I don’t know about you, but from time to time I encounter days when the urge to stay in my pajamas, eat potato chips and watch old Sex and the City DVDs is so powerful that I’m almost totally helpless against it. Almost. This is when I need to get out the big guns and use the ‘Hard Ass’ approach to productivity.
I’ve mentioned Debbie Allen in a previous post, and she must be mentioned again, because the verbal ass-kicking she gives to all the young hopefuls is the attitude that comes to mind when utilizing this method.
The hard ass approach is basically just giving yourself a good kick in the pants to get to work. Nothing more, nothing less.
It is not new or revolutionary, it eschews any new-fangled ideas of ‘going at your own pace’ or ‘self care,’ and refers to the hard-scrabble wisdom of our grandparents and great grandparents, who probably had much harder lives than we did. Basically, quit yer bitchin’ and get to work!
Quotes that embody the hard-ass approach include these oldies but goodies:
“The Art of Writing is the Art of Applying the Seat of the Pants to the Seat of the Chair.”
-MARY HEATON VORSE
“Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. “
“The Harder I work, The Luckier I get”
“Just Do It”
The message here is clear. If you want success, however you define it, you have to put effort and elbow grease into it. Ask any entrepreneur who is hailed as an ‘overnight success.’
Forget any new age, magical thinking ideas about daydreaming your way to fame and fortune; roll up your sleeves and get to work, dammit.
I came across this little ditty earlier this year from Communicatrix where she so aptly captures the sentiment of this method. On days when I need to use the ol’ Hard Ass approach it helps to hum the chorus to myself repeatedly. I hope you find it as helpful as I do!