The One Thing Missing From My Dream Task Management System

My dream for my task management system is to get a system in place where I don’t have to think about what I could/should do but instead I just look at the appropriate tasks and then do those tasks.

That may sound incredible and unbelievable but my systems isn’t that far off. By saving every task with a few key pieces of information and having a set of filters my system can do a pretty good job of telling me what to do at that moment. Saving me mental resources and insuring that right option is infringement of me.

It could be improved but the differ nice would be subtle.

The real issue I have is with the second part. Following through.

My system is set up to show me what I need to do when I need to/can do it. I know that in the morning when I first wake up I have a great opportunity to create something new and important but not urgent (before all the “urgent” email request/social media updates/work commitments etc come in) I know that at night is the perfect time for automatic jobs I don’t need to think about and so my system will suggest those tasks at those times.

And yet when I come to make that important but not urgent work, the resistance kicks in. My mind tells me that I can just check my email for five minutes or maybe I should do something else and not trust my system. And when it comes to night time the resistance tells me that there is time tomorrow and is much rather just relax.

Maybe  your system could be improved, maybe you need a different app but probably you, like me, need to work more on overcoming the resistance.

Fashion and Sweatshops

When I was younger I was a strong campaigner for fairtrade and antisweatshop measures. I went along to events, sent letters to companies telling them I wouldn’t shop from them till they changed their practices and was quite actively involved in some groups around those ideas…then things stopped. I don’t know why exactly but I wasn’t as involved anymore. But this week I heard John Oliver talking about the terrible practices surrounding the manifacture of clothing [warning there is probably some foul language and is deliberatly offensive in the video]



Now there is certainly an argument that child labour can be an important step in the industrialisation of a nation (it happened in victorian Britian after all) but if a company says that it will have adequate safty practices and it doesn’t t hen that’s just not right.

This video reminded me of “The end of poverty” by Jeffery Sachs, which laid out some practical ideas for the erradication of poverty in our lifetime…and yet I’ve forgotten about them.

Maybe it’s time for me to take a closer look at how the clothes I buy are made, whether the workers are getting a fair deal and being treated right and not exploited.

Do you comment on blogs less?

I have noticed that the number of comments I’ve been receiving has gone down…a lot. I’m not too surprised as the items I’ve shared have been more informal sharables rather than longer form articles encouraging discussion and debate. However, I don’t think that is the only factor at play here. I went to one of my friends websites (he runs a successful and popular site, much more so than mine) and I noticed that on the first page of blog posts (some five blog posts) he had 0 comments in all but one post…none, zip, nada.

That outlying post had two comments and yet I know the traffic stats he gets (they’re pretty significant) and I also know that I’ve been getting more and more traffic on this site (I don’t know how or why exactly but there you go). So it made me think again about why people do or don’t comment on blog posts?

Why do you comment on blog posts?

A long time ago I wrote a post on why I didn’t comment on your last blog post (it’s fun to re-read old posts) and I’d pretty much agree with every point I made except now I think that my mindset has changed.

Instead of going to a blog post looking to comment, I now have to be convinced to comment. My default is not to comment. That means that I’m more likely to comment when I really disagree (though often I’ll just walk away, I rarely see the point in fighting on the internet), when I’d like to find out more (but experience has taught me that bloggers reply to those sort of questions a lot less than they used to, or sometimes invite you to buy something) or when I really think something is A-MAZ-ING.

Maybe in the early days of the internet I knew less, found more things amazing or didn’t have social media in the same way that encouraged me to comment there, but whatever the factor/factors are, I find myself commenting a lot less.

Is it bad to be commenting less?

I’m really not sure what the answer is here, maybe it is, maybe we’re missing out on learning from each other and certainly as a writing it means we miss out on inspiration for blog posts, but maybe it’s just one of those things. We discuss more on social networks or closed communities and less on blogs.

What do you think?

Do you comment less frequently on blogs? Maybe you comment more? What makes you comment?

Yes this is partially a self serving attempt to generate more discussion but it is a genuine question. Is this just me or not?

Choosing to not be tired

One of the stupidly obvious realisations I had when working through my tasks in the focus course today is “I am not very productive when I’m tried” I know big shock and not real surprise there. I’m sure you’ve had this realisation before and are aware of this truth but do you live like it?

What I mean is do you take steps to insure that you aren’t tried so that you can be productive? Do you choose not to be tired?

I haven’t been. I’d go to bed late, not have a regular time to go to sleep, not switch off my devices a suitable time before going to bed, not eat the best food for slow burning energy and so on and so on. If you looked at my lifestyle you’d almost think I wanted to be tired rather than the opposite. That’s the problem with default behaviours like fiddling about on the internet before you go to bed. They may seem harmless [no one died from me spending an extra 30 mins on the internet two nights ago] but they can lead to some greater option not being taken.

Well today I choose not to be tired [as much as within my power]. I’m not going to let my actions result in me being tired and unproductive, I’m going to mould my actions so that I am lively and full of energy for the next day, ready to do my best work.

Practical steps

Some practical steps I’m taking include

  1. Setting a regular bed time
  2. turning on do not disturb mode earlier on my devices [7pm]
  3. switching off electronic devices an hour before bed
  4. eating less junk food and more healthy foods
  5. leaving a great time between eating and sleeping
  6. drinking more water throughout the day

I’ve already implemented some of these steps and noticed a difference. I’d welcome any extra ideas you have.

link: 10 minimalist living tips

One of my “hipster” internet gems (as in things I seem to be aware of which other people aren’t) is Raymund Tamayo. He is a blogger in the Philippians who is also a christian. I haven’t always followed him closely but when I have, I’ve found some hidden gems of posts. He has recently written a series with 10 tips of minimalist living (click the headline to go to his post) and they’re worth checking out. I’m slowly reading through them, one a day, and really enjoying them.

Why not check it out and send him a message saying hi.

Over on Churchmag I covered this brilliant new iOS (currently iPhone only) bible app. It has a beautiful clean interface and makes use of top quality typography. It costs unlike some other apps and lacks many features but I love the interface (especially the simple guestures and double tap search).

Click the link to check out the full review and if you have an iPhone, consider giving a few bucks to the developers.