Fridays are tip days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Author’s note: due to a burp with my publishing software, this article mistakenly published two weeks early. I pulled it off, but apparently it hit the feed. So here is the article, as intended, two weeks early.
I used to be the person who would wait until the last minute and whip out a paper or program under deadline, all-nighters, and a haze of caffeine.
When I decided I needed a more relaxed life, I knew that the deadline motivation had to go. But I swung to the other end, and found I got nothing done as I relaxed into books, crafts and other activities.
So I tried making up deadlines for myself. The problem is that I knew that they were made up, and I would ignore them. These made-up deadlines I’ve heard called “soft deadlines”. The problem is that mine aren’t just soft, they’re rubbery, and bounce all over the place.
I realized the other day that Autofocus has gotten me past that. I first have to make sure that I don’t have too much on my plate. I know that highlighting an item is supposed to take care of that, but I didn’t start out the system by putting everything, current and future into my list: I just put in the current projects, as defined by GTD.
What amazed me was that I found myself completing some things yesterday, just so I could close out the page. The tasks weren’t particularly attractive ones, but I had recognized their importance in putting them on the list. There was no other motivation. I did them simply to close out a page.
I have also found myself working on something just a bit so I could cross it off and close out a page. In that way I’ve made more progress on some stalled things than I have in months.
I’m still not sure why autofocus is working for me, and I’m still a bit distrustful of it, but it’s working. And I don’t know how to explain it.
Photo by John-Morgan