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inconsistent behavior

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  • inconsistent behavior

    Letīs say you should do tons of work [captured]
    - well aware of their necessity [processed] -
    but you donīt have time/energy/mood
    for doing it.

    Instead, you waste some time doing less helpful things (like playing useless cellphone games), aware of the fact that itīs not taking you any step further.

    How do you cope with what Iīd call inconsistent behavior?

  • #2
    Focus on "playing useless cellphone games".

    Originally posted by Tom.9 View Post
    Letīs say you should do tons of work [captured]
    - well aware of their necessity [processed] -
    but you donīt have time/energy/mood
    for doing it.

    Instead, you waste some time doing less helpful things (like playing useless cellphone games), aware of the fact that itīs not taking you any step further.

    How do you cope with what Iīd call inconsistent behavior?
    Accept it and decide that "playing useless cellphone games" is your passion and calling. Delete all other things from your life and your GTD system. After 10 000 hours you'll become the international master in "playing useless cellphone games".

    Comment


    • #3
      Or, you could pick one thing from your list and try to figure out why you don't want to do it. The first thing that shows up so that you aren't cherry picking.

      Is it not fully processed? Maybe it's not really the next action, maybe there is something else you need to do first.

      Is it stale? Maybe it's not really something you are committed to at this point.

      Pretend to yourself that this item is the only thing in the world you have to do right now. What would you do about it? Can you see yourself doing it?

      Usually when your lists do not attract you to do them, it is because you either don't really care about the outcomes they will make possible or because you feel they are too hard, which is usually because you haven't finished your thinking and identified the next physical action to take.

      The only way to force your brain to discover what these issues are is to focus on the items one at a time, and don't move on until you see what the problem is.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
        Accept it and decide that "playing useless cellphone games" is your passion and calling. Delete all other things from your life and your GTD system. After 10 000 hours you'll become the international master in "playing useless cellphone games".
        Even if you are ironic:
        Itīs not possible.
        None of the time-stealing activities is that interesting to center all my focus for that long it would take to become a real master...

        Comment


        • #5
          I've had patches like this. Some of those games are hopelessly addictive. You should go cold turkey by deleting them from your phone. No game -> no play -> less excuse. Certainly not a silver bullet, but it will help by removing obstacles.

          Comment


          • #6
            Pomodoro

            this is a typical situation where the pomodoro technique might be of help. Look it up on this forum or on the internet, you'll find plenty of information on it.

            Basically, it is a very simple concept: you set a kitchen timer for 25 minutes, and concentrate for that time on whatever needs to be done, and nothing else. You can do 25 minutes, right? In the beginning, just achieving the one set of 25 minutes of uninterrupted work gives you a great feeling. Before you know it, you'll be on a schedule of 4 pomodoros (with 5 minutes interval) and then a longer break. I can tell you from experience: it does work. At first, you might even go for just one time 25 minutes on your whole day, but at least, you got that done!

            Myriam

            Comment


            • #7
              And now...

              ... Im going to set my first pomodoro, because I feel I need it today. First day of summer holidays for the children, and although they are not at home (I work from home) the holiday athmosphere is around, and if I don't set a Pomodoro, I might end up all morning surfing on this forum

              Myriam

              Comment


              • #8
                I guess I see two main types of method: finding ways to increase positive motivation to do the work, and finding ways to limit distracting behaviours such as cell phone games.

                You can assess to what extent you're addicted to certain activities such as cell phone games. This can change with time, and if you cut out certain activities you may find yourself becoming more addicted to other activities, so you can re-assess from time to time. Here's one definition of addictive behaviour: that you sometimes choose to do the behaviour when you believe you would be better off in the long run not doing it.

                If you're not particularly addicted, you may not need to set any limits on that activity. If you're somewhat addicted, it may be helpful to set rules such as not doing the activity at all or only doing it at certain times: e.g. limiting the amount of time, or the time of day, or only doing it after accomplishing a certain amount of work. If you're very addicted, then suddenly stopping the activity might tend to lead to getting addicted to some other activity, possibly something worse, so it might be better to cut down gradually, which can also be difficult.

                I read somewhere that some people are "abstainers" and find it easier to stick to a new rule if it's completely abstaining from an activity, while other people are "moderators" and find it easier if they allow themselves to indulge in the activity a limited amount. http://happiness-project.com/happine...-something-up/

                I forget where I read this and I might have the details wrong, but there was a writer who set certain periods of time when he didn't allow himself to do anything except either write or do nothing. He could look out the window, stand on his head etc., but he couldn't fold laundry, go for a walk, read or do anything else potentially useful except writing, for 4 hours. Apparently this worked for him.

                Nobody is attracted to doing "tons of work". You can make it more attractive by separating off a doable chunk of work and making sure the next action is a clearly defined physical action that you know how to do and have already made any decisions about how to do. You can choose an amount of work, starting with that action, that might take about an hour, and tell yourself that if you do that work today you'll consider today a success, whether or not you do any more than that. You can do that work at the beginning of the day, and then let yourself do either work or useless activities for the rest of the day while feeling good about being successful.

