuckin' prick, haha.
ROBBIE: What was that?
Robbie turns his head and cups his ear aiming towards Steve. Steve leans toward Robbie.
STEVE: [carefully articulating] I said, "You are a fucking prick."
ROBBIE: [leaning back] Oh, you need a drink?
Robbie waves to one of the Pub's Staff that's cleaning a table. As soon as she notices, she comes straight over wearing a tip hopeful ear to ear grin.
WAITRESS: What can I do you for?
ROBBIE: My friend here wants... No. [beat] My friend here NEEDS to get drunk. It's been way too 'effin long. So, what are we having first Steve?
STEVE: [rolling his eyes] Robbie.
ROBBIE: Two double G&Ts to begin with, love.
WAITRESS: You can order — [pointing to the bar] -- just over there...
ROBBIE: It’ll be worth your while, love.


Implementing and attempting means learning

You can make notes at length, but if you don’t action them, they seep into the background. Stay focused on actioning things you discover. Big difference between reading material and studying it. Need marketing and sales plans.

The idea that people forget whatever you owe on credit you’ll also have to pay tax on the interest and that whole dynamic

A “growth mindset.”

Enthusiasm for advice and learning “Innovators Dilemma” and “Getting To Yes”

Implementing and attempting means learning

“Crossing The Chasm”

“Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance”

“High Output Management” Andy Grove

“The Effective Executive”

“Poor Charlie’s Almanac”

There is a bad way of doing things, and thus far I’ve done that.

“Never underestimate your problem or your
ability to deal with it.”Robert Schuller

ELIZABETH: I’m usually here at 8:30AM. Damn. I’m going to have to be here then, I have a ton of paperwork to sift through by tomorrow night. Plus Richard and I apparently are going to some bullshit dinner party with only the “most respected, intellectual” professionals. [sigh] Basically, I’m preparing for yet another boring night being ignored.
CAROLINE (PHONE): Calm down Liz, we’ll have a great one tonight. [beat] Okay, so you want to start early then? Happy hour is from five to six… how does that sound?
ELIZABETH: Great, meet me at my place at 3:45, okay?
CAROLINE (PHONE): See ya then.
Caroline hangs up then Elizabeth does too.
Steve puts away a recently dry-cleaned suit in his wardrobe then leaves.
Steve enters the traditional looking Celtic pub, except it’s playing contemporary music. It’s extremely full.
He searches for Robbie. Robbie is sitting off in a far corner and noticing Steve, waves. It takes him a few seconds, but Steve notices the wave and joins Robbie at the corner table.
STEVE: [taking off his overcoat and jacket] Alright Robbie? Fuckin’ hot in here isn’t it?
ROBBIE: [smiling] Haha, yeah Steve, fuckin’ hot.
Robbie points to a buxom blonde WAITRESS working furiously, Steve acknowledges her.
STEVE: Know what time it is Robbie?


Your inbox should be empty.

In this day and age your inbox should be empty. Fully. Tackle this as they come and use filters to put less important marketing correspondence or advertising elsewhere. You want to be on top of things, employ an empty inbox aim.

Your inbox should be empty. Not just because it means you’re ultra productive and have gotten everything out of the way, but because it’s psychologically beneficial. Those emails you intend to tackle, even with (if you use Gmail) Gmail’s starring and highlighting system, ultimately remain there indefinitely. Your intentions are good, but it’s whether you action things rather than simply plan to.

Your inbox should be empty.

Tandem convos accelerated learning

He opens the fridge, takes out a two-litre carton of single cream, and submerges the cereal. Steve leaves the box and “milk” out and takes his breakfast towards the television, then sits with it upon his armchair.
Steve empties the last of the cereal into his bowl and opens another carton of single cream to cover it. He then sits back down in his armchair with his bowl and continues watching the news.
Dressed in a very old workout t-shirt and jogging bottoms, Steve sits inside his personal flex gym. The all-in-one gym is situated in the centre of the room above a black mat. Across from the gym is a television fixed to the ceiling corner. Steve begins his workout doing simulated bench presses.
Almost fully dressed in an Armani suit, Steve fixes his plain black silk tie in the mirror. He has no distinct facial expression, but seems focused.
Steve picks up the bag with his suit in and grabs his wallet from the floor. He then turns and walks out.


Know thyself to control thyself

Know thyself to control thyself

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure
are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” Dale Carnegie

Cooking more to relax – hugely relaxing!

