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Frank on Beating Procrastination

Great email from Frank R. - read the whole thing, there's good insights here.

Hey Sebastian,

A month later, I'd say I've become at least somewhat more productive, mostly in terms of my working environment.

I read GTD cover-to-cover and was able to implement most of the principles so that everything I need to do is being captured somewhere. One challenge I'm finding is not knowing how organized to keep my list. I use My Life Organized and categorize based on Home Actions, Work Actions, and then break them down further by category. So for work, this would be each customer name as a category, for home, it would be each category (such as Finance, Fitness, Interpersonal, etc.) Under these categories would either be subcategories (so Taxes and Banking for Finance, Diet and Training for Fitness, etc) and then Next Actions. I'm wondering how far I should go in terms of categorizing things into categories/subcategories - do you have a similar system?

I noticing I'm referring to the list often - sometimes 5-10 times an hour - and a lot of the items get stuck. As in, no action is happening because I'm putting the same things off over and over again; a classic case of procrastination. My solution to this was to make a next action as specific as possible. So if a next action had said, "Fix the application from crashing", I'd change it to, "Modify the whatever module with error trapping." This technique has worked well in most cases.

Do Better Work By Ignoring Everything and Everyone

On Kevin Espiritu

This is a topic that has been covered extensively by much better writers than myself, but I figure I should write it down just so I can get the thoughts out of my own head.

There is too much going on to be an effective worker.

These days there are simply far too many distractions in our lives.  E-mail, social media, and phones are the biggest culprits.  Combined, they probably interrupt us far more times than we'd like to count in a single day.

Why is this a problem?  Because our brain's can't really multitask.

Sure, we can do multiple things at once.  But that doesn't mean that were doing either of them very well.  When it comes to performing a task strangely well, every single time we are interrupted we lose our place and our brain has to switch back to the task once the interruption stops.  It's been said that frequent interruptions during work can lower your IQ by around 20 points.  When you doing important, high skill work, even a drop of 10 points would be enough to be a serious problem.

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