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Special User Sections > The Getting Organized Experiment of 2009

Why Trying to be Productive is a Huge Waste of Time

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TaoPhoenix:
He is right about it being easy to have a productivity meltdown when one becomes too preoccupied with being more productive.

And if he is right about rejection of ones self, then it really explains the one I had. Rejection of myself isn't exactly what I need in my life...what I need is quite the opposite.

I was trying to fix something that wasn't broken, and we all know what happens when you try to do that.  :-[

((But see below! -- Phoeni))

I didn't need todo lists and faster more efficient ways to get things done. Drudging through daily lists of things you really don't want to do is no way to live life and be happy.

I am most productive when I am inspired, and that only seems to come from doing things that most people would call unproductive and a complete waste of time. Sure, it might look like I am wasting my time when you see me playing games, but since you don't live inside my head, you really could not possibly know what is going on in there. I am constantly brainstorming something, and if left alone to do what it is I feel like doing at any given moment, the chances of brainstorming up some great idea that leads to me getting some actual work done is more likely to happen.

I am an explorer, a wanderer that hops from task to task, I start a lot of things that never end up finished, and there is a good reason for that. I get a vision in my head of what it is I want to accomplish and unless I can see it clearly, I can not fully accomplish it. I'll go as far as I can go, then shelf it for later, in case I can see clearly enough to finish it. Sometimes I do, but more often I don't. And that clear vision that I need in order to finish isn't something that I can force. You can't put that on a todo list. I can not turn creativity on & off like a faucet. I can not find answers to questions I can't even ask.

Using someone else's time management methods just does not work for me. I really don't need to manage my time. I just need to spend it doing what I do best, which is whatever I please. So I might start 500 projects and only finish 1, but that's 1 more than I'll get done if I am forced to complete the other 499, first.

I am at my best when I have no goal, no plan, just living in the moment, doing whatever it is that I feel like doing at that moment. I accomplish more this way, and I am happier while doing it. Yes, I do get all the important stuff done, and a whole lot more. And if it doesn't get done, it really wasn't that important to me. And that's ok. (believing that it's ok is part of accepting, rather than rejecting myself)

-app103 (September 20, 2010, 05:24 AM)
--- End quote ---

Dear ol' App!

We're just under a decade since this post! Where do we stand on this whole theme? I really have high hopes for 2018!

And going all Fermat, "I have lots of new research from fresh books to report on all of this, but details for later!" But here are some notes:

Sometimes you CAN *Nudge* what isn't "broken" - and there resides the advice! Your system doiesn't have to be a Productivity Nightmare that needs surgery! But sometimes just amiably keeping an eye out for new spins on old parts of ideas can give you a new boost!

I've known for half the time this thread has been around, that Staples Calendars are great for early stage project notes. Lots of people occasionally wander into the fray of "is recopying notes a waste of time?"

I'm of the opinion "not of it's not more than twice"! Unlike computers, you in a sense have to "build" brain hardware to later be able to use "software side" techniques which is what a lot of GTD ended up struggling.

Writer's Block, "Doer's Block", etc, can be so dangerous, that's why ages ago I liked getting "into the mix" with varying (and amusingly incompatible!) notes, and now some of the neurobiology is starting to come in!

So even a big Staples Calendar page aka "Human Spreadsheet" creaks at the seams! You have a grand chart in progress, so where do you put your other notes while you're reading along!?

*So I made a whole second sheet, by category again, with the major types of supporting material.*
And STILL had room left over. (Why does it matter what birth order you are in for a Lebanese Family!? I've seen TWO Lebanese authors now... Oh wait ... this has nothing to do with my project, but it's a *grand* little spinoff right?*

And "gimme 2.6 more weeks", I have ideas coming...

Ps. On the Productivity is the Ruler theme, the other leading fresh new book says that raw volume should not quite matter if you can trade and *prove* finesse and nuance on your "Flagship" expertise.

And those pesky lists...

A Human Spreadsheet is calling... *Sixty lists*, in 4x7 square layouts, *times 2* to use the second page...
They can stay there for a long time. And Writing the todo is not about the volume of the list, it's more neuron building!

Catch y'all!

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