Productivity… on weed?

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halfbaked5This has been the most productive year I’ve ever had, thanks to getting organized, implementing a lot of GTD processes, unsubscribing from a mountain of newsletters and minimizing distractions. The single biggest piece of productivity enhancement in 2010 has come from <drumroll please>

Weed!

No, not the plant. I’ve never actually had it in my life but I heard great things. Instead of getting high, I got two useless college degrees in business and engineering. One day I hope to roll them up and lite them on fire. But I digress.

Weed is a gateway drug (according to public service announcements) that leads to more drugs.

Working on tasks you may not like, is a gateway drug to… getting tasks you don’t like done.

Here is how it typically works.

You open up your to-do list and write down Week 38.

You write up all of your must do tasks for the week, then sort them by importance, by date, by activity (subject to preference) and you get to it.

As you start working down the list, some difficult tasks tend to get pushed further and further back. Weeks from now you’ll see the same tasks being passed on from week to week with no hope of getting done. Eventually, your entire to-do list is packed with stuff you don’t want to do and every time you start to chip the iceberg a little you notice just how much more there is to do and you quit. Again. Next week there is even more of it!

Problems don’t go away. They get bigger.

The weed method (yet another thing I’m going to get Google to SEO around my name) of getting things done is allocating small bits of time each day to the tasks you’d rather not do.

Hate any given task? It will take an hour to do? Just hit the mental Vlad Blunt and go do it for five minutes.

Just five minutes. That’s all.

The next thing you know is that you’ll likely spend at least twice the time you expected to and probably even consider finishing it.

Problems appear bigger than they are when you aren’t actively working on solving them.

The big secret to all the infomercial scams that promise “incredible results in just 5 minutes a day” is in knowing that most of us have no mental ability to tell time.

This is why “just one minute” phone calls take half an hour and one hour meetings eat up the entire afternoon.

Once you’re doing something, it’s harder to stop.

But if you’re doing nothing, it’s f’n impossible to even get started.

So dedicate at least 5 minutes to each of your most difficult tasks and see if you don’t find a simpler solution or even better – get them done.

Have you ever tried work… on weed?

2 Responses to Productivity… on weed?

  1. David Wertz says:

    I agree 100% on this. I have quite a number of items on the to-do list that I really wasn’t looking forward to doing. By putting them on the schedule for 15 minutes to *do something* with them I started to gain momentum and finally get them done.

  2. Dan says:

    For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:

    Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    Comes with a mobile version too, and with an Android app.

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