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How To Get Nothing Done: The Art and Science of Wresting Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

This entry is part 22 of 26 in the series Timeboxing Trilogy
  1. Don’t accept anything but the best.
  2. Don’t break it down into small pieces.
  3. Don’t timebox.
  4. Do everything in big time increments. Real work happens in big time increments.
  5. Tire yourself out.
  6. Don’t stop until you’re bored and hate yourself.
  7. Don’t take any shortcuts or save yourself time.
  8. Don’t start badly — make a good start or don’t start at all.
  9. Don’t start early, wait until everything is ready.
  10. Don’t start now, wait until the time is right. Timing is everything.
  11. Don’t have fun. Real life is boring. Real life is struggle. Real life is trying hard.
  12. Don’t let anything be easy or fun.
  13. Always take the longer, harder, way.
  14. Don’t take the easy way. Don’t make life easy. Don’t let things be easy. Make it hard, hard, hard. Hard is good. Pain is good. Pain is weakness leaving the body. Bleed. Suffer.
  15. Don’t run your own experiments.
  16. Don’t trust your own judgment.
  17. Don’t do a little bit. Give your everything or do nothing at all.
  18. Make it very important.
  19. Stress yourself out. Stress is good for you. Real, responsible people feel stress and pain and suffering. Stress and pain and suffering makes you strong and righteous. If you’re not suffering, you’re not building character.
  20. Don’t listen to your own hunches.
  21. Don’t mix up people’s advice and methods.
  22. Don’t have fun.
  23. Don’t be playful.
  24. Count complex, detailed metrics or count nothing at all.
  25. Don’t listen to contradictory advice. Listen to only one method, one guru and obey him completely. Believe him. He is your new deity.
  26. Don’t believe in yourself.
  27. Know that you’re a piece of schyte and you’ll never amount to anything.
  28. Believe that genetics determine everything. Know that you will never amount to anything more than your worst ancestor.
  29. Don’t try any of your own original ideas.
  30. Don’t combine techniques and ideas from different fields. This is not Kansas, Nairobi or London. Nothing you know or have ever done before is relevant here.
  31. Stop as soon as you think the people around you don’t think you’re cool.
  32. Stop as soon as someone ignores you.
  33. Stop as soon as someone makes fun of or criticizes you.
  34. Find reasons why you can’t.
  35. Look for reasons why you won’t succeed.
  36. Stop as soon as someone praises you.
  37. Stop as soon as your spouse cries. Your spouse’s tears make the Universe stop. Emotion is right. Logic is wrong.
  38. Don’t be resourceful. If the door is closed, do not find the window. Give up.
  39. Know your limits. You never were much and you will never amount to much.
  40. Give up as soon as you hit a single snag.
  41. Blame your mother. It’s her fault you’re the way you are.
  42. Blame your father. It’s his fault you’re the way you are.
  43. Blame your country. If you lived in a proper country, you wouldn’t have these problems.
  44. Blame men. Men get in your way.
  45. Blame women. Women suck and are gay and keep holding you back.
  46. Blame the Jews. If Seinfeld weren’t on the air, your life would be perfect.
  47. Do not find your way. If there is no way already prepared then there is no way.
  48. Look around you for advice. If success were possible, everyone else would be doing it.
  49. If you don’t get it right the first time, give up. You don’t have talent. Everyone talented was good from the word “go”. Only do things you’re talented at.
  50. Do not do or think anything original.
  51. Don’t apply the Pareto principle. That stuff is a lie. If all you had to do was focus on the most important 20% then everybody would be doing it.
  52. Don’t apply Parkinson’s Law. Think about it: how good can a law be if it has the same name as a disease?
  53. Go with the majority opinion. If everyone else thinks it, it must be true. That’s what democracy is about.
  54. Don’t do the best you can do now. Wait until everything is perfect.
  55. Read, believe, imbibe and immerse yourself in the opinions of people who have never achieved what you are trying to achieve.
  56. Don’t accept anything that’s less than perfect.
  57. Don’t walk. Don’t move. Rush. Fly faster than the speed of light.
  58. Don’t rest. Work until you hurt yourself.
  59. Don’t change plans. Don’t change methods. Marry your modus operandi and stay with it until you die.
  60. Don’t do one. Don’t do a little. It’s all or nothing. Some will not do. A little will not do. All or nothing.
  61. Don’t improve gradually. Don’t use kaizen.
  62. Don’t stop doing stuff that’s a waste of time.
  63. Don’t take the quick and dirty path.
  64. Only listen to authority figures.
  65. If anyone says anything is impossible, believe them.
  66. Don’t appreciate small improvements. If it’s not a big improvement, it’s nothing.

Apply these steps, tools and memes, and you will successfully get nothing done 😀 ! Good hunting!

Series Navigation<< Nothing Is HardHow to Make Miracles Happen and Get Called a Genetically Gifted Genius >>

  13 comments for “How To Get Nothing Done: The Art and Science of Wresting Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

  1. Pikrass
    February 13, 2012 at 01:50

    67. Spend your time reading about how to learn a language, but don’t effectively learn the language.

    • Oli M
      February 13, 2012 at 14:34

      Even better–be selfless by spending all your time arguing with people to convince them that their attempts will not work and they are doomed to laughable results.

  2. ガイ
    February 13, 2012 at 03:11

    68. Don’t read AJAAT

    • the dude
      February 13, 2012 at 08:53

      ajatt you mean

    • Matt
      February 13, 2012 at 10:50

      68a.  Khatz makes money from his site, and he said that one thing which is obviously wrong.  Therefore, don’t experiment with his ideas.

      • ライトニング
        February 13, 2012 at 12:11


        • Matt
          February 13, 2012 at 13:09

          Uh, running with the theme?  Some people complain that Khatz makes money from Ajatt, and pinpoint articles or things he’s said that are questionable, and lead this to the conclusion that no one should experiment with his ideas, which is a great way to do nothing (avoiding experiments because of some irrelevant excuse).

  3. Perry
    February 13, 2012 at 11:54

    This post hurts my brain

  4. February 13, 2012 at 20:42

    If you agree with 70-80% of the items on this list, you’re not studying Japanese.
    You are Japanese.

  5. Erc
    February 14, 2012 at 05:41

    This post made me fall in love with kanji again <3

  6. February 28, 2012 at 06:36

    Positives are stronger than negatives for the brain so as long as you’re positive now, all the negativity you had in the past will soon be erased. There’s hope for language learners.

  7. Mikhayla
    May 3, 2012 at 08:10

    Is it funny that I changed everything on this to the opposite it says and hung it on my wall?

    • Mr.Anderson
      May 4, 2012 at 17:05


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