Steven Pressfield is one of my all-time favorite writers.
In addition to being a brilliant writer of both fiction and non-fiction, he’s a good human being. You can feel his wisdom and humility and realness with every word he writes.
We’ve featured SIX of his brilliant books on the creative process including: The War of Art, Do the Work, Turning Pro, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, The Artist’s Journey and his most recent book: Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be.
Check out all those Notes if you want to learn more about how I approach the creative process. You can also check out Creativity 101 and the collection of Notes on the subject.
As you know if you’re familiar with Pressfield and his style, his books are both inspiring and beautifully pithy.
btw: I just looked that word up. Yep. His books are the very definition of pithy: “concise and forcefully expressive.” I read his latest book in an hour and fifteen minutes.
Today I want to connect a Big Idea from his latest book to my #3 Work Target: “Shut-down complete.”
As you know if you’ve been following along, “Shut-down complete!” is a Cal Newport-inspired idea.
In Deep Work he tells us: “At the end of the workday, shut down your consideration of work issues until the next morning — no after-dinner e-mail check, no mental replays of conversations, and no scheming about how you’ll handle an upcoming challenge; shut down work thinking completely. If you need more time, then extend your workday, but once you shut down, your mind must be left free.”
And, he says: “When you work, work hard. When you’re done, be done.”
To ritualize this process, as he shuts everything down for the night, he says: “Shut-down complete!”
That’s exactly what I do as I shut down for the day and get my desk in a ready state for the next morning. (Which, btw, is ANOTHER one of my Work Targets: “Desk in Ready State.”)
Pressfield captures the same sentiment in his latest book.
He tells us: “When I finish the day’s work, I turn my mind off. The office is closed. The work has been handed off to the Unconscious, to the Muse. I respect her. I give her the time. If I see family or friends, I never talk about what I’m working on. I politely deflect any queries. But beyond not talking with others, I refuse to talk to myself. I don’t obsess. I don’t worry. I don’t second guess. The office is closed.”
That’s Today’s +1.
When you work, WORK.
When you’re done with work, BE DONE.
The office is closed.
Turn your brain off as you transition from Work to Love and give yourself the best shot at both enjoying your family AND training your recovery so you can show up with Heroic Energy and do it all again at the highest possible levels tomorrow.
Target swipe: “Shut-down complete!” 🎯
Target swipe: “Desk in Ready State” 🎯
Target swipe: “LET’S GOOOOO, HERO!!!” 🎯