After having a long conversation with a friend about being unproductive, I explained that I was weary of whether my own methods were still working or not. Using my method, I was doing twice the amount of work in order to go about planning tasks to do. This was not apparent to me until that conversation. Previous I would copy things from my calendar into my text document of things to do and then write out each day what my schedule was. Upon reflecting I felt that this was way to much work.
As I posted before I have been frustrated with my productivity. In part I was curious whether as above my methods were working along with the fact that I wake up early because that’s a large chunk of time I could use. Although I wasn’t sure what the right solution was, I knew that something must change.
To do a recap, let me explain a bit about how my productivity methods were based. At the start of the school year I would enter all of the assignments due for the course that was on the syllabus on my Google Calendar. I posted each assignment as an all day event on my calendar and then added other things that would come up through the course of the semester. Once a week I would go into a text document, copy everything from that week in the calendar to the specific day and then use that as a basis of what I had to get done each day. I would then write down each task in my separate notebook, therefore doing this task twice. After realizing this was inefficient, I figured that switching to a digital system for a to-do list would be far easier then paper. I would use paper for capture and then add things at the end of the day.
In case one didn’t know, I absolutely love routines and consistency. It’s a trait shared with people who also have executive functioning like I do. For quite a while I thought that my routines were awesome and that they were working. I realized a problem when recently a professor assigned an assignment last minute. My whole routine was thrown off and I was quite flustered to say the least. This assignment seemed to totally through off my whole day.
Now I have set up my system like so. First is that I use as my to-do list Wunderlist for iPhone and Mac. Since this app syncs to both my computer and phone, everything updates really nicely. Throughout the day I constantly consult my to-do list and check things off as I go. For me I add dates for certain deadlines but not for all. Being able to not be as rigid in my scheduling I feel will be better in the long run and will be a good lesson to learn thankfully in college. My hope is that this system works and I’ll be sure to work out and post about various things I find with it.
Lately I have been incredibly frustrated. In part because of being back-to-school for two weeks, my productivity level is not what I am happy with. I think in part this is because I have not been on a consistent sleep schedule. The other day I woke up at 4:30 AM which is my normal schedule. I was the most productive I have been in quite a long time. I got everything that I needed to get done by 8am. I did a little bit more till my 10am class that I had on the backend of my to-do list. In part I decided that my to-do list was too long and so I shortened it.
Although one might think that the schedule is a little unusual, I like it for a few reasons. For one is that people don’t bother you at 4:30am. to ensure people don’t bother me, I have my iPhone on airplane mode so I am not disturbed. I do need to work on making better use of my time and learning how to save the days in which I do not necessarily wake up as early as I want to while still being productive. Maybe it has to to with shortening my to do list on days like that just to ensure that I get things done.
I will say that I have made a rule with myself to not check email during the day. I now check it once at 3:30pm or so and then respond to emails around 5pm. This keeps me from living in my inbox the whole day since I have other things I need to get done. I would like to attribute some of this in part to a program called Inbox Pause for Chrome. The concept is similar to the title in which all the messages that would normally go into my inbox instead go into a special folder. I then unpause my inbox when I check my email around 3:30pm or so and it releases all of the messages into my inbox. This way I deal with emails on my terms and not other people’s. To cover my own butt though, I have enabled certain emails to be forwarded to a separate inbox that gets notifications to my phone. This allows me to specify certain people I want to ensure I get emails from.
For this coming week, I want to be more productive. To narrow this thought down, I want to get on a more consistent sleep schedule.
If you haven’t noticed before, I like doing certain experiments to learn more about myself and to play around with whether certain things are necessary. Since I recently deleted my Facebook, I have become frustrated with Google Plus. From these two instances, I have decided to not use social media for an entire year. I know this might seem slightly radical in that many people my age become encapsulated in their own social media use. I think of it more as a personal challenge.
I am definitely looking forward to gaining time back from when I would normally browse Facebook and Google Plus. Looking forward I feel that I will have a new sense of appreciation for the actual world versus the world that people like to put on as a mask of sorts.
