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Getting Shit Done Personal Growth

The reckoning of the to-do list

Quoted Hundreds of Ways to Get S#!+ Done—and We Still Don’t by Clive Thompson (WIRED)

You want to be productive. Software wants to help. But even with a glut of tools claiming to make us all into taskmasters, we almost never master our tasks.

a to-do list is, ultimately, nothing more or less than an attempt to persuade yourself.

— Clive Thompson

I fit the description in this article: I’ve tried so many different systems and software — Toodledo, Trello (currently using), Sunsama (time blocking blended with to do list), kanban (currently using-ish), GTD, off the top of my head.

I think the author’s onto something with the idea that what we really need, rather than the perfect tracking system, is prioritization and realism about how much we can accomplish. I am getting better at separating my self worth from my productivity but I think that mindset is common in our society. This is what 4000 Weeks is getting at: that we must accept we cannot get it all done. That we must choose.

And if we leave the choosing to our daily selves we get caught up in urgency rather than importance. With that in mind I’ve started to book myself an hour a week at work for “big picture” strategic work. We’ll see how well that works!

Another key thing I’ve realized over the years is that in my life overall, energy and not time is the limiting factor. Remembering and making time to work on long term projects, and finding the activation energy of getting started are my main hurdles.