I’m a little bit addicted to a show called Suits at the moment.
For those of you who don’t know, the show is about a New York law firm and the people who operate within it. There’s something about beautiful, intelligent and powerful people working in a dynamic environment and owning everything in their path that appeals to me. You’ve got to love the fantasy.
Light entertainment aside, the show actually revealed something inspiring to me yesterday that I wanted to share with you in this post.
It’s about being more machine.
“I’m a Machine”
In the episode I was watching, one the main characters in the show — Louis Litt — is interviewing associates. He’s presented with Maria Monroe (pictured above).
Their brief exchange (in which he goes from being in a position of dominance to literally begging her to work for him) is capped off by an hilarious ending:
Louis: don’t you want me to give you a tour of the firm? Show you where you’ll be working?
Maria: Well, I don’t care where I’d be working because I’m a machine.
I wish there was a clip of this scene available on YouTube, because the words themselves don’t do the delivery justice. Maria does indeed seem more machine than human; she appears to have a singular focus on doing her job with no real concern for her own personal comfort or happiness.
What Does This Have to Do With Us?
The first thing I’ll say is that I’m not suggesting we all fully embrace Maria Monroe’s attitude. For most of us that wouldn’t be possible; being so single-minded is likely to make us miserable.
But I think we can all benefit from being more machine. Kind of like being more dog, but not quite as awesome:
You see, most of us let our human emotions get in the way of achieving things.
We procrastinate. We second-guess ourselves. We fear the outcome. We doubt the end result. We think too much.
But what if we were able to think and act like a machine? Our focus would be on two things: efficiency and effectiveness. Those two things alone can take you a hell of a long way.
Applying a Machine Mindset
Every week we set tasks that we intend to hold each other accountable to. Typically we will each list three or four specific tasks that we intend to complete in that week.
I wasn’t quite sure what tasks to set this week, so I kept it simple with just two:
- Work a minimum of 30 hours in the next week
- List everything I do
Writing that number down put everything into perspective for me. 30 hours? That’s a long time! How can I fail to achieve something with so much available time? If I work efficiently and effectively, who’s to say how much better off I can be next week having made the most of the hours available to me?
All I need to do is be more machine. For those 30 hours, I need to think less like a person and more like a robot. My priority is simple: complete the tasks that offer the greatest potential return in terms of what I want to achieve.
I’m not going to avoid a task because it’s less desirable than other things I could be doing; I will simply do what offers me the best possible return on my time and energy. I’ll ignore doubt and do what I can with the abilities and experience that I have. I’ll focus on what needs to be done until my batteries run out, then I’ll re-charge fully and make sure that I’m ready for the next day.
No procrastination. No second-guessing. No fear. No doubt. Just doing, without prejudice.
I’ll be more machine.
Image Credit: Suits Wikia