Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Now is good

Humans live in time and space. And until someone finds a way to make practical use of quantum theory, each of us is allotted the same linear 24 hours each day in which to get things done. And each of us has thousands of things that we could do at any one time.

I'm going to look at procrastination in more detail another time (that wasn't meant to be funny), however, here's a maxim that (I think) I made up all by myself:

"If it is definitely going to need to be done, and you can do it now, do it now."

It's never going to win any prizes for succinctnessness, but as a principle for getting things done, it takes a lot of beating.

Someone has sent you an email suggesting you get together some time. The temptation is to reply some time in the future. Why not check your diary, and reply now?

A friend's birthday is coming up in a week or so. You've got a couple of minutes spare while a document is printing. You've got an appropriate card (What do you mean, you don't keep a stock of appropriate cards? I can feel another blog coming on...). Write an appropriately hilarious age-related missive, address the envelope, write 'not to be opened until *insert birthdate*' on the flap and pop it in the first pillar box you see(yes, yes, you WILL need to put a stamp on it as well!).

Your car's petrol tank is a quarter-full (or, for the pessimists amongst you, three-quarters empty). You're in plenty of time for whatever appointment you're driving towards, and you're approaching a petrol station. Pull over, and fill up now. Not when the needle is hovering on the 'E', and you're already running late!

Give it a try, you'll be surprised how applying the IIIDGTNTBDAYCDINDIN™ maxim frees up your days, and minimises that awful 'there's no way I'm going to get everything done that I need to get done' (TNWIAGTGEDTINTGD™, damn, I'm good at this acronym thing!) feeling.


Major Look said...

Couldn't you just use the acronym
DINIYC - Do it now if you can
IYCDIN - If you can, Do it now
JDI -Just Do it (I'm sure I've seen that one before)

There is no need to ponder on things that don't need to be done, so the 'If it definitely needs to be done' is irrelevant ;-)

brett jordan said...

hi major

'do it now if you can' is cool, but i wanted to include the (very important) factor that there are lots of things that you can do now, but now is not always the best time... it's not just about whether you CAN do it, it is about whether you SHOULD do it...

however, i do concede that your acronyms are a little more snappiererer than what mine are

soraneko said...

Boo to snappy acronyms - they're illustrating the point of procrastination really, aren't they? ... Aren't they?

brett jordan said...

BTSA - now that's a good acronym :-)

Can Opener Boy said...

Hi Brett,

Your ideas remind me of Covey's thoughts on four quadrants.

In my PDA I've re-configured my thinking on the task "priority level" and instead I think of them as "quadrants"...and I now never need to use a 5!

~ Keith

brett jordan said...

thanks for the comment keith... i'll give your link a look... i hope that this doesn't mean i share his pelagian tendencies as well!