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« Classic Time Management Articles | Main | No-List Types - II: Entry by Doing »
Thursday
Apr142016

No-List Types - III: Just Do It

The third type of no-list method I want to describe is to get on with your tasks without doing any writing at all. This is of course the method used by the vast majority of people in the world.

Doing it effectively is quite another matter though.

I described this method in detail in my book How to Make Your Dreams Come True (Hodder 2002). In it I showed how to arrive at clarity about your goals and keep progressing towards them. Most of what I say in Secrets of Productive People (Hodder 2015) is also relevant to this method.

I’m not going to repeat here what I said in either book. But here are a few practices which will make this method more productive for you:

  • Journaling
    The practice of daily journaling - however you do it - is one of the best for increasing clarity and motivation. There are many different methods, but far more important than the method you use is that you do it regularly every day.
  • Exercise
    Everything I’ve just said about journaling also applies to exercise, plus some. We all know about the health benefits of exercise, but one huge benefit of exercise from a productivity point of view is that if you learn to push yourself physically, you won’t have too much trouble with pushing yourself to do mere mental activity. 
  • Good habits and routines
    To be successful at the “Just Do It” method requires training yourself in good habits and routines. The big danger with this method is that you will end up drifting. One of the most important habits to get into is to do things as soon as you can, preferably immediately. When you hear yourself saying “I’ll do that later”, take action to do it now!

Reader Comments (3)

Just Do It doesn't work for me. I Just Do whatever calls to me, regardless of its importance to the big picture.
April 24, 2016 at 3:17 | Registered CommenterCricket
Cricket:

"Whatever calls to you" tends to depend on the routines you have established - consciously or unconsciously. The path of least resistance is the path you have trained yourself to follow over months, years or even decades. That's why one needs a good framework to make it work properly.
April 24, 2016 at 8:34 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Agreed. My routines vary from awkward to comfortable. Very few (that I am conscious of) are automatic.

I was going to say that eventually I hope the things that call to me, that I "Just Do", will be the right things, but then thought back over the last few weeks. I make my daily list of rocks first thing, Those rocks, and any hard choices I made about them, are top of mind, and they often call to me. Not always, but often enough that I know it's worth keeping the list of rocks on the top sheet.
April 25, 2016 at 3:01 | Registered CommenterCricket

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