Don’t try to work through your todo list

We carry with us an evolutionary achievement, that has become an obstacle. It is our desire for instant gratification.

Everything that is new, surprising or potentially useful catches our attention. To forage and hunt food or to avoid dangers this is an excellent skill to have. In a world of abundance it can be disastrous. It threatens our intelligence as an important prerequisite for intelligence is ignorance. Only by selectively ignoring a lot of information can we process the relevant.

So to protect yourself from your own curiosity, you need to outsmart yourself…

The two facets of the unhealthy un-productivity convention

Our thirst for instant gratification expresses itself in two ways:

  1. We let ourselves be distracted by everything and anyone. This is because we suspect something potentially relevant behind each new notification, email, popup etc. But rather than benefiting us our attention gets clouded and defocused. We suffer from chronic overstimulation.
  2. On top of that, the more items our todo list has, the worse we feel. We strive for an empty todo list. I have never met anyone who was able to significantly reduce the amount of tasks on their todo list let alone clear it, yet we all believe we can.

Focus is one of THE ingredients for success and focus is only feasible when you part ways with the above two facets of the un-productivity convention.

Your challenge

Try it for a week. Work like I explained in the video and then judge the technique by its results. I recommend blocking those times in your calendar so no one can steal your time.

Where am I?

Did you stumbled upon this page accidentally? It’s part of an eight week series about the way I challenge conventions and how this enabled me to live an unconstrained and free life. Find out more here.