I promise all my readers at least one good book recommendation per week, and this is it!
Today’s book is called Outer Order, Inner Calm, by Gretchen Rubin.
This is a fast one to fly through, but I was able to take some excellent notes…notes that I was later able to apply to my life and thus make my days a little easier to manage.
Most helpful was abandoning most of the “projects” I had on the go and instead just focusing on a few.
It’s kind of like Warren Buffet’s “Two Lists” advice. Make a list of the top 25 things you want to do with your life, and then make a separate list of your top 5.
Never look at the first list again.
Which might be a bit extreme (circumstances change, of course, and we might be able to go back to our first list at a later time in our lives), but it’s solid advice.
We try to do too much, and our performance suffers on everything. It’s a “Chase two rabbits and lose them both” type deal.
Anyway, Gretchen’s book is pretty damn good. A sample of my notes is below, and then we’ll get into a little bit of discussion.
Today’s Book on Amazon: Outer Order, Inner Calm, by Gretchen Rubin
FROM MY NOTES:
“Now” is always the best time to begin
Our environments are always shaping us, and it’s easier to engineer our environment than it is to directly influence the state of our minds
A desk is very valuable real estate, so be very selective of what’s on the surface
The easiest way to complete a project is to abandon it
“Deep clutter” is when something is impeccably organized and stored but is still something that you don’t need anyway
Begin the way you want to continue. What seems temporary often becomes permanent.
“Working” is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination
Make a “Could Do” list of all the things you could do if you wanted to, or if they served your goals
“Nothing is more exhausting than a task that is never started.”
As we let go of things, it becomes more and more possible to let go of other things, and to live with less
To get it done, make it fun
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -
Tasks we dread doing are the least likely to get done. We know this from painful experience.
Knowing this, how do we finish?
We do whatever we can to make our job more palatable to us, we “make it fun” in order to “get it done”. Catchy, concise, and certainly not “beneath me”. Sometimes a silly rhyme is exactly what you need to get yourself motivated.
I’m not motivated all the damn time, and I don’t expect that anyone else is either.
So what we have to do is tip the balance of entertainment in our favor.
We do this by adding, taking away, or becoming conscious. Add elements to our task (like music, friends, etc) that make it more pleasant, remove elements that make it less fun (over-the-shoulder supervision, time pressure, etc), or become conscious of what we actually enjoy about what we’re doing.
I don’t always feel like cutting the grass, but when I remind myself how much I like the smell of freshly cut grass, and how meditative an experience it can be, with the gentle hum of the lawnmower on the summer air, and the sun on my skin, I can lace up my shoes and get-er done.
Just remember this phrase: “To get it done, make it fun.”
You actually enjoy this! You’ll start, which is critically important in itself, you’ll find something you like about the task, you’ll get into the flow, and then it’ll be finished. On to the next one!
All the best,
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