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July 23, 2008


Dave Navarro

Love it.

Next actions FTW!

Marie Rotter

Great post! I like your point about, "What can you get done in the next 20 minutes?" I have a tendency to take on too much, then I get overwhelmed and chuck it all.

For example, today I'd like to clean my house, write a blog post, update my online portfolio, and call a contact who's offered to help find a book deal. Oh yeah, and I need to start on that book.

Is this possible to do in the two hours my baby is napping? Absolutely not. That's why I'm writing comments on a blog right now.

I've learned that by breaking down big ideas into "today," and making a commitment to actually do it has helped me improve my flakiness. For example, I set a goal this year to get in shape and lose weight. I set this goal every year but never make it. This year I decided I'm going to go to the gym just today. If I don't make it today, I don't beat myself up about it, and tomorrow I will wake up and say, "I'm going to the gym today." So far, I've been averaging 2-3 times a week. It's taken a while, but I've lost 15 pounds. The point is, it's getting done.


This is awesome and something I could probably really do. Now I just need to make sure I don't lose the blog post.......

Sonia Simone

LOL, LizTF. We'll always be here for you. :)

Gee, Marie, that all sounds awfully familiar. "Just today" is a great bit of advice, too. Getting to the gym 2-3 times a week is fantastic, IMO.


I love this post beyond measure.
Flake Emeritus

Michael Martine | Remarkablogger

I am an expert at creative procrastination, rather than a flake. I can put things off by doing something I had previously put off.

Great article!

Lynn Crymble

Hello, my name is Lynn and I am a FLAKE!
It has been over a month since I last posted to my blog and I need help.
Sonia, you are now my "honorary" sponsor and I am hopeful that I can put your advice to good use.

I do feel that a big part of being a flake is fear and uncertainty and that maintaining the status quo means we don't have to face it.

Would you agree that some degree of perfectionism exists in all flakes and we are afraid to fail or not excel in what we want and where we want to go so we sub-consciously resist doing it?


Oh god, I've finally figured out my problem. I'm a flake. So nice to know that I'm not alone in my desperate flakiness :)

Seriously, this is a nice post. I'm attached to your two-pronged bullshit-free approach of figuring out what I want, and where I am on the pursuit of it. That removes much of my flaky hemming and hawing.



Great post. Although I incline to being the productivity type this often doesn't work in uncertain and changing environments (like the blogospere). In these situations we productivity types have much to learn from flakes and their flakiness.


I love, love, LOVE this post! I'll probably keep it open in a tab (my version of the compost pile, and hell on browser performance!) for however long it takes me to get it locked into my flaky brain.

But at least I know I'm not alone!

@Lynn I can't speak for Sonia or for all other flakes, but I can tell you that perfectionism is a huge part of MY problem. If I don't have time to tackle something the way I feel it ought to be done, I just won't even start.


Thanks for this.
I'm a flake, now I know. I am not alone.

Sonia Simone

You are all very lovely flakes. I think flakes are terrific. Flakes and dorks. I'm going to start a club. :)

@Lynn, yeah, for me perfectionism is a serious issue. I can spend alarming amounts of time on research or other pre-action aspects of getting something done.

Hm, I should delve into that in another post. I'll throw that into the compost pile. ;)

Judy Dunn

I think flakeism exists because thinking up all those ideas is just so darned much fun.

Implementing them? Not so much.

I am going to save this post because when I feel less flaky, I'll need it. Thanks, Sonia.

Phyllis A Rogers

Another good recommended read along these lines is One Small Step Can Change Your Life; The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer, PhD.

As always, Sonia, I love to read what you write. Thanks for sharing with us.

Janice C Cartier

ROFLOL!!! This is fabulous. I had to make a hybrid system to satisfy my left and right brains. I make the map. It seems I have to set the compass,THE MISSION, so I can turn it over to right brain to get us there.

Like that editorial calendar.. it's kind of sort of working, but only if I use it loosely.

NEXT ACTION my favorite words in this arena of productivity. Yay Dave and yay Sonia for being a brilliant flake.

David Bullock

This is perfect. I have this left brained/right brained problem.

Next Step. Next Action. Next New Idea (because I see something else). The new idea is the problem.

Talk about a nice way to start getting yourself together.

I stopped trying to manage time. It is impossible. I found I can only manage tasks and promises.

Great post. It is so easy to get interested in "everything" and get nothing done.

Thanks for the not so gentle nudge this morning.

Gary Fletcher

Great post Sonia. Count me in for the flakes club. Maybe we could organise a first club meeting by about... oh maybe 2017...?



I'm so happy to know there's a whole community of flakes out there just like me!
I tried GTD, got my office in order, and then gave up within a week because once things were in files I forgot about them (did not matter that the file was labeled "Action") and only worked on what I actually wanted to. True flakiness.


**Raising hand** I am a complete flake, and I love this post.

Hey, in addition to some of the more pared-down flavors of GTD, I've found David Reynold's stuff on Constructive Living to be IMMENSELY helpful in dealing with mah flakiness.


Sonia Simone

Oh, very cool Kat, I will put David Reynolds on my Amazon list pronto. Phyllis, I'm ordering the Maurer as well, thank you!

@Gary, great idea, I'll put it on the compost pile. :)


My name is Steve and I am a flake.

I absolutely loved this article. Best thing is that it's not preachy. The line about eyes rolling was spot on - I was in the process of a roll as I read it.

Of all the GTD and self-help stuff I've read on the web - and believe me, I've read a lot - this post is easily the best and most inspiring.


Wow, so it turns out I'm a flake - damn!
I've been using those Perfectionist and Procrastinator IDs so proudly for so long - but I'm actually a flake - #@*$ - sorry, really bad word came out.
So, having read this post, which I was led to by another blog, which was mentioned in an article I was reading, that was referred to in an email...hang on, what were we talking about?
Can't remember - guess I'll just go and have lunch, and I'll get back to what I was doing later...

Melodee Patterson

I am so happy that I found your blog, Sonia! Every post has a concept that really hits me between the eyes (in a good way) and this post is no exception. I read this: "You don't know the whole map. You've probably never been to this place you want to go." and realized what a flake I am! I'm constantly going someplace I've never been before and now I know why I never knew how to get there :-) Thanks!


I am so glad to finally be able to put a name to my affliction.


So fitting, so perfect, so...just so.

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