Wednesday, May 10, 2006

 

Let's Get Finite!


"It's possible to own too much. A man with one watch knows what time
it is; a man with two watches is never quite
sure". - Lee Segal
People keep stuff in thier head. They don't decide what they need to do about stuff they know they need to do something about. They don't organize action reminders and support materials in functional categories. They don't maintain and review a complete and objective inventory of thier commitments. Then they waste energy and burn out, allowing thier busyness to be driven by what's latest and loudest, hoping it's the right thing to do but never feeling the relief that it is.
"If not controlled, work will
flow to the competent man
until he submerges".
-Charles Boyle
Plenty of people write lots of things down, but they don't decide the next actions on them. And even when people actually think about the actions required, (before it's in crisis mode), they don't organize the reminders so that they will be seen when they are in the contexts where the action is possible. Those who do get these lists together in a burst of inspired productivity let their systems quickly become out of date and inconsistent. As a consequence, without the care and feeling of their thinking tools, life and work become reactive responses instead of clearly directed action choices.
1. Get everything out of your head
2. Make decisions about actions required
3. Organize reminders in thier appropriate categories
4. Keep your system current, complete and reviewed
In other words, focus on positive outcomes and continually take the next action on the most important thing. But who doesn't know that?

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