Steve enters the dry-cleaning shop through a glass door. The shop is various shades of yellow and has a lengthy counter separating the customers from the staff.
Heading straight towards the counter, Steve pats down a bell situated next to an old cash register.
A middle aged ASIAN MAN emerges from the back of the shop. He’s 4’9, beginning to lose his wispy black hair and talks with a strong Chinese accent.
ASIAN MAN: [smiling] Hi, how can I help you?
Steve stares at the dry-cleaned clothes in the back, deliberately avoiding eye contact with the shopkeeper.
STEVE: I want these dry-cleaned.
The shopkeeper turns to see what Steve’s staring at then turns back to reply.
ASIAN MAN: No problem. Can I get your details?
STEVE: Just give me a stub. I don’t like givin’ details. I’ll pay up front.
ASIAN MAN: [confused)] Okay. When you want it by?
STEVE: How much for this afternoon?
ASIAN MAN: [meekly] Fifteen pounds.
Steve fumbles around his hand in his pocket and pulls out a FIFTY POUND note.
STEVE: [still not making eye contact] I’ll give ya twenty-five if

Know thyself to control thyself

Nobody cares about you until they do, right now people don’t stay in touch or worry apart from your immediate family. Now is the time to seize and build


Getting your crowd and those one thousand true fans

Getting your crowd and those one thousand true fans… You’ll literally come across more articles on this subject than people with enough supporters and followers to make the subject real. I’m just another champion of it. The suggestions I’ll give are for what has worked for me.

“Courage is grace under pressure.” Ernest Hemingway

“The main thing is the main thing to keep the main thing”

Doubt kills

Pavlov’s count.

If you build it they will come

Don’t waver on the quality of what you create. Be proud of it. If it’s digital you can constantly refine it until it reaches a point that it is actually finished. A lot of people insist you simply walk away from a piece when you’re satisfied. I agree, to a degree. The written word in the digital space is something that can be ever evolving, it can have grammatical revisions, words removed for optimal clarity and endless other options. The point I’m rambling away from is be proud of whatever you do. That’ll breathe a sense of quality into your work and those that respond to it will in turn theoretically support it.

Don’t put things out in a rush. Work towards a deadline but make that deadline realistic to encompass any thoughts on refining and improving. Rushing anything can result in something sloppy and nobody returns for something sub par. The first impression matters. Make it count.

I do not apologize for my art.

Steve walks through the purple mood lit bar between many tables before reaching the booths at the back. The booths feature very cushioned seating and lone candles in the centre of the tables beside funkily designed menus.
He continues past two booths until he sees his “agent,” ROBBIE (Italian, well built, wearing a dark blue Versace suit). Robbie has a rum and coke sitting in front of him and a glass of Pepsi behind that, waiting for Steve.
STEVE: [looking directly into Robbie’s face] Alright Robbie?
Steve sits down opposite him.
ROBBIE: Alright Steve?
Steve takes a gulp of his Pepsi then places it back down upon its coaster.
STEVE: [enthusiastically] So, what’s new?
ROBBIE: Not much. Well done last night… No press. Well done. Not much goin’ on though.
STEVE: Ah well. That’s fine.
Steve downs the rest of his Pepsi.
STEVE: I’ll see you Thursday at Witherspoon.
ROBBIE: [sighs] Okay Steve, see ya later.


You’re doing podcasts wrong.

Over the past ten plus years podcasts have grown from a nerdy niche to a fantastic normal way of receiving entertainment, news and advice. But you, my strange acquaintance, you’re doing podcasts wrong.

Bulk story – you’re meant to (with anything in life) put something into practice and implement rather than gorge on more and more information until it overwhelms you in piles of lists or digital file folders filled with disorganized documents.

you get me it by four.
ASIAN MAN: [smiling] Sure! No problem.
Steve hands the cash over to the shopkeeper, takes the change, turns and leaves.
Richard sits alone in his office. Every wall is covered with books, neatly organized in bookcases. He sits at his desk scribbling upon a pad of paper while glancing at a thick, opened book.
Suddenly he stops writing, places down his pen and stares at a photo of Elizabeth on his desk for a few seconds, overcome by an ear to ear smile.
Steve walks confidently down the street. The sky is a beautiful orange shade as the sun is setting. Steve passes a variety of bars with loud music spilling out of them. As he walks, his size encourages other people to move out of the way to allow him a clear path.
He continues walking until he reaches the pink neon sign of a bar named “Enigma.” The bar is covered by tinted windows, and only the neon sign indicates that it may something worth checking out.
Steve opens the door and enters.


Change your methods, change your life.

If your methods in life and handling things have been ineffective, they’re either wrong or you’re doing them incorrectly. You have to find ways to change that. Habits are ingrained and can be altered. The main idea is for you to be in control of yourself in order for that to be altered and that is actually easier to implement than you think, you’ve just not taken the time to refine it.

Finding ways to “change yourself”

RICHARD: Aren’t you going to ask about mine?
Elizabeth rolls her eyes.

