85 Days

A couple of weeks ago I read an article by Jory MacKay about what he was going to do with the last 99 days of the year. Two of the things he’ll do stood out; writing and mindfulness. Very unoriginal stuff for people who read productivity / creativity kind of blogs but still, very appropriate for an editor like him (and I) so I decided to jump on his idea and do the same thing.

Except the only action I took was to set a reminder; every day for writing (hoping to write something like 500 or 750 words) and every second day for meditation. But not much happened. Why? I didn’t make the time for it.

Since then, I also found a Matt Haughey project, he writes “half-baked short essays” for 15 minutes in the morning. I liked that idea, similar to the 750 words thing Jory and many others do but since it’s a time block it’s scheduleable. (Yeah yeah, I could schedule X amount of time for the 750 but sometimes just a little shift in perspective does the trick and thinking of it as writing for 15 minutes is that shift for me.)

So I’ve switched “system” and have scheduled my little 15 minute writing block for every day (this is the first). It’s likely going to be (at best) 15 minutes on work days but I’ve set the reminder for every weekday, we’ll see how that goes. I’ll also try to post most if not all of those writings here, revive the old blog at the same time.

While on the topic of perspective shifts, I also discovered the Ivy Lee method a few weeks back. It’s the same as many methods; plan your day the night before, prioritize tasks and identify your top X tasks. The small (dumb) shift for me was the fact that Lee talks about six tasks. Most of those methods talk about the one super tasks or three tasks, etc. Six kind of clicked for me because with the kind of work I do and working closely with a team, setting three tasks doesn’t make sense, stuff gets piled on, dates pushed back or forwards, etc. Six feels like a good reasonable number to work from. Doable and yet you can get through a few smaller things where the three task tricks make you focus on bigger tasks when some small ones are forgotten. Like the 15 minutes vs X number of words thing above, it’s a dumb distinction but it “places” my mind in a better frame which will hopefully be successful.


Header image by Cole Rise, just because it’s been my desktop image for months and I love it.