Derek Sivers

Write? Write. Sleep? Sleep. Read? Read. Don’t fight it.


Knowing I read a lot, someone recently asked how I balance learning and working.

When do you stop reading and get back to work?

When do you stop working and go learn something new?

Being self-employed and in control of my own schedule, I used to wrestle with this a lot.

I’d be so thirsty to keep reading and learning, that I’d feel bad I hadn’t done any real work in weeks.

Other times I’d just work, work, work for weeks without stopping to read some of the brilliant books I’d already bought.

Then I realized something so obvious it’s funny that I’m writing it here:

Stop wrestling. Don’t fight it. Go with it, either direction.

If you’re excited to work, work. Sneak out of bed at 4am if your toes are tapping, and go do what’s on your mind.

But if you’re tired, don’t fight it. Sleep.

If you’ve got writer’s block, enjoy the silence while it lasts. In another day, week, or month, you’ll be so filled with things to say you’ll be sneaking out of bed again.

Who knows why the brain is into different things at different times.

But we’re so much more effective when we follow what our body wants to do, rather than trying to fight it.

Of course I’m writing this as a reminder to myself, because today was one of those days where I wanted to do a bunch of programming, but I was at this computer for hours and didn’t get a damn thing done. All I wanted to do was read on the couch. So I shut the laptop and read for a few hours. Which was just what I needed, and ended up inspiring the hell out of me, so that afterwards I jumped up and came back to programming, now more effectively.