Benny's Adventures

My Path to Getting Things Done

There are two components to getting things done:

  1. Motivation
  2. Discipline

These are the two major categories that I think everything related to getting things done falls under. I did a brief search of the blogosphere and found several interesting pieces on the concept of “getting things done.” There’re even Getting Things Done (GTD) Systems and whole books about this.

The different thoughts and systems all dance around the aforementioned core concepts. The following discussion is not meant to serve as strict rules that you must follow but as inspiration to develop your own mindset and methodology to reaching your goals. Here is my way:

  1. Motivation
    • First, determine what there is to be done. This can be assignments from class, hobbies, or random things that have come up for any reason.
    • Now prioritize these tasks. Tasks with deadlines get top priority, obviously. Hobbies and other things are more flexible.
    • Finally these tasks are in a position to gain motivation.
      • Find the light at the end of the tunnel for everything you want to do. The most important thing is to make the light concrete. For school make sure the goal is a tangible reward such as a higher GPA. For other tasks make sure there is an end product that you can look at and know you’re done. Abstract ideas are troublesome because humans can rationalize away delays or anything else that can set you back.
      • Decide why these goals help you get what you want. It helps to make these as tangible as possible (“a great job in the future” is better than simply “success”, for example)
  2. Discipline
    • Start! The most important thing is to actually start whatever task you are currently working on. Don’t tell yourself you’ll start after you check your e-mail or catch up on Facebook updates. Just start!
    • Don’t get distracted.

I think the two biggest points to this process is deciding why you want to reach your goals and starting. Once you figure out why you want something your human nature is to reach for it. The next tough thing is to actually start working on it. If you accomplish that the completion does not take as much will power.

As I mentioned earlier these ideas serve more as guidelines so feel free to adapt them into your own process or modify these ideas with other tools. For example, following this process is simplified by Google Tasks. Just make sure you don’t lose yourself in setting yourself up for success and forget to actually succeed (like I said… Start! Just do it!0.

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9 December 2010 Posted by | Feeling Good, Life, productivity | , , , , | Leave a comment

What People Are Noticing: Perception v. Reality

I believe I found this some time ago on Reddit. Pretty interesting (and accurate, I think). Enjoy!

8 December 2010 Posted by | Feeling Good, Life | , , , , | 2 Comments

Nobody Trips Over Mountains

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“Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.”

I first heard this quote from a high school friend and has no known source as far as I can tell but it has impressive lessons. In my own life this has played out so many times that I wish I’d known this since the day I was born. Even as I write this there are little things that stand to trip me up and derail my quest to succeed in life.

One way this can play out in life can be as simple as e-mail messages piling up. I’ve gotten better about it but there are still austria_alps_mountain_271284_ltimes when I will not reply to an e-mail as soon as I can and this piles up over time. As the e-mails pile up eventually I am unable to really respond to it because now there are dozens of messages and the task of replying to them becomes daunting and sometimes impossible for time-sensitive issues.

Another way I think about is that the mountain of completing an assignment and getting a good grade is never an issue but where it falls apart is when a small part of the assignment is ignored for some reason (perhaps, say, if I feel like it’s not worth it). The other level to it is that if I stumble on a pebble early on (such as slacking off on the first problem set in a class) then I can’t pass later pebbles in the quest to climb the mountain and learn the subject material because I’ve fallen down and can’t get up as later pebbles continue to trip me up.

In looking for the exact quote I came across this blog that ultimately does a much better job of talking about the quote. I consider it more evidence for the validity of the quote. Perhaps you can add more evidence to this wise expression?

6 December 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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