I’ll be sure to update as to how this goes but I’m excited for promising future.
For the next month, I will not be checking my Google Reader subscriptions. This is a personal experiment that I developed based on the thought that I consume information a lot more than I create. In other words, my input is greater then my output.
I think that for me this will be somewhat difficult because I tend to compulsively check my Google Reader subscriptions whenever I am at a computer. I think that by not doing so I will have the more time on my hands. The joy of not worrying for a whole month what is happening from various websites that I subscribe to will allow me to carry on my own pursuits.
I will be sure to post a followup of how going a month without checking my Google Reader benefited me or changed me.
Lately, several questions have formed in my head awaiting a justified answer. There is a part of me that is coming to the realization that I consume a lot of information. Even though I do enjoy lots of what I read, I still sift through endless amounts to pick out the various bits of information that I find worthwhile. This takes lots of time and energy on my day when I could be doing things that are more creative and productive.
Based on this, I began to think about why I consume more then I create. In other words I receive lots of information. From various RSS feeds of blogs that I follow, Flickr contacts, and online reading, I spend a lot of time looking at other people and their work. For myself, I feel that time would be better spent creating.
When coming up with some ideas of what direction I would go in with this post, I brainstormed in my moleskin notebook some of the questions or points I would like to adhere to. I then narrowed it down to three key questions:
Why consume when you can create?
What is the point of consuming?
Why not spend time creating?
On that same page in my notebook, I decided to brainstorm the ideas of creating vs consuming.
There are many reasons for why we as people decide to consume. We love reading various things on the web and other tidbits of information. We also use consumption as a way to take a break from our daily lives. This can often be in the form of understanding something that we did not know previous.
I then thought of reasons why I consume so much information. For one I am able to learn from others. At times I would browse Facebook to see what fun things other people are doing.
Other times I consume because I wanted a good laugh or something amazing to watch. Quite possibly this could be because of trying to disregard the worries in my own life by reading or looking at something produced by other people.
I then began to think of creating. This for me is far more personal. When it comes to creating, to me it is spending time working on something that is worth talking about. In order to do this we oftentimes have to ignore what others are doing. This is not to say that others work is not interesting or necessary important, but not essential. By focusing on what we want to accomplish by not worrying about what other people are doing can make us better in our creative work.
Being able to create allows for us to develop more of an imagination. As something long-term to think about, creating allows us to leave a legacy behind for after we eventually die. It also allows for plenty of room for growth. In turn this pushes us to get better and better with our work.
Would you rather spend more time creating or consuming?
Which would you rather leave behind for your children or members of the next generation?
Recently, I decided to delete my Facebook account. To me, it is amazing now at college how many kids at school seem to be constantly checking on it. I was eating dinner a few weeks ago and three of my friends were checking their phones with Facebook up while sitting with me. I thought that this was very rude and a sad reflection of what some people (especially younger) have become. Entranced by those who aren’t present, not being happy with being mindful of others. There is also a great amount of Facebook browsing while in class from what I have noticed.
I do have several reasons for deleting my Facebook but personally it started with one. When I walk into a room, I don’t want to know what has happened to everyone from Facebook. Otherwise there wouldn’t be much to talk about. I would rather learn about people and find out by asking what is new in their life then finding out through Facebook.
The people that I have mentioned it to do not understand why I did it. I have several reasons as to why. For one, I got tired of people’s posts. Several people that I have accepted friend requests from have the preachy mentality in which they seem to think that it’s only there way. I had become so frustrated by people’s ignorance when saying certain statements. Some might say, just go ahead and delete people. Facebook does not have good ways at mass deleting people, go figure. There were many people that I would want to delete simply because they annoyed me but it would be to big of a pain in the ass to delete all of them.
Personally Facebook had become a huge distraction. When I was supposed to be doing work, I would waste it away and wonder how I let that time escape me. The compulsion to check was just too much.
Now without Facebook I have noticed that I have more time to do the things I want to.
Does anybody have a similar experience?