Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Low energy productivity

As long-time readers of my blog (a statement recognizably oxymoronic only after a little bit of thought) may know I'm a lukewarm disciple of David Allen's Getting Things Done. One of the pieces of convetional wisdom he disputes is prioritizing your tasks. Rather than prioritizing tasks he prefers to contextualize them. What tasks can you accomplish in the time available? with the tools at hand? at your current energy level? Once you've answered these questions if there is more than one task that meets the criteria then you can start prioritizing.

For someone who's vaguely manic-depressive (isn't everyone these days?) like myself this wisdom about contextualizing your tasks is very valuable particularly when I consider the context of energy level. I often times will have one or two big things that I need to get done, and I'll be so fixated on those things that I won't consider doing anything else, even when my energy level is too low to tackle these big projects. What results is that I do nothing, or nothing productive at least. Now if the big things were the only things I had to worry about then I guess this wouldn't be all that bad, but like everyone else there are also countless little things I need to do.

So that's one of the things I'm trying to train myself to do, when my energy level is low to pick something that still needs to be done, but which doesn't require much energy, frequently the reason these things haven't been done already is because they were low priority, but by cleaning these things out of your list you free up focus for the things which do really have a high priority. Anyway that's my lecture for today, I imagine that it was of benefit only to me (and even that is debatable).

What a beastly time to be in the doldrums


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! Playing Dreamblade was really low on my priority list, but thanks to your blog and your personal help, I managed to spend my entire evening playing a single game!

You da man!


11:02 PM  
Anonymous Geshin said...

What is this?
Are you trying to justify NOT mowing your lawn?

7:51 AM  

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