For Christmas we got a gift certificate to a book store, and my husband and I split the money. I bought a book on writing Kanji and “Survival Japanese.” My Husband bought a book called “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. He isn’t especially interested in having a high powered career, but he has heard lots of good things about the book and was interested in what it had to say.
I was curious about the book, though I have a hard time taking self-proclaimed “Productivity Guru’s” seriously. When he used the word “workaday” in the first paragraph I nearly put the book down and never looked back. I also can’t read the title without adding “With Dolores” to the end of it, surely I can’t be the only one with this affliction.
Anyways, while most of the books advice is geared towards high powered individuals trying to get a handle on their careers I found that it has a fair amount of rather practical advice.
One thing that the author continually harps on is trust. He advises putting a sorting, filing, and calendaring system in place and keeping the lines between your categories bright. Things that aren’t time sensitive don’t go on the calendar, etc. He claims that once you start blurring the lines between your categories then they begin to lose meaning and then you can no longer trust your system resulting in stress.
Reading this has clarified something a habit that many people have that bothers me- setting your clocks fast. Lets be honest, it’s not fooling anyone, because every time you look at your clock or watch you remember that it’s really ten minutes fast. Maybe it tricked you in to being early for the first week or so but every time after that it just made you less and less sure what time it really is, and how much time you really had which only increases stress and makes you more likely to lie to yourself and believe that you have more time than you really have.
Basically what it boils down to is that you can’t trick yourself into doing things, and trying will only stress you out.
Being strictly honest with yourself all on its own may not make you more productive, but will certainly reduce stress.
Being honest with myself is something that I tend to struggle with, and I’ve tried many ways of tricking myself into changing my behavior. No matter how small of plate I use, my serving sizes never seem to decrease. No matter how early I set my alarm I still lay in bed until 8. No matter how many stars I put next to the ‘fold laundry’ item on my to do list I still find myself living out the laundry basket for a few days. All these habits seem to do is make feel bad about myself for not believing my own lies.
Maybe I should quit lying to myself. It may not get me out of bed earlier, but I’ll probably hate myself a little less for it.