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On Getting More Done - Top-down, or bottom up?

I've gotten a lot of emails lately, which has been fantastic. My email volume keeps going up.

There's one question I've gotten a few times, in a few different forms. "How do you do so much [thing]?" Reading is a common one, since I read a lot of books. Or balancing projects with working, traveling, tourism, connecting with people.

First off, I don't think I'm so good at getting stuff done. I see there's a lot more I could do. There's probably a lot better role models than me - if you can find someone who works a stimulating high powered job, competes athletically, parents, and does some philanthropy or art, that person is way ahead of me and you ought to look them up and ask them for their thoughts next time you see them.

I used to be insanely busy like that, with 3-5 things that should be a full time effort on the go at the same time. That's probably part of the secret to it right there - if you overload yourself without getting to breaking point, you'll be amazed at what you can do.

There's ripple effects when you're extremely busy. You stop screwing off and wasting time, because you can't. And other people start respecting your time more, too. If your entire calendar is open, people are flaky and whimsical and ambiguous with plans. But when you say, "My only time free for the next three weeks is this Saturday, at 8AM" - guess what? People come meet you at 8AM Saturday. Now, it'd be absurd to ask someone to commute into the city to meet you at 8AM on Saturday if you weren't busy, but if you are busy, you do it because you have to. And people respect your time.

Beating Procrastination

On Zen Wednesday

All right people, I’ve got a confession to make…..I’ve been having a little problem with procrastination lately. In fact, you’re lucky to be reading this Zen Wednesday post at all, as the idea didn’t come to me until Tuesday night and I almost didn’t crack open the lap top to make it happen. But then I did. And the reason I was able to get this task done, even though my motivation has been lagging of late, is because I have spent the past few days looking for little Jedi mind tricks I could use to boost my productivity during those times when I am feeling pretty “meh”.

Self-discipline is being able to get yourself to take action regardless of your emotional state. Since my recent emotional state has been something like “fluffy-pajama-lay-on-the couch-while-eating carbs”, I am not above using whatever techniques, tricks, or mind-hacks I can find that work to get me out of the bathrobe and back in the game. Below are a couple of my favorites, some old some new, that I’ve been using to help get me unstuck and start making progress on my goals again. I find it’s a good idea to have a couple of tricks ready to go in your back pocket that you can pull out and use during moments of indecision, overwhelm, lack of creativity or energy. Sometimes a little boost is all you need to get your momentum going again. I am hoping that by this time tomorrow, I will be back to crossing off important items on my to-do list. Maybe you will too.

Tricks to beating procrastination:

Kill it. When the to-do list gets overwhelming, sometimes the best thing you can do is decide what really doesn’t NEED to get done. And let it go.

Delegate it. Are you holding on to a task that someone else can do for you? A task that someone else can learn from or earn from? Why? Assign it out.

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