When the Status Quo Prevails

My favorite childhood cartoon came on the other day – Looney Tunes! Since both my dad and sister were partaking in this marathon cartoon-watching, I let myself in on the fun and ended up watching TV for over an hour – something I rarely ever do. The satisfaction of reliving an old, beloved cartoon was great for the first thirty minutes, but my excitement level began to wane. It became BORING. So then why did I continue watching for so long after the initial excitement had worn off? Because it was easier to keep doing the same thing than to begin a new activity.

People do this all the time in business. When a company creates an ineffective ad campaign, but still runs regularly on TV, it is an example of the status quo prevailing.

It’s hard to quit an action when you’ve put so much work into it. It’s also difficult to quit an action that hasn’t had much thought put into it at all (namely if there’s a large chunk of time invested).

When a certain method is already working, it seems as if it could be the only option—even if it’s not worth your time anymore.

Granted, it’s hard to justify putting in the time for a trial run that may or may not be better than the original. Lots of variables must be tested before the best result can be found.

In the end, you can tell that your current situation is a time waster if it’s not fulfilling the duties of productivity or inspiration. TV is just a placeholder for creativity, as are many other time wasters. Unless you’re analyzing the content of the show, the information you view is passively absorbed.

The question then becomes, “How do you detach yourself from the status quo when you find that it’s become a time waster?”

Name the leeches

What are your worst time wasters? I, for one, end up reading articles from other blogs much more often than I’d like to admit. This is a good thing in the sense that it allows me to soak up more ideas and apply them to my blogging or to my life, but bad because I could be focusing on creating highly unique content  and posting it on my own blog. The main problem here is that I’m surfing the net in excess. Inspiration coming from others is wonderful, but an obsession with  others’ opinions is not.

Detach leeches with salt

Can you identify why you’re seeking these time wasters as crutches? Why aren’t you focusing on work that matters during these moments?

Salt, when sprinkled onto leeches, is an effective way to combat their sucky nature.

What is the salt to your leech? Could it be that you need to make a goals list that will remind and motivate you? Are you using the time waster activity to procrastinate?

Whatever you do, take some time out and think about what the root of the problem is. Nipping it at the bud will help start you on a path of productive motion so your default activity won’t be a random time waster.


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3 Comments on “When the Status Quo Prevails

  1. I think I hit the other extreme. I spent every waking moment for a few years checking boxes off a task list, and monitoring every moment I spent on the computer to ensure no time was wasted. Before I knew it I was just a blind slave to productivity.
    Perhaps it is good to waste time sometimes?

    • David, I think you have a valid point: that the status quo might not always be a time wasting activity. At any rate, our habits usually end up continuing themselves unless we force lots of mind power on them to change. I’m also glad that you’ve (it seems) broken away from your old habits to let yourself waste a little time every now and then (you know, for maximum fun!).

  2. i couldn’t agree with you more, nothing is more valuable than time.