Who Is Nick?

Omni Productive

August 08, 2008 | 4 Minute Read

I’ve been more productive lately. At times maybe a little too productive to the point of burn out ( but that’s a different post, which I may or may not write ). So, what then made the change? Was there any change at all?

Was there any change?

This is very philosophical. A kin to the one with the bear, in the woods with no one around, and the odd smell of pepper. Hmmmmm.

Simple answer “yes”.

Long answer, is still “yes” but with explanation.

Change is funny. Change is difficult. Change is messy. And the first thing one must do, is feel awkward about something; anything! If you don’t have some sort of knot, or confusion, or nerves, then my friend, you are not changing.

And with this new regime, I feel very awkward and overwhelmed and off kilter, to put it mildly. And regardless of external proof ( which I have here, here and here), because of the attempt and the feeling, I know that something is happening and change will bubble out.

“Ignorance is bliss”, and asking the question opens the door that you don’t know something. And no matter what you do, you can’t go back and forget that you thought you didn’t know something. So, simply by asking the question, or putting a foot forward, you are making a step forward.

Now, what the hell did I do?

It’s as simple as a to-do list.

{pause}

Yes! A to-do list. But for some odd reason, these little simple yet menial powerhouses of organization fell short on me. I have some sort of magical power that shuts them out completely. I feel overwhelmed by these lines on a piece of paper say “do me”. And I feel this power that I must do them today!

Then I start racing down the rabbit hole with all sorts of other things I wanted to do - you know, like goto the moon.

Now I’ve got “Go to the moon” on my to-do list with a super urgency to do this today! And then comes the inevitable “Snap”. I then either “loose” the paper, or flat out crumple it up and through it around the house. The last one, was a really good toy for my cat, few at least a month.

What kind of to-do list?

I’m using Omni Focus. I decided that for my improvement I would tighten the student belt buckle and dish out the 75 or so bucks to have the fully running version. And it’s been very helpful.

There are loads of features that seem to work right for me.

It doesn’t yell - I’ve set it so that there are no exclamation points or jumping icons that say “tsk, tsk, Nick, you haven’t gone to the moon”

Daily Review and ongoing reassessment - I’ve set it up, so that there is a review period for each series of tasks. So for example, my Clients, I have set to review everyday, were as my long term career goals, set for 2 weeks. In the morning while drinking my coffee - I open my review list, and simply check that I’ve reviewed the items. I might not change anything - and sometimes I do an overhaul as I think of it.

What I don’t need doesn’t show - In the same way I look at my review items, I have a perspective for my daily docket. These are the things I know for sure I want on the list. If I don’t know - I take it off. And it’s not deleted, just hidden for today. Which I’ll review tomorrow and add again if I desire.

What’s in this whole post for you?

I think we’ve got a few tid bits for you.

Trust your gut. Admit if something isn’t working for you, even though that the world thinks it’s simple and powerful. I can say to-do lists do not work for me. What doesn’t work for you?

Feel free to trick yourself. I know my mind is hard to fool. I can see through various ploys and sometimes it fights me. So, when that happens I trick it. In this case, I hide things. “No, that task isn’t there” I say.

Keep searching. I’ve tried what seems like billions of “task managers” and some have come close, but there are key elements that stop me. So, I made a list of deal breakers, and they were that The task list shouldn’t be pushy, I need to drive, and I need to hide things from myself.

To unlock anything - I think you need to ask what are your deal breakers. And if there is the slightest problem and your gut is saying those important needs aren’t met. Admit it doesn’t work and move on.