Because Dr. B has forced me to, I am completing a A Five Things Meme
. My task is to name five things that help me be successful every day. Not clear to me if the dear Dr. B is going to accept the first ones that come to mind:
- Get out of bed.
- Find diet brown soda.
- Take my medicine.
- Put on clean underwear.
- Sleep as much as possible.
Chances are that she's not going to accept that however, and since I'm meeting her tomorrow for coffee and she will bitch-slap me, I will offer these:
- Organize things topically—my email, my feeds, my papers, everything. If all my stuff just flowed into one giant bin, I'd spend all my time trying to figure out what mattered. Divided up into folders, I can quickly decide when I need to pay attention to things and when I can let something wait.
- Let things go when they don't matter—well, I try to anyway. I'm not so good at this, but when I can make it happen, it's very helpful. For instance, I have spent years of my life with piles of bills and various receipts and documents in piles to be filed. Eventually I get them filed, but they sit there and fill me with guilt AND end up taking far too much time when I do get to filing them. About 6 months ago, I realized that all this filing was a waste of time. I very rarely needed to return to a bill or whatever. I got an 8.5 by 11 amazon box, and began just dropping bills, etc. in it. If I need the January bank statement, I know it's in there, but chances are I won't. Much easier. Basically, when I can, I try to figure out when doing "the perfect thing" or "the ideal thing" can be replaced with "the simplest thing" without causing any harm.
- Set up audio alerts and rules&8212;everyone who hears my computer thinks I'm crazy, but I know by the sounds whether an email is one that I need to go read immediately, a routine email I can read later, or even spam/bounced mail that I never need to look at. It's a sort of computer-version of caller ID, but I don't even have to be in the same room as the computer. I just have to be able to hear it.
- Focus on tasks—If I'm at work, I try to spend much time as possible on work tasks. I multitask with the best of them and may be working on 3 or 4 things at once, but I try to avoid doing any personal stuff in the office and I've been trying to do less work stuff at home.
- Do a little bit every day—Every day, whether it's a work day or not, I check my email, watch various work-related websites, and so forth. Keeping up with things every day helps me avoid ever having a huge pile to overcome. I use a modified Getting Things Done method to figure out what I need to take care of right away, delete what doesn't matter, and prioritize what I'll take care of later.