Tuesday, May 3, 2011

loren 2.0

"They call me the [Tortoise], because I take my time, but in the end I always win." ~ Tortuga (from Breaking Bad)

One day I will be dooced, but it's OK I'm still going to write things like: every time I'm at work, I'm like Dorothy, I just wanna go home. This should not be interpreted as a slight toward my current form of employment (although let's not kid ourselves, it is shithouse), there are deeper forces at play here. The truth is I don't like work of any kind, even the kind the I purportedly want to do. It's like they say "I don't like to write, but I love to have written." Whenever I sit down to do one of my projects Resistance kicks in immediately. I want to retreat to the safety of internet browsing, alcohol, weed, fast food and other less flattering time eaters. 30+ years of training yourself to flow like water, away from the hard stuff, is not easily undone. I need new habits.

To facilitate the transition from uber slacker to ass kicker extraordinaire I've had to start very small. Tiny, tiny premature midget baby steps. My iPhone has been helpful in this regard. I recommend to anyone 3 types of apps to assist in keeping focus on whatever you decide is important.
  1. Get a daily planner e.g. Things, Remember the Milk, Pocket Informant. I use Awesome Note. The name speaks for itself.
  2. Get a time tracking app. I use Eternity, this app allows you to log what you actually did minute for minute throughout the day in categories of your choosing. You can instantly generate reports that give you a percentage breakdown daily, weekly or monthly of what you do. It is amazing how much time I spend on inessential stuff.
  3. Finally get The Habit Factor (or alternatively use Don't Break the Chain, not a native app). This app let's you set goals then habits that are related to those goals. This is where I do my major micromanaging. For example, I want to meditate. I designate a week (you can choose whatever time period you like) where I will at minimum meditate for at least 1 minute a day. At the end of that week if I achieved my minimums and how could I not, it was 1 minute a day! Then I add another minute to the next week. 2 minutes a day. When I get to 15 a day I'll sit on that time for a few weeks. This is how they treat phobias apparently: gradual increased exposure to the object of fear over time, in a controlled environment.
Is 3 Apps really necessary to get my ass in to gear? No, I could probably get away with just the daily planner, but doing it how I do is like an injection of OCD in the arm. Everyday I'm semi-obsessed with what kind of stats I'm going to tally up so it motivates me in that way. Plus I like how Eternity and the Habit Factor and even Don't Break the Chain chart the data that I record, giving a visual breakdown of my proceedings.

I want to be the frog that is boiled to death without noticing. There's an old philosophical conundrum (sorites paradox): when does a pile of sand stop being a pile? You take away one grain at a time and eventually you don't have a pile anymore, just a single grain of sand. Where does the transition point from pile to non-pile occur? That's the conundrum. That's also me, except working in the opposite direction: Building piles of awesomeness one fucking grain at a time.

No comments: