Cue the Progress Movie Montage! (Cause I'm making big changes, baby!)

Saturday | 11.23.13 | Afternoon

I am big on productivity and efficiency. They may actually be my favorite things ever. But I was a chronic and notorious procrastinator for the majority of my life. I never want to be the person I was in my past. I missed many opportunities because I didn't finish projects within the assigned time frame. I am trying to do everything in my power to avoid ever feeling that crippling and soul shattering disappointment again. But old and deeply engrained habits die hard. When I am productive and efficient and organized, I feel unstoppable. Everything, (and I do mean EVERYTHING) in my life gets better. I laugh more. Birds sing. I have great hair days. But every now and again I still have my days when I am unorganized and a complete mess. The birds stop singing because they have flown away, frightened off by the storm cloud over my head that I spread to just about everyone I encounter that day.

I have been actively trying to be my best self and prevent Mr. Hyde from emerging. I read books and articles about how to overcome procrastination and chaos and increase efficiency and creativity. They have lead to the best work I have ever created.

I took the quiz. I was very honest with myself. I answered honestly with "me at my worst" answers. The result filled me with both dread and hope. I still have a long journey ahead. But I have come so far already. The old me wouldn't have even bothered taking the class or the quiz. I would have failed before I started. 

I am really excited for this course. I was in a slump for a long time. This is exactly what I need to churn that cream into butter and crawl out of the cup of milk I fell into. (If you haven't seen Catch Me If You Can, you should see it immediately.)

Sunday | 11.24.13 | Morning

Since my first entry yesterday I notice an immediate change. I won't write home about it just yet as I just started this process, but I thought it noteworthy to document here. I feel I should warn you in advance; I am hyperdescriptive; my posts will be long but you will really get the whole experience:

  1. I further developed some projects I was dragging my feet on. These are projects I need to finish before I start looking for a new job. I understand I am dragging my feet on them to stave off the job search which will overlap with the holidays and apartment hunting. Oy!

  2. I asked my husband to watch the videos in the first two courses just because I need him to understand that I am not making these methods up. (He is a notorious procrastinator and its effecting not only his struggling business but also our relationship and his self esteem.) I only asked him to watch the first two courses because I want him to make his own decisions about changing his habits. He identified with the crisis response mode and says he wants to take the course and have his business partners do so as well. I feel buoyed by this. (But I'll let him register for his own class and document all of this in his own project. ;D)

  3. We went to dinner with friends and had a decent amount of wine. Normally after such an evening I would go straight to bed and sleep late. Instead, I got home, immediately began finishing the sheperd's pie I was making for a family dinner this evening. I also finished preparing a crockpot soup for my mom who had dental surgery and can't eat solid foods. I then finished designing my nephew's birthday card. Normally I would have left these tasks till the morning. I feel wonderful that I got them finished last night and can tackle other things today.

  4. I compiled a pretty comprehensive collection of open loops in Google Tasks. I included minute things (mail letters) as well as large things (get new job). There are overlaps (write copy for resume, reformat resume, choose Wordpress theme for portfolio.) I didn't worry about organizing them and haven't gotten to the step where I am supposed to. I may be missing a couple of things but I feel confident that most of the stuff is in there. I felt clearheaded after even though it was 3 in the morning. I was able to fall right to sleep. Normally, anxiety keeps me awake because my brain is consumed by everything I need to be doing.

  5. Though I went to sleep at 3 am, I woke right up at 8:30. This has been unusual for me because when I am depressed I go to sleep early and stay in bed as long as possible. This morning I couldn't wait to continue the rest of the third lesson.

  6. I already had Evernote but the desktop application is on my work computer. (Apparently I haven't used it since October of last year.) I already had a bunch of notebooks with a mishmosh of stuff. I found it bittersweet that I had collected a bunch of articles of productvity and habits of successful people. I am excited to read them in the future so I added that task to my open loops. I downloaded Evernote to my home computer. The desktop interface is so different from the web interface! I installed the web clipper and clipped all the open tabs I had to my default notebook. (There were seriously about 20 tabs open.) It is so nice to only have 2 open tabs in my browser. (The other is Google tasks.)

  7. I have been using Astrid for a while and like it for many reasons. I plan to use Evernote, Google tasks, and Astrid to stay on track. I feel like confident that I will have all my bases covered with those weapons in my arsenal.

  8. I am now ready to continue with the third lesson.

Monday | 12.2.13 | Afternoon

Thanksgiving came and went like a blitzkrieg. We literally did not stop moving, except to take food coma induced naps. I got a lot done so I don't feel the time was wasted. I am however, excited to resume the course.

Brief update: I got my "physical" container even though I am not at the step yet. I knew that I had to get one from reviewing other people's projects and didn't want to add that task to my open loop list. ;)

I also downloaded Journler last night because I really enjoy the cathartic benefits of writing, but I hate to physically write in a book or type in Word or TextEdit. There are highly recommended Journal apps but I am not in the position to pay for things right now. I like the interface of Journler, though I am not crazy about its lack of formatting functionality.

Thursday | 12.5.13 | Late Night

Quick update: I haven't be able to finish watching and practicing the third installment but that doesn't mean I haven't been kicking ass on the productivity front. Google tasks and Android have been helping me eliminate several of my open loops, we're talking things that were on my list for MONTHS!!! Moreover, I am finished with my Christmas shopping (with the exception of a couple easy things) and taking care of things while my hubby is away on business. I am looking forward to getting back on track with this class tomorrow evening.

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