I have been struggling a lot over the last few weeks with my productivity, and I know I need to work on it. It is almost as if I am incapable of focussing on one thing – before I know it, I have opened twitter / facebook or google reader and the curse of hyperlinks is upon me.
Based on the experiment designed by David over at www.raptitude.com, I am taking up this challenge/experiment to improve myproductivity (and minimize my procrastination).
His experiment is simple, and has 3 practices:
1. Daily planning and reflection
At 11:00pm every night, I will stop whatever it is I am doing, and go through this checklist:
- Put everything away in its proper place.
- 10 minutes journaling the day’s work. Not more. And no “just thinking about it”. I’m gonna write it down in a notepad.
- Review projects and plan the next day.
- Sit and watch breath for 10 minutes.
- Visualize how amazing it would feel, to be able to accomplish everything on that list of things to do the next day. Smile, knowing you are going to feel that great in 24 hours. (This one is my own addition)
If I am not home at 11pm, I will go through this checklist whenever I remember it. If I miss it, I will do it right then and there.
2. The weekly review
- Make a complete list of things that I need to finish the next week.
- Reflect on the progress of the last week, and if there are any lessons to be learnt from there. Write them down.
3. “Ok, what am I doing right now?”
I will not live impulse to impulse. I will always be aware of what I am doing, right then. If I am engaging in any time-sink activities, it will be by choice, and not by habit.
4. The next step (this 1 is my addition too, based on one of David’s revelations)
Before taking any break, no matter how short or long, I will always know two things – what the next step is, and when am I going to end my break.
And every morning, I will read and internalize these aphorisms:
- Now is the best time.
- My identity and worth are not related to outcomes.
- Work means undivided attention.
- Task-switching is a red-flag behavior.
- Progress is the only protection.
- I’m only ever afraid of a feeling, never a task.
- There is no such thing as “have to.”
I am going to post the logs (progress / mistakes / failures/ successes / everything), every night, under the category “Productivity“, “where you’ll be able to cheer for me or heckle me if you want. Better yet, join me.”