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You'll accomplish more later if you have a little fun this weekend.

Michael Shouldice
Today's fortune submitted by:
Michael Shouldice

Edmonton, AB, Canada

Michael Shouldice, Manager of Partnerships and Collaborations at Athabasca University for over 17 years, excels in developing creative program solutions for partners. Outside work, he's a dedicated husband, father, soccer player, and youth soccer coach. Michael's roles at AU include chairing the Academic and Professional Development Fund Committee and being a Cabinet Member for the Open Our World Campaign. He welcomes inquiries about his work and collaborations.

Put "Nothing" On Your To Do List.

Today's Marketing Cookie is about putting "nothing" on your to-do list.


What you may or may not know about me is that I was born with a disease called RLS (Restless Life Syndrome). It is a disease that feeds ravenously and continuously from my thassophobia tendencies (fear of being idle). It actively occupies my every conscious moment. Mine is a sickness that has been the source of flattering recognition and, if left untreated, will likely be the cause of my torturous demise.


In order to pacify my omnipresent and ever-insatiable need for saying, doing, thinking, and creating (and perhaps too many times, they are conducted in this unfortunate sequence), I must always have at least three big projects, three massive projects, and three impossible projects all going along at the same time. I love to think, say, and do, but mostly, my sickness centers around the creating, which is truly just creating for the sake of creating.


As I lay uncomfortably this morning upon the proverbial counselor's sofa, I find it easiest to describe a few examples of the big, massive, and impossible projects I am conducting simultaneously at this very moment in my life.


You already know about this endeavor to write a new Marketing Cookie blog post every day. About three hours per day should be enough, but now I've signed a contract with a publisher for a series of Marketing Cookie books based on the blog posts. I've embarked on a national speaking tour to share the blogging strategies and tactics I've learned along the way.


Unrelated to marketing, you may have seen photos of the giant treehouse my son and I are building or the massive remodeling project I started a decade ago, converting a 189-year-old button factory into our home. Please don't mention the forever-dusty home improvement project to my wife, as I'm still a long way from completing it.


Meanwhile, among all of this, I decided to teach myself the electric guitar with the hopes of getting "good enough" to play in front of people. I practiced about 15 hours a week for a year and got myself into an amateur band. We've had two rock concerts thus far.




When I have a spare moment, I might toil over one of my paintings, create a new sculpture with coat hangers, or add some detail to the giant 8 foot by 4-foot illustration of snakes that I've been working on... but why?


Why indeed.


I shared all of that with you to tell you this: I am completely unable to rest. While the outcome of my restlessness is highly productive and the results are gratifying, I can't stop myself. When I'm invited to sit on the couch and "relax," I struggle to do nothing and I even get a heavy feeling of guilt because there's always something I could be doing.


I admit my condition to you today with great pride, but also with genuine regret. My children say they admire the things I make and the stuff I do, but none of what I create can replace the time I've probably lost just "hanging out" with them. As I've shared many times in the past, my boss has forced me to take "real" vacations with my family and, to some degree, thanks to his persistent reminders, I have learned to slow down and enjoy time with them.


As I became more aware of my condition last year, I created this simple to-do list. On the surface, it may look like a silly joke, but there is meaning in it for me. When I look at this list on weekends, I remind myself that doing nothing cannot be crossed off until I've actually done it. Then, after realizing the value of wasting time, there will be plenty of daylight remaining for as much doing, thinking, and creating I desire.


If you suffer from Restless Life Syndrome and can't stop going like me, I encourage you to make a to-do list with nothing on it like mine. Unplug the guitar, put down the paintbrush, and give some "nothing" time to your family. It has taken me a long time to learn, but I truly believe it is as today's fortune says, "You'll accomplish more later if you have a little fun this weekend."

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie

Percent Daily Value

Inspiration

Percent Daily Values are based on the essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy mindset, fostering success in your marketing, prosperity in your career, and fulfillment in your life.

100%

100%

100%

100%

Affirmation

Motivation

Aspiration

Submitted by:

Michael Shouldice

Unpackaged in: 

Edmonton, AB, Canada

Cookie Ingredients:

Ingredient

What marketing is really saying:

"Kid's popcorn, candy and soda: $158."

What marketing says:

"Kid's discounted movie tickets: $8."

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