Forming Productive Habits With Ease

12/14/2011 05:42 PM

These days, in my online world, productivity advice is thrown around left and right. I would like to think Merlin Mann is to thank/blame for that. He got techies to start talking about things like GTD and Quicksilver back in the late-00s.

Generally, I read a productivity advice (like say the Pomodoro technique) and try to turn it into a habit. Of course, the internet is a fire hydrant of ideas and so I come across a torrent of advice. This forces me to pick and choose which advice to take.

So I pick a few and throw it into my inbox.

Then I process my inbox and, due to the GTD system, I place advices in a checklist called “Habits.”

At first it’s all fine and dandy, but there’s a limit to how many of these advices I can turn into a habit. Next thing I know, I have a checklist that causes me more stress than a habit list should.

Now I know my limit from experience and I know that I can form about three habits within two weeks. Knowing this, I’ve organized my habit list in order for me to tackle each habit-to-be one at a time.

I’ve shoved everything into a Queue and every two weeks I pick three items to concentrate on. When I’m done turning these three guys into a habit, I place them in an Archive because I’m an informational rat pack. I just don’t want to delete and forget about those items. I review my archive once in a while to keep track of the advices I’ve taken over the years; I just want to make sure that they are woven into my behavior.

After all this, I can form habits with ease. I don’t have a gigantic list to confuse and stress me, which I end up ignoring (remember, you do things you enjoy, you want to enjoy using your productivity system). I’ve got a short and ever changing list to keep me on a right track in life.

Tom Elovi Spruce




  1. You must be left-handed. That’s the only reason I would ever not keep the sonic in the right pocket.

    Alex · 12/20/2011 11:01 AM · #

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