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September 26, 2010

How to Do Stuff

What is beside laptop whilst writing this
University exams loom over me.

So naturally my thoughts turn to many things, all within the overarching theme of "un-law-related". (Spending my time researching on how best to study effectively can count as effective study, right?)
In all seriousness, I find sometimes that a task can feel so big and insurmountable that I just put it to one side again and again. I view it as one large lump of "should-do" that I will be most effective in dealing with when I am "up to the task". I say I'll start tomorrow, because tomorrow I will be super-efficient-well-slept-motivated-lady.

You know, that lady is not all that hot at turning up for work. I have her scheduled in most mornings but it's usually the coffee-drinking-bagel-making-blog-reading-Puddleduck who has to fill in...I relate, Allie.
I rarely get anything done once I think about a task on these terms; I'm just not built efficiently.
I'm Puddleduck. I puddle :D

So, I have been employing a new technique to (more often than not) get stuff done:
"All you have to do right now is..."

That is, in this present moment you can't do it all. You can't even commit to doing it all.
All you are able to do is this tiny task in front of you, it may be related to that big task but you don't have to worry about that right now.
Don't waste your afternoon rummaging around for all the right equipment or put it off until tomorrow, when you have had a good sleep. Just do this little task, then you can have a cup of tea :D

And it does work! Not all the time, but it sure beats the heck out of doing nothing, which I cannot afford to do. Getting something done also does wonders for one's sense-of-successful-self :D

Additionally, along these lines is the Pomodoro technique. Essentially using a 30-minute timer to establish (and limit) the time you spend on a task. Quite a cool little method to be time-efficient throughout the day methinks.

Happy working,

*UPDATE: Evidence! Read about the Zeigarnik effect.


Radhika said...

A ticking tomato sounds AWESOME. Pomodoro technique, I may just give you a go =)

Puddleduck said...

I downloaded the focus booster app, to try out tonight, we shall see!!

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