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Pause-Punchline Flow

*1/13/14*

I've been living with anxiety ever since I can remember. I'm sure my first thoughts were worrys. I was always hyper-concerned about what I was doing and where I was going all in a quest for perfectionism. 

The endless onslaught of worrys worsened in college and my mind is always racing. Between jobs and grad school, I found that the worrying about the "To Do's" and the anxiety over what falls through the cracks has become overwhelming. I lack focus which lessens my efficacy in accomplishing anything. I always feel like I'm running to catch up. I have my self spread between cluttered physical files, written "To Do's," and endless stores of digital archives. For example my desk:

You don't even want to know what the inside of my brain looks like.  

I want more control. I want a pause-punchline flow: the ability to pause, breathe and enjoy my life while still being able to punch with planned-out precision and accomplish my goals.

My Quiz Results:

Oh god, this is gonna be rough.

*1/15/14*

So after much deliberation, I chose to use Wunderlist as my task manager. I needed to realistic and settle for something simple with an attractive interface. The basic "star" option is all I really need in terms of prioritizing tasks; I don't forsee myself ranking tasks with different levels.

I also went through the Tiago's Curated Resources and installed/testdrove a few. ActiveInbox really helped to quickly organize my mailbox, but the interface can be a little clunky/confusing. However, the most useful function is the ability to set due dates for e-mails. I think this may be a better alternative to trying to take e-mail-only tasks and dumping them into Wunderlist. The simple "I need to follow-up on this by..." date can be useful.

I installed Stay Focused (as well as Ad Block) for Google Chrome; got the hang of Evernote; and I installed a hand ful of apps for my phone and iPad, but I haven't gotten around to playing with them all yet.

*1/22/14*

Spent some time traveling, so I've had about a week to continue dumping. I reached about 250 items on my task list. Once I moved on to Phase 2 of Processing, I quickly realized that I Wunderlist was not living up to what I need in terms of sorting items and assigning due dates. I made the switch to ToDoist, which thus far has been an approvement even if the interface is not as attractive. 

One thing that has bugged me about setting up my reference containers (a combinatoin of Pocket and Evernote) was that I could not find some convenient way to store animated GIFs (which I use fairly often on Tumblr, Facebook, and iMessage). I have a Chrome bookmarks folder, but it would be great to have a Evernote Notebook folder that easily allowed me to copy and paste these GIFs. I'll spend some more time playing with Evernote, but it looks like I might be stuck.

One huge problem I had during processing was setting due dates. I wanted to do everything this weekend. Although I am pretty realistic about urgent items (usually work) that must be done, I have a hard time scheduling due-dates for the non-urgent things.

Additionally, the intial processing is exhausting, so I am doing a second round through cause I know I was lazy the first path through.

I haven't even started on the physical aspect of GDT (my home desk is mostly non-urgent), but I am beginning to feel more of a grasp on the digital aspects of it!

**UPDATE** 2/23/14

Wow, it has been over a month and I have barely been able to dedicate time to my project and class :P. I've gotten off to a great start though and I've been using ToDoist every day and have been pretty good at "dumping" open loops regularly. However, I find myself still stalling when it comes to processing and I my anxiety still works to prevent me from looking at my ToDoist on a more regular basis (i.e. I'll look at it mid-afternoon instead of in the morning when I am starting my day).

However, my BIGGEST accomplishment is cleaning my desk :P. Here is the after pic:

So MUCH better. I've started a new policy of only doing work/writing at my desk, only eating at the kitchen table, and only sleeping or watching stuff in my bed. Previously, I did EVERYTHING in my bed and I have been having trouble sleeping so I'm trying to associate my bed with sleep more. Well, going to spend some more time on the class and work on some of the issues I'm having.

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