Richard, puzzled, sits.
RICHARD: Is there something the matter?
Elizabeth remains silent and sets the cutlery down on the table before serving the food and joining Richard.
ELIZABETH: Nothing’s the matter Richard.
RICHARD: If there is, talking about it will help…
ELIZABETH: Yes. I know. Nothing’s wrong.
Richard smiles, hastily taking a mouthful of spaghetti.
Wearing almost an entire suit (minus a jacket), Steve picks up his briefcase from inside his wardrobe and opens it. A thick, large paper bag covers the bottom of the case.
Steve grabs an oversized pair of shoes, a 500ml bottle of the Isopropanol alcohol and the chosen photo of Michael, which he looks at briefly before adding them into the briefcase.
He places some matches into his pocket and puts on a pair of leather gloves, before finally putting on a black suit jacket and an overcoat. He then leaves.
Steve stands inside a doorway, invisible to the street. Opposite from where he stands is a theatre. Two SECURITY GUARDS populate the entrance and the vending booth is closed, though the lobby is well lit. A play is almost over.
Michael emerges coming through the lobby, noticeably drunk. He stumbles into a Security Guard and smiles as he’s caught.


How to change your perspectives and then your life

Steve chooses the clearest photo and puts that on the floor beside him.
He glances through the notes again, places them back inside the box along with the photos and seals the box.
Steve heads into his room then re-emerges with a small 200ml bottle of Isopropanol rubbing alcohol. He puts his overcoat on, slides the bottle into his left pocket, grabs the box and leaves.
The bus is very crowded. Steve stands beside the exit as the bus comes to a stop. Paying attention to those that have or have not seen him, he gets off and walks into a dark alleyway.
Steve heads deep into a dim side street, stopping to stand inside a miscellaneous doorway.
He places the box in a dry corner against bricked walls and carefully soaks the box in the rubbing alcohol. Steve pulls out a book of matches, strikes one and bends to place it upon the soaked box. As the box engulfs in flames, Steve throws in the remaining matches alongside their book.
He takes a few steps back and watches the box burn.
Steve kicks the ash left by the box, his foot glides through with ease. He then turns and heads out of the alley.
Elizabeth stirs spaghetti inside a moderately deep pot then stirs a smaller pot filled with a Bolognese sauce.
Richard enters the room, smiling.
RICHARD: How was your day, darling?
ELIZABETH: [dismissively] Fine.
Richard waits to be asked about his.


A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor

“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.” Proverb

Steve pours himself another bowl of health food cereal and drenches it in more single cream. He heads back to his armchair and watches an early morning chat show.
Steve briskly walks past a few sex shops and slowly enters the Blarney Stone pub. It’s green and gold design looks much like any other old Irish pub.
A BARMAN (plump, brown hair, thin outlined jaw beard) notices Steve.
BARMAN: [in an Irish accent] What can I gets ya?
Steve looks around the pub and doesn’t make any visual contact with the barman.
STEVE: Nothing, I’m meeting someone.
The barman nods and looks away.
Steve begins walking around the pub, peering inside booths.
JOE (5’4, thin Japanese male wearing a purple velour track suit) nods subtly to gain Steve’s attention.
Steve slides himself into Joe’s booth, behind a glass of Pepsi. Joe takes a sip of his previously untouched white wine.
STEVE: Alright Joe?
JOE: Alright Steve.
STEVE: [after taking a sip of his Pepsi] So, what’s new?
JOE: [smirking] The wife’s pregnant!
STEVE: Ah Joe, that’s great news!
Steve raises his Pepsi and clanks his glass off of Joe’s.
STEVE: Congrats!
JOE: Thanks Steve. Anyway, I brought you a little something.
Joe reaches into the corner of the booth and lifts up a gift-wrapped shirt and tie box.
JOE: Happy Birthday!
Joe smiles and places the box beside Steve.
STEVE: Anything I should know that isn’t there?
JOE: No, simple job. All self-explanatory.
Steve awkwardly smiles and downs the remains of his drink.
STEVE: Alright Joe. Congrats again! Friday though, the Vogue in Harrow. Alright?
JOE: See you then Steve.
Steve shoves the box into his left armpit and leaves.
Steve closes his front door and takes the gift-wrapped box from under his arm. He heads to his kitchen.
Steve places the box on the counter before removing his overcoat. He then rips off the wrapping paper and opens the box. Inside are ten pages of handwritten notes, two sets of photos and their negatives, as well as five stacked piles of fifty-pound notes.
He takes a random wad of the notes, folds them and inserts them into his pocket, then grabs the rest of the cash, enters his bedroom, and returns.
Steve opens his fridge, takes out a bottle of Pepsi, grabs the box and heads to the living room.
Steve sits in his armchair and takes a sip from his Pepsi bottle, he begins reading the notes.
“Michael Adams – 31. 1.78m tall, 10 1/2 stone.
Works out every few days, keeps in shape. Physically fit… Is alone from 11PM until…
Usually frequents…”
He takes another casual sip from the bottle and flips through the colour photos, going through profile shots, side shots and other detailed pictures. MICHAEL is shown from every possible angle very clearly.