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3 minutes vs 3 months

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal

Hey friends,

For the past 3 months, I’ve had an item on my to-do list that’s been taking up mental space and weighing me down emotionally. That item was to create this year’s Google Ads campaigns my side-business. Quick background - Since 2013, I’ve been running a company called 6med that helps students get into medical school. Most of the day-to-day operations are now handled by friends, but every year there are things that I have to do myself that I haven’t yet gotten around to delegating.

For the past 3 months, I’ve been procrastinating from making these ad campaigns - I built it up as a big, annoying undertaking that would need several spare hours of time and effort to do. And so, whenever I’ve had a spare few hours or a day off work, I’ve thought to myself ‘argh I really should setup these Google Ads’. And every time, I’ve chosen to do literally anything else instead, from productive things like making videos and studying for upcoming exams, to completely the opposite like sitting on the sofa and watching ‘voice coach reacts to Shawn Mendes’-type YouTube videos.

Anyway, I had a moment of triumph today. I’d driven back from St Albans to Cambridge, and after cleaning my desk and putting the laundry in, I decided ‘you know what, I’m just going to setup this google ad thing and be done with it’. So I logged in, found last year’s campaign settings, changed some details... and it was done. 3 minutes to complete a job I’ve been avoiding for 3 months.

I was a little stunned by how easy it was. It’s pretty ridiculous just how much mental space this one thing has been occupying in my head for the past few months. And all it took was 3 minutes to get done. Had I invested those 3 minutes of time in February, I’d have been far more at peace with myself.

Oh well. It’s done now. And I can use this experience as a lesson for the future - that whenever I find myself putting something off for an extended period of time, I should think back to this moment and just do it there and then.

So I’ll put the question to you - have you had any similar moments in your life, where you’ve built up something in your head as being a really big deal, but then when you actually do it you realise it’s so much easier than you realised? I’d love to hear from you - do hit the <reply> button and let me know :)

Have a great week!

Ali


This week's podcast

009 - What makes an awkward silence? | Not Overthinking

In this episode, we talk about awkward silences, why we think they happen, how we can stop them happening and whether we should stop them happening at all. We try and understand why we're more comfortable with some people than others, and why car journeys and sleepovers are a great source of deep conversation and human connection.

Stuff I enjoyed this week

1 - Article - Mr Money Moustache (my favourite personal finance blogger) wrote a great article called Our Shared Ongoing Battle To Not Buy A Tesla. It's an interesting look into the Purchase Justification Machine that we all have running in the background.

2 - Article - Status as a Service (Eugene Wei) - This is a very long and very interesting look at the success of various social networks based on the principles that people are status-seeking moneys and People seek out the most efficient path to maximizing social capital. Reading through it made me reconsider a large chunk of my own actions from the lens of maximising social capital.

3 - Podcast - Eugene Wei, the guy who wrote the status article above, was interviewed on the Invest Like The Best podcast (excuse the lame name, it's actually really good). The conversation was fairly wide-ranging, and I think you'll enjoy it even if you have no interest in investing.

Kindle Highlight of the Week

This tweet by Naval was quoted in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss.

This week's video

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Ali Abdaal

Junior doctor, YouTuber, web designer, aspiring musician. Trying out this blogging thing.