June 21, 2012

Compelling methods and mundane goals

Sometimes goals are compelling and other times not so much (mundane but necessary). The same applies to methods. Compelling methods can move us along towards our goals.; I currently have a very large test I have to take in October which is not compelling. It is hard to motivate myself to study. Reading notes in printed text form was laborious and the time crept along painfully - I would watch the time until the next break. I switched to making mind-maps on a Mac and my comprehension shot up and the time flew by. I’d look up frequently and realize that I’d shot past my planned break. I think my comprehension has increased since I’m a visual learner.

Another example is journaling. I struggled to keep a journal until I read about a 5 year journal and found it to be compelling. I started such a journal and went 2-3 years at about 80% of days filled-in. Then I started using DayOne on Mac and iOS. This combined with Siri is my current journalling method and I’m at greater than 100% with more entries than days.

A compelling method can be misapplied. For example, I sometimes plink out measurements on my iPhone in the garage when a simple diagram in a pocket notebook would be quicker and more useful. That is not to say that I dislike notebooks - I just find the iPhone quite compelling most of the time and need to remember boundaries.

So, I’m thinking of my motivation-starved, necessary tasks and projects and how I might apply compelling methods. I’m making some progress.

Some of my compelling methods: mind-mapping, text notes, markdown, spreadsheets, free-hand notes on paper, Siri-dictation, free-hand drawing, databases.

  • productivity
  • workflows

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