Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

How Does ‘Just Doing It’ Help with Prioritisation and Make You Happier?

I wrote a couple of days ago about how the only way you’ll get better at managing your time and productivity is to ‘just do it’.  Just take the time and do the task. Don’t prevaricate or procrastinate. Just start and do what you can in the time.

I am noticing other things about this approach:

1. It focuses you on what you have to do ‘aid’ the removal of prevarication. There are the obvious things which I have written about before: making a shallow on-ramp to the task by thinking about the required very next steps when you accept the task/ project (a key element from David Allen’s GTD system – see Blogroll). Using game play to lighten the weight/ onerousness of the task etc. etc.

2. At a more general level it requires you to assess the types of things that you’re interested/ passionate about doing. Because you get into your momentum of ‘just doing it’; be they back to back 5 minute, or 30 minute slots, you start to focus on the things that slide through the easiest.

When I was taking notes today, I ended up using phrases like ‘lubricating’ the tasks. Reducing the resistance. It’s all about achieving a flow of activity tied bound by the way in which it makes you feel. It’s the opposite of feeling resistance to task after task. Obviously, you then have the practical challenge of clearing as efficiently as possible the things that you don’t enjoy (of which we know there are lots in your average day). However, taking this approach you get a bit into the mode that you do before going on holiday. Suddenly you crank through things because you are positively drawn to getting them out of the way so that you can get stuck into your back to back low resistant, well-lubricated enjoyables…

3. It significantly aids your prioritisation. I think a number of things are at work here:

– in an obvious sense, the more you do the more you are able to see what’s important. When you sit there with a list you’ve not got into anything to see where a lot of common actions may be bound (e.g. the thing that’s going wrong in the process/ the major project that hasn’t been done)

– It cuts through the crap. The achievement of outputting and actioning and starting different activity going shifts the weighting on a flat/ static to do list. You want more of the big impact things to increase this feeling of achievement

– Your decision-making is improved. You know what is giving you relief/ payback and start to find the red herrings. The things which until you get into them seem important, but aren’t.

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