Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Few Crazy Tips
Sometimes, we're motivated to be efficient or get organized. We get in the zone and things get done. We dig into a pile and it gets sorted and the things in it get put where they belong...and maybe, just maybe, we even divest ourselves of a few things.

Other days, it's like Sisyphus and the rock. Any progress we make is immediately undone.

Those are the days when we need to make it interesting.

In the past, I've shared a few strategies that give me a nudge, get me over a hurdle or prevent bigger problems. Don't Put it Down, put it away helps me avoid creating piles in the first place. Pick up one thing helps make a dent in a pile that magically appeared. Give it Five helps me get started when excuses begin to outnumber piles. My backwards to-do list helps me to focus on things I have done instead of things I haven't.

And now, there's a new mind game in town. The "I'm too tired" list.

You know all those little tasks that eat up prime time? The mindless tasks we do instead of the things we're supposed to be doing? Often, many of them can be moved out of prime time and into down time. Instead of cleaning out my inbox when I'm supposed to be writing a blog, for example, I can do it while I'm watching TV. It's a mindless task -- one undeserving of prime time -- and simply moving it to downtime makes me more efficient.

Lots of tasks are like that. And when we opt into them, that's one thing. But when they get in the way of bigger projects, we get bogged down and the important stuff doesn't get done.

So I've decided to give those tasks their own list: The "I'm too tired" list. That way, when my brain is fried and I sit down to watch television, instead of berating myself, I can check my list and do one of the things on it. That way, I get something accomplished -- something relatively mindless that needs to be done -- in a time when energy and motivation aren't very high to begin with.
Last week's "I'm too tired" list included inbox purging, social media updates (personal and professional) and tabbing the pages in a textbook I'm using this semester. By matching the level of task to the level of energy, I'm making better use of my time, and I'm more likely to get more accomplished.

Seems only efficient to me.

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