I have been through more than my fair share of productivity and organizational systems throughout my school and adult years. Each one promises a new level of understanding and claims to provide an easier way to organize the “stuff” in your life so that you can get to work with minimal hassle.
Though many people can easily choose one method and get that to stick, I have a harder time grafting the newfound habits and knowledge into my day-to-day life, thereby defeating any and all benefit that I would have seen if I was able to give it my all.
There is no one thing in my personality and style that prevents me from achieving to my potential, but rather a group of many different traits that work together to topple any attempt at making a change for the better.
My problem with many systems is that they are not my system.
The Long and Winding Road
I have come a long way to get to where I am now in terms of productivity. Though I do struggle daily, I am able to make a little bit of progress, where just a few years ago, I would be completely stagnate, perfectly happy to let opportunity pass me by without a second thought.
Many things in my life have changed from that time of 100% procrastination: I found my soul mate, have had two children and have been through many jobs.
Even through these changes, I still struggle very hard to overcome all of the little things that keep me from achieving the goals that I set for myself and my life.
But it seems that every stride I take into the forward arena is met with two strides backward. It has been a very long road to get to where I am today, and as far as I can tell, there is an even longer road ahead.
Tools of the Trade
Each of the tools I have been through has excelled in some area of getting me to do what needs to be done. But in the end, each one has stumbling points which make it hard to keep going. Rather than seeing this as a failing for each of the tools, I see it more as a failing of myself.
As a member of Homo Sapiens, I have the ingrown need to organize everything in my life. Viewing my workspace would lead you in the opposite direction of thought, but this is more because of a lack of faith in any one system, or in myself. I cannot find a system that works 100%, so I tend to give up.
This attitude keeps me from finishing the myriad projects and ideas that spill from my brain on a daily basis. I often begin a project at full steam, only to find myself losing motivation and inspiration without completing any significant portion.
This thought fragmentation causes my attention to be pulled in all directions, whether consciously or subconsciously. With my brain in full throttle multitasking among infinite tasks, I lose the ability to do any one task to the best of my ability.
It was impressed on me at a certain age while growing up in public school that it was not necessary to push myself to the limits intellectually to successfully navigate my way to a high school diploma. This learned behavior has caused me to hold myself back time after time.
I am not specifically blaming the school system, I take full responsibility for the habit. But I am going to briefly blame the school system for not being able to tailor itself to the needs of the individual child, and creating a way to break these bad habits that will create terrible workers in the future. The main issue with the school systems seem to be that they tailor to the “average” students. That leaves those “above average” students to their own devices, and if they do not realize early on that they will get no proper education through the school system and take things into their own hands, they will most likely become part of the “slacker” community. (This is based on my own experience, as well as some of my former classmates.)
In order to work through the ideas that I am rounding out, I will be presenting a series of posts with the general theme “The Road to Personalized Productivity.” This will not be some epic series of posts that will inform the world of how wrong they are. This will be more to work through some of the ideas and concepts that I am beginning to realize about myself.
My hope is that by presenting these ideas in posts 1,000 words or less, maybe I can promote some introspection in my readers, and help all of us through the process of learning how better to get things done.
If you are not interested in this sort of thing, space out for a few weeks, and come on back to see what happens. But I invite you to sit down and read through these writings and try to find some way to apply the concepts to your own situation. And more importantly, share any insight you have into how you are, or were working through these very same issues by leaving comments, writing trackback posts, or even just chatting it up on your favorite social network.
Does this sound like a good/bad idea to you? Would you like to add some insight to these thoughts and pages? Hit the “Contact Me” page in the top navigation and send me your thoughts.