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A workshifting life can be a life spent largely in the confines of one’s own head, whether at home, driving, on planes or in hotel rooms. It’s one of the workshifting realities. I recently met someone at a networking event and we were discussing the drawbacks of this much solitude. He said he used to spend hours alone every day in his car and although an introvert by nature, in the end he grew to hate his own company.

I find that a big disadvantage of spending time alone is the danger of losing perspective. The lack of exposure to other people’s ideas means my own thoughts and opinions get rather too well reinforced. For example, I remember being very motivated by Harvey Mackay’s book Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty and particularly struck by his exhortation not to ‘say no for the other guy’. In other words, never assume you can’t ask somebody something, don’t talk yourself out of a possibility by assuming they will say no.

I took this on board for a while but over the months I’ve slipped back into believing my own assumptions. Ever since my book was published almost two years ago, I’ve been meaning to ask a few people to put a review on Amazon for me. I know they like and recommend the book, they’ve said so, but somehow the moment passed and it seemed awkward to do it so long afterwards. I kept putting it off, saying no for the other guy, until my publisher nagged me about it a couple of weeks ago.

It’s weird what you’ll keep putting off until someone else asks you to do it, isn’t it? I sent a couple of emails and immediately got a cheery reply – ‘Of course I’ll post a review, loved the book etc etc.’ And the review appeared a few minutes later. I haven’t heard from the other recipient, but maybe they’re just busy. They either will, or they won’t, but at least now there’s an equal chance they will!

Assumptions – don’t you just hate the way they come crawling up without you even noticing, until they’ve taken up full-time residence and it needs a big push to get rid of ‘em?

What assumptions have you conquered to become a more effective workshifter?

Photo Credit: Justin Levy

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