Decide before it happens. Ahead of time, when it’s easy to decide, when you can plan a strategy – set up a game – that will make it easier for you to do what you want to do when the rubber hits the road.
If, for example, you want to be a runner, the time to decide whether or not you’re going to go for a run today is not in the morning when it’s cold and dark, ten minutes before your run.
You can gameify it. You can make a deal with yourself that you’re allowed stop running, but first you have to make it to the mailbox. You have to put on your shoes and your running clothes, and go out the door and run to the mailbox and then you’re allowed to make a decision that you’re too busy, or too tired to run.
Make it as easy as possible for yourself – put your alarm out of reach so you have to get out of bed, have a cup of coffee or a drink in the fridge, find those socks, put out your shoes the night before. Get the thin end of the wedge** on your side.
Running clothes first. Shoes second.
**Apparently I’ve never posted on this – coming soon…
Due to an unforeseen but crocastrophic mistake (or an unhelpful linking of two different wordpress sites in my browser – not sure which), I accidentally deleted the entire contents of driverlesscroc last night.
In the absence of an equal and opposite category, I’m posting this under ‘Processes – ways to get things done’.
I’ll be restoring as many posts as I can get my hands on in the next few days.
Back up more often – my last back up was from October 18th.
Use Google Cache – google saves every site their webcrawler visits, which let me find most of the missing posts (click the little arrow next to the site link to visit the cached version).
Triple, quadruple check and don’t do such foolish things.
I was going to call this ‘the exponential function’, but I didn’t want to put you off.
This is a key force behind much of Anything Yet: if things grow steadily (say, at the rate of few percent per year) and continue to grow at that rate, it doesn’t take long for that growth to become enormous – we might say overwhelming, and we should also say all-consuming.
The classic line about this is from Dr Albert Bartlett, Manhattan
Project alumni and all-round interesting guy:
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to
understand the exponential function.
I’m not sure I’d go as far as that, but he makes an important point. Here are a couple of great introductions to the idea.
Examining the economics of the mail, he [Charles Babbage] pursued a counter-intuitive insight, that the significant cost comes not from the physical transport of paper packets but from their “verification” – the calculation of distances and the collection of correct fees – and thus he invented the modern idea of standardised postal rates.
James Gleick – The Information: a History, a Theory, a Flood
Where in your work, your life, are you counting stamps when you could be sending packages?
Nit-picking or penny-counting might be costing you a lot more time, money, emotional labour, good-will than you think you’re saving.
Maybe you could standardise, or maybe counting stamps just isn’t worth your effort at all.
What the wizards at the various casinos have figured out how to do is wire up the slot machines so that they’re constantly playing with your need to feel lucky.
The slots don’t work the way they used to. First of all, the slot machine knows who you are, and what your history is. They’ve given you this card that promises all sorts of bonuses and prizes, but really it’s designed to allow the slot machine to play you like a violin.