Creating Fake Barriers To Be Faster, Smarter, with Less!

In business, motivation by Michael Michelini2 Comments

Its true, many of us are SPOILED with too much time, too many resources, and it makes us LAZY. It makes us INEFFICIENT. We take it for granted, we don’t utilize all that we have around us……

In the article, from the under 30 CEO blog

When they first launch their companies, they will rent a nice office, lease a nice car with their logo on it, print all sorts of fancy letterheads, build a gorgeous website… and they still can’t seem to get off the ground.

When faced with a difficult task, we often use crutches as an excuse not to move forward.

* We’ll tell ourselves that we can’t launch a new product because it isn’t “perfect” yet.
* Or that we can’t approach the media without launching some sort of big expensive publicity stunt.
* Or that we can’t call the CEO of the big company because we don’t know anybody in common.

I put am image of a Spartan, because it really makes me imagine them – sending their kids out into the wild to test them, to be a man, to fight for themselves, figure it out. It prepares them for the future. And its not an accident, the parents wanted to put these “fake constraints” on their child in order to prepare them for the days they would need it.

I pledged a fraternity in college – Delta Tau Delta, and we had a work weekend during the pledging process. I remember being really pissed off and annoyed at having to go through this weekend of no sleep and pointless activities. But one of the older fraternity brothers talked to me and said –

“sure, it may seem stupid now, but think of those days you need to pull an all nighter to get that thesis done, or those days you’re at a client dinner and have to get drunk with them and wake up for work at 6am the next day and go to the office.”

And in a way, life, and business especially, is about SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. And how else to get fit then to practice the hard times, by making fake hard times, right?

I think we all notice that when it comes down to it, whether we are an entrepreneur or work in a company, we’ve been faced with having to get more done with less……here is the best example I can think of –

HALF DAYS for holidays. How come the same amount of work can get done in half the time? People FIND A WAY TO GET IT DONE!! The pressure, the desire to get those tasks done so they can get out of the office and head home.

So the idea of creating FAKE CONSTRAINTS, as I read in the article, is to PRACTICE for when you really have those constraints. Find a way to get more done, faster.

I also remember reading in the book Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, that CHECKING EMAIL all day is such a waste! We sit there and REACTIVELY wait for work to come to us. Instead of being efficient and getting projects done, we let emails distract us from getting our long term goals and projects get done. The idea here is to make checking email a TASK, not a daily workflow. Check your email 2 times a day. And Tim says not to check it RIGHT WHEN YOU START YOUR DAY. To check it a few hours after we start our daily work. WHY? Because emails distract us for what work we should actually be doing.

Make a TO-DO list for the NEXT day, and come into the office, AND DO THAT FIRST. Then check those “urgent” emails after. Being proactive, organized, and plan your day. Not reactionary.

I think one of the most important constraints to give ourselves is TIME!!!!!! So you have 8 hours a day to get your work done? Give yourself 4! Push it. And keep pushing it.

Another constraint is MONEY. Budgetting (which I hope everyone does) – so you have 1,000 dollars to use on a project – GET IT DONE with 500. Act like you don’t even have 1,000, but only 500. And its gotta be done right, and on time.

I think the most important part of this whole idea is to be able to INTERNALLY PUSH YOURSELF. Set internal goals. Push yourself to get better. Making these “fake constraints” is just really another way of setting goals for yourself to:



STARVE YOURSELF, fight to get what you want. Your mama isn’t gonna be there to tuck you in at night tonight, ok! Prepare yourself for those critical times before they come, rather then waiting for those disasters to come. And the best way is to create FAKE constraints to practice.

Awesome idea, and have to live by it to grow. Or wait until shit hits the fan, that also makes us grow….and quick!

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  1. I was complaining just last night about one of these folks that just doesn’t seem to get it – some guy probably in his late 20’s early 30’s talking to me in umms and a conflagration of ambiguity. It took me 5 e-mails to get information that could have been transferred in a single e-mail. I have a hard time taking people like this seriously – get your shit in order my friend – if your not running lean and mean – if you don’t know where your going your not going anywhere. It’s nice that you can stick your please and thank you’s and aaaaye dude’s in the right place but make sure you take care of what’s important – the meat of that matter!

    This is a stretch comment at best – but aye I needed to post it somewhere 🙂

    1. Author

      well, yea i just think people are spoiled….to get 5 chances to reply to your email to understand what he wanted.

      i dont know if i would have patience for that really…..

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