Monday, July 20, 2015

Do the Right Thing

"Do the Right Thing" by Laure Wayaffe
Da Mayor: Doctor...
Mookie: C'mon, what. What?
Da Mayor: Always do the right thing.
Mookie: That's it?
Da Mayor: That's it.
Mookie: I got it, I'm gone.

Tony Crabbe asserts that time management is just making our busy lives worse - that the emphasis on breaking down tasks into smaller and smaller slices does mean that you cram in more stuff into a given time period but that you're not getting to the big, important things that can't be timesliced.

 Tagged! by jdhancock
Maybe. Or maybe the techniques which used to work no longer do, since those techniques are actually changing us?
By coincidence, I've been playing with some ways that are a little different than the make-a-list and tick things off style of time management. Though I'm treating all of them as supplements, to try and help me get to the important-but-not-urgent things.
13/52 : Charte canadienne des droits et libert├ęs by Eric Constantineau

Habitrpg - "HabitRPG is a free habit building and productivity app that treats your real life like a game. With in-game rewards and punishments to motivate you and a strong social network to inspire you, HabitRPG can help you achieve your goals to become healthy, hard-working, and happy."

So, in fact, this is pretty close to the traditional make-a-list time management technique, but with added gamification. However, what I use it for is things like chores or habits that I want to cultivate but don't want to clutter up my to-do list. I can pick which days of the week I want dailies to appear and I associate different levels of difficulty. It has nice feedback to tell me how often I'm getting to something (e.g. by changing colours), has a holiday feature (where you check into an Inn) so you don't get penalized for changes in your routine but also let's you declare task bankruptcy by killing your character off altogether and then getting a fresh, re-incarnated one. Fun.
harpseal by gale
BJ Fogg's "Tiny Habits program can create new behaviors in your life." In some ways, this is the ultimate timeslice technique, in that you break down things into the tiniest possible steps - e.g. rather than "I want to floss my teeth twice a day" - you resolve "I will floss a single tooth". Then you tie that action to a trigger action - something you do routinely - e.g. "after I step out of the shower". The idea is to grow a set of positive new habits to habits you already have. Of course, if you're already flossing one tooth, you may as well floss a second. So, eventually, you find yourself flossing all of them. Although these are microtasks, they are not on your to-do list. Instead - the hope is - they just become automatic habits, that you don't need to think about.
I've been able to develop some good habits (e.g. tidying up my car) but - like everything else - sticking with it is the tricky thing. And not *every* desirable habit is easy to pair with a trigger action.
The Chili Pipeline by Viewminder
Blog Course - John Somnez (of SimpleProgrammer) offers a "FREE Email Course "How To Build A Blog That Will Boost Your Career" Will Show You How To Do It The RIGHT WAY... FAST!". It is essentially a three week course that takes you step-by-step to setting up a blog, from setting up Wordpress through a marketing strategy. Posting to my blog is something I know I should do - and have been kinda doing for the last few years. Actually having someone email me about it every week, with concrete steps to follow and even personally replying to my emails, makes a big difference with really doing it, though. Basically, John's course isn't a time management technique, but more of a coach - helping me do what it is I know I *ought* to do, but haven't been able to do entirely on my own.
Vulture Peak by Wonderlane
Lark - A fitness / nutrition app, Lark lets you "Chat 1-on-1 with your nutritionist in your pocket". On my iPhone 6, it makes use of Apple's iOS 8 HealthKit, to track my daily movements. It can also be configured to help me with nutrition, by letting me log what I eat. What's different about this one is that it simulates someone texting with you. It is like a relentlessly upbeat friend, who is obsessively monitoring how much you walk or run each day, plus always asking about what you've had for breakfast. That might sound annoying, but it is actually pretty encouraging. It has certainly got me eating more fruit and vegetables and nudged me into exercising a little more.
do the right thing by paolobarzman
The last two I list above - John's Blog Course and the Lark chatbot - are an interesting development, beyond time management lists. They are essentially coaches who encourage you to do the things you know *should* be doing, but aren't: do the right thing. That's it.