Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 44

Thread: If I just did 10 things every day....

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    478

    If I just did 10 things every day....

    At least once every year I have a very disturbing thought:
    10 x 365 = 3650 and 3650 x 3 = 10,950!!!

    If I consistently looked at 10 pieces of paper in my file system each day, including stuff in my "stuff to read" stack, and decided which papers should be tossed, which should be kept where they are, and which should be re-filed in a more appropriate folder, then all the paper in my house would be properly culled and sorted in the best possible way in less than 3 years.

    If I looked at 10 files/webpages/documents I've saved on my computer every day, all of them would be properly culled and organized in the best possible way in less than 3 years.

    If I looked at 10 physical objects I own every day, and decided which should be tossed, which should be kept where they are , and which should be moved to a more appropriate location, then everything I own would be completely culled and perfectly organized in less than 3 years.

    I keep having that same thought, and I keep trying to do it, but I keep getting distracted or lazy after a couple of weeks, and 20 years later, everything is still cluttered and disorganized.

    David Allen says "in the entire world there are only two real problems: You don't know what you want, or you don't know how to get it."

    I agree. But there's a third problem: What do you do if you know what you want, and you know how to get it, but you can't get your assingear or can't keep your assingear? His answer to that problem is to use the GTD system as an organizing and motivational tool, but unfortunately that requires a certain amount of will power.

    I know from my occasional episodes of doing GTD that it really does work, but after I've made a bit of progress and things are a little bit better, I fall off the wagon and everything goes to heck again. --> Very frustrating <--

    Of course David Allen also says that most people never accomplish any kind of long-lasting change until whatever is suboptimal in their life becomes painful enough that they're willing to do whatever is required to fix it. And he's right about that too.

    One David Allen concept that I have whole-heartedly and faithfully embraced is the "I Don't Know" box. Whenever I come across something that I can't remember what it is or why I have it or whether I still own the thingamajig it's part of, I put it in my "I Don't Know" box. That way whenever I need something and it isn't where I think it should be, it's probably in the "I Don't Know" box. And every now and then I look at the stuff in the "I Don't Know" box to see if I recognize anything. The box is fairly small, and most of it's contents end up being recognized and retrieved or recognized and thrown away within a few months.

    I've also like his "cheat" of temporarily avoiding dealing with a box, drawer, closet or whatever by putting a BIG sign on it that says "I Don't Want To Deal With This Right Now!" It works!!! That sign keeps you aware of the fact you need to deal with that thing, but gives you permission to not get uptight about it right now. A prime example is boxes of memorabilia that you know you'll get bogged down in if you try to go through them during emotional times like the holiday season or a deceased parent's birthday. Another example is boxes of old documents that have no current relevance. Some of them you may want/need to keep, but weeding out the wheat from the chaff in that particular filepile is probably a very low priority.

    Does anyone else keep falling off the wagon or have quick useful hacks they've discovered?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    5,501
    I do have daily goals. For some if I fall behind I let myself catch up on the weekend. I also let myself work ahead if I have a productive day, so that another day when I am tired or unmotivated I don't have to do the task.

    With other things if I miss them I just let them go. If keeping track is more effort than doing the task itself it generally is not worth it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    7,180
    Very clear approach to dealing with issues, GP.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  4. #4
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    6,486
    I've mentioned before the concept of "Seinfeld chains". Jerry Seinfeld wanted better material, so he committed himself to writing at least a little every day. Each day he did write, he put an X on the calendar on the wall. After a while, he had a string of Xs and, on the day when writing was not of any interest, he realized he'd break the chain of Xs if he didn't write, so he wrote and got another X on the calendar. The visible success urges you on.

    You define the task (write for 15 minutes, look at 10 items a day, whatever). Doesn't matter when in the day you did it. Doesn't matter if you exceeded the goal by a factor of three or six; it's the same X on the calendar. The thing is to keep chipping away at whatever the task until it becomes a habit. I've found it to be effective in my life (though I don't have paper calendars on which I can place an X, so I adapt that part).
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  5. #5
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    10,959
    Fortunately I have never suffered from a lack of getting stuff done. David Allen is correct that most people don’t change until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Always logged in
    Posts
    18,553
    I just like to say that “just” doing 10 things is actually doing a crap ton of things!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    8,505
    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I just like to say that “just” doing 10 things is actually doing a crap ton of things!
    +1
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    13,154
    I'm happy if I get one thing done in a day. That's why I'm going to live to be 135.

  9. #9
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    11,781
    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    Does anyone else keep falling off the wagon or have quick useful hacks they've discovered?
    The only cure for my own patterns of starting and stopping with the culling of documents and memorabilia and inboxes and outboxes was moving into a much smaller house, unfortunately. I did what you are doing--I tried to put Allen's rules in place, but I would put "I Don't Know" boxes in the basement or garage and they never got touched again. And I had a LOT of "I Don't Know" boxes going back to the 80s.

    It was only when the gun was put to my temple that decisions came fast and furiously. So, I'm sorry I can't help you!

    I have to say, the 10 things a day to throw out doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's staying consistent on doing that that's a problem, IMHO. Life seems too important to spend it sorting. At this point, having downsized into a small house, it's much easier to stay on top of clutter because if I don't, I can't get into closets or drawers. I simply run out of space.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    7,180
    I have to say, the 10 things a day to throw out doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's staying consistent on doing that that's a problem, IMHO. Life seems too important to spend it sorting. At this point, having downsized into a small house, it's much easier to stay on top of clutter because if I don't, I can't get into closets or drawers. I simply run out of space.
    I cannot bring anything in until I clear something out. I spent a few days cleaning up the paper records and shredding recently.

    The hardest thing for me to clear out is very old comfy used clothing that I might need for doing a very messy job. They are so used, they not worth donating.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •