Tag: self management

On Doing What you Like at Work

I see many young men dreaming on loving what they do at work, regardless to other job properties. I disagree with the position. There are many more to consider: environment, people, remuneration, growth and career opportunities. The point is to prioritize the job qualities to ensure own growth. Considering you are young (up to 30), you need to prioritize in the following way

  1. Remuneration must be enough to sustain your living: rent, food, clothes. (Do not expect to have much in the beginning. You would be lucky to have enough)
  2. Growth and career opportunities (must be. If you do not rapidly grow at your first employment, you get stack as a junior forever. There should be expertise and a career opportunities)
  3. Environment and people (Good environment and nice people around will help you to develop yourself faster in a better way.)
  4. Loving what you do (is a top of the priorities pyramid. Is a luxury available to a few.)

It does not matter whether you love or not what you do. Unless it impacts your efficiency (if it does, you have a lot to work on). You must perform in the best way in any assignment regardless to your attention to it. The are cases when people are lucky enough to love the outcome of their job. It is a rare coincidence. But there is another side of the coin too.

If you invest all your commitment into your assignment, you have no choice,but to love the result. Even if you didn’t like the assignment at start. sometimes is hard to love job in the process, but the results are always paying off. Aim for the result. The result will pay off your emotional investment. Nevertheless, any skill developed in the process of doing something non-exciting will pay off some day. And you have a chance to fall in love in something new in the process.

Developing emotional immunity to seemingly boring tasks is rare, but some people have the skill. It makes individual flexible enough to handle tasks of large complexity. It also removes emotional distractions from the task, boosting one’s performance. You really forget what the procrastination is. Once I found myself procrastinating which made me realize I didn’t  do that for a hell lot of time lately. Figuring this out was quite motivational.

Ideally, individual should not rate tasks by ‘likeness’ scale. Rating as a process takes time whoch distracts a person from following schedules and deadlines. Forcing oneself to do you what you dislike is step 1 towards enlightenment. Step 2 is having no tasks you dislike or loving each task you do.

NO to RSS subscriptions

I got rid of all my RSS subscriptions. The reason is amount of feeds always expands and reading them fills all the free time I have. It literally enslaved me. One might say it’s not a technology’s fault – it all depends on a way of using the subscriptions and he is right. However, It’s not an argument in my case. I have had quit RSS twice and I have returned back to using it twice. I failed to tame my passion to stupidly read feeds on my free time. My subscriptions have always grown until all time of mine consumed, and grew a bit more. I had enough zombie-like reading weekends and I want no more.

RSS has similarity with a TV way of fun delivery, in other words you do nothing to get a content – it arrives itself, and it’s really bad. You are passive. It means you are consuming a content without any desire to consume it – you are getting addicted to a content flow, conveniently given you by RSS reader. You end up with reading the feeds neither to learn something, nor to read something you want to read, but to fill a free time gap when you do not know what to do. It’s passive way of information consuming and it’s wrong.

The right way of information consuming is active way. In order to know something, even to let something pay your attention, you have to have desire to learn that. You have to intentionally dive into information flow and discover the subject. Only this way brings satisfaction and makes you to truly learn something. It’s harder indeed, requires more brain cycles for determining what you want, typing query, filtering information, etc. But it’s active, man. That is you satisfying your demands. It’s not a zombie before RSS reader.

Moreover, if you are not using any passive way of information consumption (actually it’s mostly entertainment. I call it information consumption to satisfy those who lies to himself that he consumes information, instead of truly entertaining himself) frees tons of time. Having free time makes you bored and forces to develop a task to do. let me repeat. Forces you to develop. It means you are deciding what you are going to do. You can decide to entertain yourself, but you should never decide it. Real nerd, real human been decides to learn something new, to create something new.

Eagle eyed reader would notice article appears to be posted under self management. It means I did the above to myself and happy about it. I do not miss any of my 150+ subscriptions. I have simply forgotten about all of them, what proves none of them were needed.

GTD trap and not-to-do lists

GTD is great methodology. It enables you to dump all your plans, targets and desires to a list of tasks, freeing you mind from wasting cycles on planing your targets. It comprehensively accomplishes it’s goal – it really frees your mind. It makes you relax. It makes you think less and do more. But it has a drawback.

Any creative person has a dozen of ideas per day. If you use GTD, you log all the ideas to the task list. Amount of ideas grows, your task lists grow. You got used to implement all the tasks. All your time gets consumed by the tasks you’ve created. More you do more ideas you get more ideas you log less time is left for the remains of your life. In the end you are enslaved by your task lists.

I believe it’s impossible to do everything you want to do – you won’t have enough time for that. And that is the great drawback of the GD methodology – It does not take time as a limited resource into consideration. But it should.

How to be happier using GTD? Before taking idea into consideration, decide whether you really going to implement the deed you planned. Reduce the scope of plans. Concentrate on major and profitable, discard unprofitable and unneeded. Think what you need to achieve and how you are going to achieve it and concentrate on a high priority track.

If you feel you have to discard some activities, but you can not, there is a great idea of not-to-do list. Not-to-do list is a list of activities you do not want to do, you do not have to do, you do not like to do. A list of activities you have considered to be harmful or useless to you or goals. Wise reader would doubt the logic of having extra task list to avoid task overhead. What is the point of having all that written? At first, you will not have a chance to forget what you do not want to do and why. Secondly, having a written document has a great disciplinary effect for the cases when you want to break you rules. Thirdly, it encourages you to block unnecessary activities once you have successfully blocked few using not-to-do list.

Effectively-wise, not-to-do list frees you mind even more than the remains of GTD after task blocking. It reduces the size of GTD lists and makes them faster to be freed from the tasks.

If you have 10+ GTD lists with 10+ task in each, I strongly recommend you to review all the goals you want to achieve, revise them and let most of them go. Choose several main goals and clean you lists from other tasks. Leave inevitable tasks such as shopping, nutrition. Block the rest of the tasks with a not-to-do list. Make sure you will have enough time for completing all your tasks. Be happy.