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  • What gets in the way of productivity?

    An attempt at a little research along the way from the 150+ visitors to the posting board! What are some of the things that distract you from being productive or experiencing relaxed, focused, controled completion?

    Please feel free to post here, even if it's a few words!

  • #2
    For me, my own indecisiveness on what the most important thing is n my life---often conflicting goals. The 50K level stuff.

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    • #3
      I'm the same as tallmarvin. It's basically prioritizing the 50K level stuff that seems to get me off track.

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      • #4
        Re: What gets in the way of productivity?

        Getting Planning Done Right!

        Maybe I need Ritalin. Too many things to look at or into that aren't on my lists & to use the Covey Quadrant analogy it's Quadrant 4.

        To get really serious - I'm listening to David Live ( :P I had an album by that name in 1974!) and I am finding out that I may be distracted because I don't fully trust this system/my system yet...maybe upon full implementation with one or two really good Weekly Reviews I'll get there & start 'clearing the decks' instead of finger painting!

        JERE

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        • #5
          If I can add another vote, I agree that it is the 50k stuff. Maybe that is a product of the time and culture we live in? I think GTD is a fabulous process, except that it assumes that we have taken care of the high level stuff in some other way. If I can use a Covey symbolism, GTD will help me make it to the top of the ladder, just make sure your ladder is leaning against the correct wall.

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          • #6
            I think that what distracts me the most is not liking what I'm doing. I hava often to do things that I do not want to do and it is difficult to do them.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by avanderbilt
              I think that what distracts me the most is not liking what I'm doing. I hava often to do things that I do not want to do and it is difficult to do them.
              I second that. One thing that I'm in the process of doing is evaluating my choice of careers. I started out chasing the "all-mighty $$" and wound up in a career that, while it may be financially rewarding (and even that's debatable), I hate what I'm doing. You really have to step back and ask yourself if earning a lot of money is worth the cost of the best years of your life. I'm starting to realize that you can't put a price on happiness; I'm going to be working for at least another 25-30 years, and I can't imagine spending that amount of time doing something that I don't like.

              The problem for me is that now I'm "established" with a wife, home and child on the way. I'm in the process of going back to school, however, I hope that from a financial perspective it's not too late.

              Anyway, back to the point - I do think that "not liking what you are doing" has a lot to do with your motivation, and in turn your productivity/focus.

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              • #8
                Barriers against the GTD system

                Has anyone come up with a great way to overcome the barriers to getting things done? Barriers such as fear, not knowing how to achieve the outcome or the next step, not liking what you've got to do next, putting off doing some things because something better came up? Some say I am very organized - I have all the systems in place - yet the most important things like: getting my work done, getting my investments in place, collecting outstanding money - those things just never get done because of my barriers. Any ideas to overcome the barriers? Thanks!

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                • #9
                  Child's homework and roof repairs definitely count as work (from which I am frequently distracted)!

                  I agree that the main thing is the lack of discipline to get stuck into the boring grind.

                  Especially when there are so many entrancing distractions such as this forum!

                  FBA

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                  • #10
                    Re: Barriers against the GTD system

                    Originally posted by Guest
                    Has anyone come up with a great way to overcome the barriers to getting things done? Barriers such as fear, not knowing how to achieve the outcome or the next step, not liking what you've got to do next, putting off doing some things because something better came up? Some say I am very organized - I have all the systems in place - yet the most important things like: getting my work done, getting my investments in place, collecting outstanding money - those things just never get done because of my barriers. Any ideas to overcome the barriers? Thanks!
                    Hi Guest,

                    Speaking from my own experience and whatever small self-awareness I have, I can tell you that the fear factor was a big part of my life, all through my 20's (I'm 35 now). More precisely, it was the 'fear of failure', 'fear of looking stupid', 'fear of f*ing up', even 'fear of success' at times. I called it my own personal Internal Critic, this inner voice that pretty much paralyzed me whenever bold decisions were required.... sometimes even mundane, everyday decisions as well.

                    I think perhaps identifying through a frank and honest self-assesment why you have these barriers installed )i.e., fear of <what calamity> taking place if I act on this) would be a great benefit. Sometimes it takes an objective third party to help, sometimes-- if you can be brutally honest with yourself-- you can go it alone and figure it out.

                    If I could digress a moment, the Russian playwrite Anton Chekov was famous for writing plays in which nothing happened, and creating characters who did nothing during the course of the story, always with a negative result. Chekov showed us that choosing NOT to act was inofitself a choice with very real (usually tragic) results. This 'playing it safe' mode could also be called 'head in the sand' or 'if I ignore it, it will go away' mode. It rarely works to our benefit to do this, imho!

                    You asked about not knowing how to achieve the outcome as a barrier. If you truly know the desired outcome or the desired result and STILL can't articulate what it is you need to do NEXT to get that result, perhaps listing all the things that WON'T get it done will spur your creativity. You could just start writing them down on a piece of paper until you run out of credible (or even incredible) actions... there will probably be quite a few next actions for other projects you have going (or even projects themselves) that will come up in the process.

                    I hope my ramblings are of some help, good luck!

                    Dave

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                    • #11
                      Thank you!

                      Dave, thank you for your time and your tips. Yes, Chekov certainly drives the point home, and I will certainly try your reverse suggestion of all the things that won't get it done - great creative option!!

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                      • #12
                        Myself

                        I concur with Dave/Bunabayashi.

                        The biggest thing that gets in the way of productivity is me. My own fears, my own procrastination, my own rationalizations and my own behavior. The list that Jason posted above is, for me, merely a list of excuses for not sitting my butt down to the desk and getting to work.

                        Dave's list of fears also contributes. This has to be just so. That has to go through more revision. No...It just has to get done. In reality, no one is going to critique it more than me, so I may as well get it done.

                        One thing that I have found that has worked in overcoming this is to not shoot for A+ work. That is a recipe for procrastination. Instead, I shoot for a B and I can get it done. When I worry too much about how good it is, it never gets done.

                        For me the mantra "A thing worth doing is worth doing poorly" works to get things done. I also keep in mind that "the enemy of the good is the perfect."

                        Paul

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                        • #13
                          Clarification

                          I guess I should clarify my previous post regarding doing things "poorly."

                          I am a perfectionist and one of the things that gets in the way of my productivity is the need to do things, well, perfectly. I recognize that I use this as a tool to procrastinate. I will put off getting something done because I cannot get it done just right. The vast majority of things don't need to be done just right, they just need to be done.

                          I don't really do things "poorly." I use the saying as a way to get my head out of perfectionist mode and to re-focus on the fact that how well the task is done is less important that the fact that it gets done.

                          Example: My garage is a mess right now because I have half constructed storage shelf units strewn about. I am stalled because I need to do a minor modification of the shelf units to attach them to the wall so they won't fall over in an earthquake. I am not particularly skilled at carpentry or cabinetmaking, but it really doesn't matter, because all I need to do is cut a board, attach it to the back of the cabinet and screw it into the wall. If I don't cut it right or it isn't quite square or I cut it too wide....I can always correct these mistakes, but not cutting the pieces at all means the project is stalled and I can't get it done.

                          Hope this clarifies. Sorry for the long winded response.

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