Warren has worked in the software industry for a long time, and to this day he still surprises me with offbeat terms used at work.
The strangest is probably “violent agreement,” which means you agree on the outcome but not on the way to get there. As a word nerd, this actually sends chills down my spine (why would anyone put a harsh word like “violent” alongside a peaceful word like “agreement?”).
This past week he said something else that surprised me, and discussing it led to us making some changes. I’m curious to know what you think about this.
The term is peanut-buttering, and it has to do with spreading your resources evenly instead of effectively.
Peanut buttering: pp. Spreading the resources of a company or person too thin.
How peanut butter can kill creativity
Spreading your resources thinly and evenly gives the impression that you are covering a lot of ground. As a nation of multi-taskers and hard workers, this seems like a good idea.
But when you have allocated your precious resources to be broad instead of deep, you cheat yourself (and your family/customers/coworkers/friends). When you choose to “peanut butter” your work, your life, or your relationships, you are dooming them to mediocrity. You can’t be great at anything without nurturing, strengthening, and using your talents.
That means giving special focus and attention in certain areas and limiting or abandoning others. Artists do it. Athletes do it. Successful people in every walk of life do it. Why don’t the rest of us?
What this means for us
If we peanut-butter our travel efforts we stay the same amount of time in each destination and spend an equal amount of money. When we put it in those terms, it is pretty easy to see how ridiculous that would be and makes it easier to apply the same logic to other situations.
We’ve come to the realization that we were more tied to the Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting schedule than we were to delivering quality content. The schedule has dictated our contributions instead of our contributions dictating the schedule.
We don’t feel good about this.
What this means for you
Starting today, this blog will publish once or twice a week with a post about travel, living better, and making your own way in this world. We’ll be asking more questions from you as we explore topics in a deeper way, and we want you to feel at home here in the comments section. Just imagine yourself sitting on our couch after dinner and enjoying a lively conversation about the things we all care about.
(Forget for a moment that we don’t even have a couch anymore. Or a dining room.)
If you want to keep up with what we’re doing between posts, you can always find us on Facebook or on Twitter (Warren or Betsy). To have posts delivered to your feed reader or your email box as soon as they are posted, click here. And you can always email us. We love getting to know you and have learned a lot from you guys.
For more information on going deep instead of broad, check out some of my favorite writers:
- Danielle Laporte at White Hot Truth always tells it like its. In this post she talks about the effort needed to create something meaningful – and why it was okay for her to give up almost everything else temporarily to get it done.
- Seth Godin talks about becoming a linchpin by following your talents and instincts instead of the safety of rules
- The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp continues to inspire people in every field imaginable to hone their craft and deliver their talents to the world.