Random Thoughts on Simplifying Productivity

2 minute read

I get a kick out of the anti-productivity backlash out there. There’s a lot of good dialog on the subject but it seeds doubt and uncertainty. I’m not sure if all this navel gazing is getting anything done.

Anyway, I struggle with my own “system” because I haven’t made it mine yet. I don’t own it. None of the formal setups out there ring true to me. None of them are sustainable for me. None of them are instinctual and not one of them stick as a good habit.

David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) has a lot of good ideas but it feels too mechanical to me — down right unnatural. I have absolutely no interest in reading MIAW.

Leo Babuta’s Zen to Done (ZTD) is pretty close to how I would like my mindset to exist. I’m not there tho. I can’t see myself simplifying and focusing on only three MITs. However, I’d like to make good habit changes. I have far too many commitments that I should just muster the intestinal fortitude to renegotiate.

Now, I’m currently reading The Power of Less. Perhaps therein lies part of my solution. Hmm.

Mark Forster’s AutoFocus seems too OCD for me. I would feel silly and I doubt my handwriting would do anything but completely frustrate me. The one-list-to-rule-them-all thing is cool tho. I think I end up defaulting to an undisciplined version of this system anyway. That should be enough of a signal.

Gina Trapani’s Trusted Trio and Task Separation are great starting points but are not intended to be a complete solution.

Mike Song’s Hamster Revolution is half-great (ABC’s/123’s of email) and half-silly (COTA file management).

I love my Blackberry. I like Outlook. I want to like OneNote.

ClearContext, Taskmaster and OntoCalendar are great add-ins that fill the gaps.

So: I’m going to take it under my control. Pick the best of what’s out there and build what works for me. I’ll call my system “Strategically Lazy And Productive” — the SLAP system. Perhaps I’ll be a write an e-book.

I have good tools already. I have some good foundational bits to work with. I can whittle and chisel the best of the thinking out there. I just have to roll up my sleeves and commit to a plan and stop procrastinating.

I’ll let you know if I get this sorted out but in the meantime, any of your thoughts would be great.

Photo by Wiertz Sébastien

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