Deliberate Diligence is the opposite of procrastinating lifestyles

Deliberate Diligence is the opposite of procrastinating lifestyles
Photo by 愚木混株 cdd20 / Unsplash

So, you stumbled across Deliberate Diligence (short: DD) and you wonder: "what's that, exactly?" (I did too when inspiration hit me to launch this blog)

Deliberate Diligence (DD) is a lifestyle

There are many kinds of lifestyles out there in the world. One might think there are as many variations as individuals, but that is not the case. There is a quantifiable number of lifestyles and cultures that share the same values in certain areas.

Just to name a few examples:

  • Travel & Experiences: A bubble that holds the value that you must spend your scarce lifetime travelling and seeing as much of the world as possible. The goal is to check off as many destinations as possible and to prove it with awe-inspiring photos (= the stereotypical Instagram Influencer).
  • Gaming: A scene that values spending time in Games in order to get knowledgeable about games and achieve progress within the games. The goal is to have as much relaxed leisure time as possible. KPI might be in-game time, ranks, badges, or special in-game items, such as clothes/skins.
  • Friendships: There are many people who can't be alone and value being with others as the highest goal. A weekend alone is a lost weekend. A Friday evening without some joint dinner and party is sheer boredom. On walks, you have to phone a friend to get the latest news. KPI are the number of friends and circles that are carefully balanced.
  • Team sports: You have to have a favourite soccer club and their performance influences your own feelings. If they're winning, you have to be proud. If they're losing, you must be their harsh but fair critic. Games have to be watched together with other fans, ideally. KPI is your knowledge about the club, the players and the history; also having predictions and opinions about the future performance.
  • And so on (Arts, Movies, Reading, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, LQBT, ...) You get the picture.

Lifestyles can be combined into an individual mix and they provide identity, social framework and principles on how to navigate life and value time.

“One day,” you said to me, “I saw the sunset forty-four times!” 
And a little later you added: 
“You know - one loves the sunset, when one is so sad…” 
“Were you so sad, then?” I asked, “on the day of the forty-four sunsets?” 
But the little prince made no reply.
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Photo by Denys Nevozhai / Unsplash

All lifestyles have a common denominator: The escape from the death

The common denominator of all lifestyles is that it's about how you spend your time. It is given a social value this way: did you spend your time well, or poorly?

And in the end: Did you make something of your life, or not?

There's nothing wrong with that. Lifetime is limited and everyone is exploring how to make the most out of it; to make sense of it. It's a good idea to see how others solve this problem for themselves and choose a lifestyle or a mix of lifestyles that seem to fit. It's an implicit process that starts right in the beginning of youth and is, of course, primarily primed by the parents and other close contacts.  

Eventually everything hits the bottom, and all you have to do is wait until someone comes along, and turns it back again. ⌛️
Photo by Aron Visuals / Unsplash

My thesis is that in 4 out of 5 lifestyles effectively no value is created, but only procrastination takes place

What do I mean by value? Well, it's creating something out of a lifestyle that brings value to other people, whether they share your lifestyle, or not.

What is procrastination? Procrastination means busying yourself with tasks, chores, or leisure time in order to feel progress, without actually creating any progress (=value) for yourself or others. The cause often lies in the fact that one is afraid of the actual value-creating activity, e.g. fear of failure or that it might get difficult and you'll feel discomfort.  There are two types of procrastination situations: the obvious and the hidden ones:

  • Obvious procrastination is, for instance, if you're scrolling endlessly through your social media feed. You know perfectly well that it doesn't bring value, but you do it anyways.
  • Hidden procrastination is in situations where you busy yourself with tasks which you actually believe create value for yourself or others. But in fact, you don't.

Hidden procrastination is the true scourge of anyone who strives for productivity. Here are some examples of various qualities:

  • In private: endless setup of the perfect note-taking system that will enable you to be genuinely productive.  In the end, you invest a whole weekend into that system that is just lots of overhead for a net list of 20 action items (I will highlight this particular issue in another blog article because I tend to do this too if I don't actively fight it).
  • At work: reacting the whole 40hr workweek to emails, participating in meetings, or busying yourself with minor tasks, e.g. administrative stuff. It feels like work and it drains your energy. But it doesn't bring yourself or your company forward.
  • Creating something: reading a bunch of books about every nuance and opinion on creating a side gig, an app, or a startup without taking any actual step on actually doing it and learning while doing it.
I was in the city trip with school. Me and my 2 good friends went up on the building and this building had this beautifull stairs so a took this photo. I really like the red fence
Photo by Tine Ivanič / Unsplash

Okay, but what does procrastination have to do with lifestyles?

Procrastination is a term often used to describe problems in personal productivity (see paragraph above), but from my experience, it is an issue that can be observed much more instances. Organizations can procrastinate, for example (I'll dig here deeper in another article). And to get to my point: lifestyles can be primed for procrastination.

Let's examine the above Travel & Experience lifestyle: you can easily busy yourself for years over years with planning, discussing, executing, documenting, and remembering as much travel as you're capable. But what's the value of that, exactly?

The interesting thing about this question is that my intuitive gut feeling says: "Well, of course, this brings value! It's good to see as much of the world as possible. It's exciting! It's a sign of freedom and shaping your own life!". But if I question this feeling, I am not able to see the real value in it for myself and others. Travel seems to be an end in itself.

If you follow this same train of thought you'll see that this holds true for most of the common lifestyles out there. Leading a procrastinating lifestyle is the mainstream.

Boss and employee or exclusion of a person because of their appearance or ethnicity?
Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

Deliberate Diligence (DD) is a contrarian lifestyle

I strongly believe that there's a group of people out there who value productivity, building things, creating value, and true achievement the most. These are people who are not blinded by the artificially generated emotions of procrastination lifestyles.  

These are people who are in the minority. They are single individuals out of hundreds. Who certainly sometimes feel like aliens in this world, because the masses think and act differently.

I have the utmost respect for these people and want to use this blog to explore what their lifestyle is all about and how to learn from it. To give this idea a name, I call this lifestyle Deliberate Diligence (DD).

Photo by Mailchimp / Unsplash

DD is a set of practices that can be learned

I have been observing and collecting patterns and examples of the DD lifestyle for years now, without it having a concrete name up to this point. I saw it but could neither name it nor explain it.

I now want to use this blog to give it a name (Deliberate Diligence) and make it tangible. I want to stimulate discussion on this and know if this is something real. I want to solicit ideas and observations from the community.

And, of course, I want to create value from all those notes and thoughts I collected all these years, by sharing my observations and thoughts with the community. covers 8 lifestyle areas

  1. How to be the best version of yourself?
    Exercise & Health; Having the right Mindset
  2. How to become productive?
    Habits, Note-taking & Task Management
  3. How to navigate life in a meaningful way?
    Thoughts, Reflection & Philosophy
  4. How do things work?
    Reading, Learning & Understanding
  5. How to leverage business opportunities?
    Tech, Digital Transformation, Leadership, Economics, Strategy, Innovation & Intrapreneurship
  6. What to do with your Income?
    Financial Health, Saving & Investing
  7. How to see the world?
    Travel & Experiences
  8. Be curious:
    Experiments, Fun & Interesting Stuff