                You can give yourself rewards for getting things done.

                You can make sure the next physical action is not only clearly defined but that you know what it is -- you've memorized it -- and you can visualize yourself doing it. You can make sure the materials you'll need to do it are all collected in one place, e.g. the night before.

                You can talk to other people about the specifics of the work: what the long-term goal is, why it's important, what you're planning to do in the next day or two, and how it will help you get closer to the goal. Sometimes when talking to others I discover other ways of organizing the work ("why not do it this way?") -- they might suggest things, or I just notice things when I hear myself explaining it, even if the other person doesn't really understand what I'm talking about. Regardless of whether new ideas come up, talking about it gets your mind more involved with the work. You could, if you want, post information on this forum about the work, if it's not confidential. I notice that you've given more detail about your distracting activities ("cell phone games") than about the work (writing? sales? construction? science? ?). This may indicate that your mind is more on the games than on the work. Talking about it or writing about it on this forum can help shift your mind onto the work. It may not take much: just telling someone "today I'm going to ..." and then you go and do it.

                You can also change your energy and mood. Vigorous exercise can help: going for a jog for half an hour, or running on the spot for 5 minutes just before working. You can arrange to get more sleep at regular times, and eat in ways to ensure good blood sugar levels when you're going to be working. I take chromium supplements, and usually try to have balanced amounts of protein and carbohydrates at each meal and snack (as recommended by Barry Sears; it seems to work for me). Having some protein with breakfast can help a lot.

                You can tell yourself positive things. I like to tell myself "I'll do it. I'll make it easy and fun. I'll do it whether or not it's easy and fun." (I thought that up when I read Getting Things Done.) or "Decision. Commitment. Willpower. Action." repeated over and over (I thought that up based on a book by Anthony Robbins).

                Be aware of what times of day you tend to have more energy. I'm good in the morning
                and evening, and slow down in the early afternoon; many people tend to get a bit sleepy at that time of day. Also be aware of how much sleep you got the night before and when you last had a good meal. I think it's good to schedule more difficult work for times when you have more energy, and easy work or leisure activities for when you tend to be more tired.

                Getting ready can help. I forget where I read this idea, but changing into special exercise clothes can help you get in the mood to start exercising. I use that. I change my clothes and spread out a yoga-mat-like thingy, and pretty soon I'm exercising. It allows the mind to transition from just sitting there to actually doing an exercise now as opposed to "in a few minutes". You can do something like that for work. You might wear special clothes or a hat or sit at a particular desk or have stuff out on the desk that's only out while you're working, or pour yourself a special drink that you only drink while you're working, or something.

                You can use a combination of techniques. Each technique may help a bit.

                You might like to read the book "Willpower" by Baumeister and Tierney. They talk about building up new habits gradually: for example, begin one new good habit and wait until it's an established habit before adding in another new good habit. They say that if you try to start a bunch of good habits all at the same time you'll overwhelm your ability to use willpower and will tend to fall out of all the habits, but one new habit at a time is more doable. I figure it depends too on how difficult the new habits are. You can choose a new habit that's somewhat better than what you're doing now, and resolve firmly to follow that. I think "Willpower" is a good and useful book but it has a drawback that the first half of the book keeps mentioning the idea of willpower being "depleted" so much that I think reading it can sap one's energy. They're trying to make scientific statements, I think, not a pep talk. The second half of the book is more encouraging.

                Another good book is "Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time". It's short and punchy and a good pep talk.

                Comment


                • #9
                  ^^ wow, so many words. ^^

                  Tom, you are someone who could benefit from some thinking about your higher elevation areas of focus.

                  If the purpose of your life on earth is clear and you are assuming the roles in your life to fulfill that purpose and you have long term and short term goals to fulfill those roles in your life, and you have identified projects to accomplish those long term and short term goals, and you have identified tasks to complete those projects why would you think you had that much time to play games?

                  IF your purpose in life, and the role you assume is to be the best cellphone game player ever, like TesTeq said then you are right on target.
                  Last edited by manuelhe; 07-03-2012, 04:44 AM. Reason: To actually say something!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by manuelhe View Post
                    ^^ wow, so many words. ^^
                    I know! But did you read them? They're spot on!

                    Thanks for posting, cwoodgold... you always have great food for thought!

                    Dena

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by artsinaction View Post
                      I know! But did you read them? They're spot on!

                      Thanks for posting, cwoodgold... you always have great food for thought!

                      Dena
                      Thanks so much for your kind words, Dena!

                      I have the impression that you and I think along similar lines. It's a pleasure interacting with you on this forum.

                      Cathy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
                        i have the impression that you and i think along similar lines.
                        I agree!

                        Comment

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