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A Little Trick - The Easy Way Out

Now I'm not suggesting that I am the first one to think of this, just suggesting an effective hack; a tool in my utility belt. Like a good procrastinator, at times I find myself confronted with a daunting list of "to-do's".Things add up, and before too long, even the simplest chore ends up on my list, adding to my log jam.

So here's a hack that I like to call "The Easy Way Out":

First- Do the easiest, quickest thing on the list. Whatever it is, if it's easy and quick, it gets checked off first. It doesn't have to be important, just done.

Second- Now with your list, one task less, repeat.

lather, rinse, repeat.

Much like a dash, this takes care of some of the tasks that just make me feel guilty. Easy things that just aren't important enough to get immediate attention, but there they are cluttering up my list. It's no cure, but I find it helps clear away the stuff that makes not getting things done really painful.

MarinaMartin's picture

Productive Procrastination

If I remember correctly, David Allen actively encouraged having "little" Next Actions on your list so that even if you were having a lousy day or procrastinating, you could still technically be productive. After all, that lightbulb in the front hall does need to be replaced eventually.

If I'm feeling stuck, I either do what you suggested, or one of two other things:

1 - I go to the Random Number Generator at http://www.random.org/nform.html and have it randomly tell me what task to do next

2 - I stage a little "contest" with myself where I try to get my Next Actions down to X pages, or try to do 20 Actions, etc. (Asking on Twitter for someone to suggest the criteria is often fun!)

I love lists -- a lot more than the average person, I think -- but you've got to spice it up a little bit sometimes.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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