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Lately I've been trying to figure out what my priorities are. This has been prompted by a number of factors one of which is that it is just the phase I'm in. It started off with borrowing the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. I started reading it but then "other things" came up and it has been sitting on my desk unopened for some time now.

It isn't that I don't want to read the book or think that it won't help. Almost anything I read I expect to generate some tangential ideas or realizations. My hangup is that reading it would be conforming too much to a pragmatic life, which I already associate myself with. Rash is not a word people typically use to describe me.

I find myself writing this blog entry instead of reading that book or possibly working on a project of interest. The latter causing no end of "why didn't I" moments when I see others producing what I was thinking about. I say thinking about not planning or working on since very rarely does an idea go beyond thinking for me. The act of writing that prompts me to add that some projects do get done as most of my previous blog entries for this year attest to.

This maybe just a feeling that I could be doing more? That brings to mind the concept of "personal velocity" as introduced to me in "The Acorn Principle" by Jim Cathcart, another book I started to read, put down and haven't picked up again. While I know some of my own limitations and am mostly comfortable with them, I'm positive in other areas I'm my own harshest critic and think that I could be doing more when in fact I may already be operating at 110%.

While this entry hasn't done much beyond ramble somewhat coherently over a few short paragraphs, the behind the scenes process has been much more cathartic. It has helped me remember some great articles from writers more eloquent then me that address similar material. In particular "Good and Bad Procrastination" by Paul Graham and tangentially related "Set Your Priorities" by Joel Spolsky.

Tags: life priorities


Read GTD, but quickly. Don't dwell on the points. Take what you need and move on. Some things that I benefited from:
  • the suggestion to get a good labeler
  • the alphabetical filing scheme (big time help)
  • "next-action" lists - actually more just the idea of always asking "what's the next action"
Beyond that, the rest of the suggestions border on obsessive. Maybe if you were into a sales-type job... maybe...
It's interesting to read your aversion to a more pragmatic lifestyle. Sometimes it seems like making decisions on a whim and dealing with the consequences later can be successful strategy for a lot of people. There's probably a happy balance somewhere in between.