I saw this on Fast Company earlier this week.
It’s called a lilac chaser. You’ve seen it before. It’s an optical illusion with a small black cross in the middle, encircled by twelve blurry lilac-colored dots. A green dot animates over the lilacs as though counting the time on a futuristic clock. Stare at the cross long enough and the lilacs disappear, one by one. But the moment you get distracted and look away, the lilacs come back.
The black cross is the work you do. The lilacs are all the things ancillary to your work. They’re the small choices you’ve made around your black cross: the time you wake up, the tools you use, what you have for breakfast, when you check your email, and so on.
Guilty as charged.
How often do I let the small (routine) stuff distract me from doing remarkable work?
How often do I look at small decisions that don't really matter (Do I want pizza or tacos for dinner) and allow them to distract me from doing work that matters?
It's productive procrastination.
The grass never needs to be cut as badly as when I have a task I don't want to do.
Amazing how I find chores that need to be done if there's a difficult assignment looming.
You know the feeling.
Want to do work that matters? Keep your eyes on the black cross.