Keep it boring

Keep it boring

Wanna know what kills more police than bullets and liquor? Boredom. They just can’t handle that shit. You keep it boring, String. You keep it dead f***ing boring.

Joseph ‘Proposition Joe’ Stewart, The Wire

As a way to go about one’s business, perhaps we underestimate keeping it boring.

During season 3 of the classic HBO show The Wire, drug kingpin Stringer Bell needs to keep business going while under the eye of the police.

His benevolent rival crew chief Prop Joe Stewart suggests the way to go is for Stringer to spend his days at the photocopy shop he owns – running reprographics requests rather than harvesting heroin profits. He can continue running the real business from the back room, with a careful eye, a second phone, and plenty of discipline. He’s just got to keep it boring.

Joe’s advice holds up well for the rest of us too.

What’s seemingly boring can be the solid foundations of our business: routine, discipline, habits, rinse and repeat. They’re the things that enable us to do the work.

It’s easy to get pulled into what appears to be glamorous and dynamic, the place where the juice is.

While we’re probably not trying to avoid slipping up in view of the Baltimore police department, we all have our own personal nemeses who like nothing less than to be bored and ignored.

They’re the inner critics, censors, the devils on our shoulders.

The best way to evade them?

Keep it boring. Keep it dead f***ing boring.

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