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Monday
May302016

Bank Holiday Thoughts

It’s a public holiday in the United Kingdom today and I have no intention of doing any blogging except to say that there are three subjects going round and round in my mind at the moment - and I’m interested to see what will come of them as they bounce off each other.

They are:

  • Getting Everything Done. I’ve dealt with this a bit in two previous posts earlier this month, and I want to take it further.
  • Emergent strategy. Is strategy something that emerges naturally from the no-list way of working - or does it need a bit of help here and there?
  • WOOP. I’ve had some successes and some failures with this, but trying to implement it while touring Romania (which is where I’ve been for the last two weeks) is probably not the best way to give something like this a fair trial.

Thoughts anyone?

Reader Comments (3)

"Emergent strategy is a set of actions, or behavior, consistent over time, "a realized pattern [that] was not expressly intended" in the original planning of strategy."

As I read that description, I thought of bad habits I formed without consciously trying. Apparently, some part of me thought they would help.

WOOP can be a useful implementation strategy for something specific, I think. "Interruptions" can be an obstacle that spawns its own WOOP strategies. I do WOOP now and then but find I don't need to do all that thinking overhead for very many projects.

Side observation: I find that I often start my no-lists with "what am I most resisting?" I'm on a working trip/vacation with my wife. I have several activities I could do to get ready for the conference I'm attending, but asking that question focuses me on the highest value activity, I think (noting to myself which sessions I want to attend and where they're located), so that I can hit the ground running on that project tomorrow. Then I can move on to other needful things (setting up a system for tracking receipts, etc).
May 30, 2016 at 20:57 | Unregistered CommenterMike Brown
I love the idea of playing with three different subjects at the same time, and seeing what develops. A couple thoughts:

The "get rid of all backlogs" part of your Get Everything Done posts is fascinating. I think you hit the nail on the head. My backlogs have held me back for decades. Good stuff is buried in the piles, but it's in piles because I took on more than I could complete. I can't throw it all away, and I can't just act on everything (it's just too much). Here's what is helping me recently. I flip through a part of the backlog, just noting everything. I write nothing down. If it's really, REALLY speaking to me, then I toss it into my inbox to begin processing tomorrow. I then set that skimmed section aside. It doesn't go back into the original pile. Then I simply work my No-List, pulling the next task from my head. If anything pops up from the skimmed stuff, I might choose it, write it down and act on it. If not, then no worries about that section of my backlog. I'm hoping after a month or so I will have skimmed all the backlog, and will have a fresh survey in my head. Maybe a couple more passes over a couple more months, and then I can chuck the lot.

"Emergent strategy. Is strategy something that emerges naturally from the no-list way of working - or does it need a bit of help here and there?" I think this relates to the Dialoguing, What's Better?, and Future Self/Present State concepts from your Dreams book. I'm using those techniques first thing in the morning as part of Hal Elrod's Miracle Morning, and I'm finding that subtly and importantly guides my No-List choices. I'm better able to filter, and it's in surprising ways. I still choose the next thing to do purely from my head, but it feels right somehow because I have a general vision to compare to. If I do something "off-track", I do it consciously and I'm ok with it. No guilt. So, I think having some "target" is important, rather than just seeing where the tasks you select leads you.

WOOP seems like a nice structure to play with during dialogue sessions. Relatedly, I had lunch with a couple colleagues yesterday, and one of them asked if we could help her solve a big problem. She then proceeded to explain what she was stressing about, what she wanted to happen, what was in the way, and what her next steps would be. We didn't even have to say a word other than listen and nod! I mentioned that, and she said thank you, she just needed to talk her way through it. She didn't write anything down, but I'm guessing it informed what she did that afternoon.

After writing this all out, it seems to me these three subjects relate in the following way: 1) fill your head regularly with your targets, visualizations, wishes, outcomes, obstacles, plans, and available options, and 2) trust that your brain will then feed the right things into your No-List system by subconscious processes we still don't fully understand.
June 3, 2016 at 16:24 | Unregistered CommenterScott Moehring
Scott:

So far I'm finding that I'm concentrating on the no-list and the other two seem to have dropped into the background. I find the way no-list works to be fascinating.
June 4, 2016 at 9:14 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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