14 Dec 2015

How To Get Things Done (The Wrong Way) 

Reading time: 5mins. Relevant to … people who are considered lazy or unreliable.

What you get …

1#  Understand more about your life.

2#  Become more productive.

3#  Learn a mental technique to make things easier.


Story: the lazy guest

Once upon a time, a farmer’s family had a lazy guest.

One morning, the host stood in the kitchen and called the guest to empty ashes from the oven. The guest ran from his room to the kitchen. With blinding speed he took out the ashes. So quick that he spilt half the ashes on the kitchen floor. He then ran down the stairs and then threw the ashes out the front door.

“Aha!” said the guest, “I’ve discovered the perfect method.” “Solve problems in life as quickly as possible, with single focus, and without thinking about it!”. The guest walked around with his chest puffed up. “Just get it out of the way … that’s it!”, he thought to himself, “A fine rule to live by!”. He went to sleep very proud of his new method. His slept well as he believed his productivity was assured.

At breakfast the next morning the guest was confused. His hosts insisted that he should leave. Now, no longer a guest, the man left his hosts and continued down the road, wondering to himself how it all went wrong.



Rubbish-bin philosophy

Rubbish bin philosopy is the tendency to do the things we don’t like without thinking about them. Often resulting in the worst possible accomplishment. It’s the idea of just getting something out of the way. So you never have to look at it or think about it again. (Just like our lazy guest in the previous story).



Rubbish-bin philosophy causes us a lot of problems.

1. You make a mess while you do it.

When you rush things, you’ll make mistakes. You’ll miss something, but you don’t have time to solve it. These things will just come back to make your life more difficult later, (think the guest spilling the ashes and still running).

2. With rubbish-bin philosophy, you don’t think about what you do when you do it. This means opportunities are missed.

In my life, I take the garbage down during my work breaks. It gives me a chance to refresh. It gets me outside the house. And it gives me a small win, that motivates me to keep working. This means the garbage gets taken down more often, and I get more motivated to work. A win-win.

3. You don’t think about it afterwards, so you don’t learn from it.

Rubbish bin philosophy stunts your growth. You don’t grow anymore. You look as far ahead from now as possible as you complete your task. You just want to get it done. How you got in a difficult situation or how you could do it better is unimportant, simply getting it over with is more important.



Why do we keep doing it?

Life is tough. Sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do. Actually, most people spend their life doing things they don’t want to do. Taxes, the dishes, having arguments are all things we’d rather ignore, but when we ignore those things, we miss out on so much.

You think you are saving time, yet you have to pay back that time later. And usually with interest.



Our culture

We live in a culture of rubbish bin philosophy. Litterally, we dump our rubbish and forget about it.

To use that which was thought useless is the future for humanity. This is also the future for individuals too, as experiences that we think were rubbish and negative can actually teach us much about ourselves.

You know that relationship you had? The one which you thought was totally negative and stagnant? That relationship is a goldmine for personal growth.




Actionable Advice

There’s one tool here that you can take with you. And you’ll see results as soon as you use it.

Right now, there’s probably a message you haven’t answered in your inbox. Your instinct will be to finally answer that message. Get it over with. Get it out of the way.

Don’t do that.

Instead, I want you to ask yourself this one question

1# Why is answering this message difficult for me?

Maybe that answer will be simple, “I don’t have enough time”, or, “I’ve something else to do”.

But that simply means you have to dig deeper.




You’ll know you’re doing it right when …

… you come to an answer that is uncomfortable.

For example:

“I don’t have time because” … “I’m not really passionate about my job”

“I don’t have time because” … “I don’t really appreciate my family enough”

The answers have to be precise, clear, and relevant to this singular situation. Not, “I’m stupid”, or, “I’m unreliable” … the answers should be useful information. Not another excuse to beat yourself up.

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