Mindset – How to get things done.

Mindset, how to get things done. Whatever that may be! Well I have done a lot of experiments with what works for me and what I should improve when I want to get stuff done. It consist of a few key ingredients. First and foremost is planning. Have a goal , break it down into steps and plan the time, resources and order and start stepping.

Well that’s easy. No it’s very hard. When I first started using weekly planning sheets it was out of sheer necessity because I would otherwise forget everything. It was in place for me to get by on a day to day bases.

Then after a lot of trial and error I got my day to day in order and got myself thinking what do I want challenge myself with. And make a plan. Then I started falling into some traps. First and foremost I planned way too much , too much tasks and too much goals.

Which brings me to ‘rule’ rather recommendation number 2. Plan too little. There will always be something that takes up more time or an unplanned event will destroy your carefully set to do list.

Have no more than 1 great goal at any time in 3 categories. Max, why ? Well otherwise it will get muddy and stuff starts drifting. You can only focus on so much. For example , set a work or learning related goal, one physical fitness and one personal life goal. Learn how to program , run a 10K race and plan a trip. Or whatever you want. There will be lots of other stuff needs doing besides those goals.

It’s also divided into 3 categories for a reason, one is demanding on the brain, one on the body. You can keep those two nicely balanced , your brain needs time to digest newly learned stuff and exercise helps a lot (as does sleep) , the third must be less of a braindrain and more in the way of relaxing.

You have only about 4 hours worth of intens brain work a day anyway. If you trained yourself right.

So keep to do lists small, and allow yourself much needed rest in between. Recovery is key. Only make new to to lists when old ones are fully done. Don’t put notes and reminders for future tasks on existing to do lists , it will distract.

Makes a nice bridge to the last tip for today, when doing work that needs a of your brain power , make sure you get rid of any distractions. Put away your phone, disconnect the internet, don’t open your mailbox. Make sure you fully focus on the task at hand. Make sure everyone knows you cannot be disturbed. Make sure you have a way of letting people know they cannot disturb you during those hours , only for emergencies. And let them know what an emergency looks like.

Make sure you don’t stretch yourself too much in those intensive brainpower consuming sessions. Set an alarm after an hour or two and take a real break. Jus eat something or enjoy a good coffee. Do not let your distractions in, no phone no email no internet. Just time for recovery. Limit the total amount of time to a max of 4 hours or so per day. Start with a half an hour and build from there. It’s hard focusing with such intensity.

I have made all the mistakes having way to many goals , too much on the to do list and every distraction possible at hand. It leads to frustration and anger because nothing gets done within the time frame you planned for it. Not even close. It’s not easy getting razorsharp focus. It needs a lot of training. The mindset isn’t just there the moment you decide it is. It needs training , consistency and rhythm to cement itself.

And for now , rule or recommendation 3, don’t be too hard on yourself. There will be days when everything goes easy , and there will be days, weeks even when nothing works. Just trust yourself and stick to it. You will get there and it will get easier to get your focus back. Make sure you evaluate your goals over time, is it still the right goal and does it need adjusting. Are the steps still the right ones. Have no fear of throwing goals in the bin if it’s not achievable for you. Just start a new one. I have trashed more than I finished. But made sure I learned from my mistakes. That’s why it’s important to evaluate.

And have fun, it’s not always fun, nor should it be. Some goals will be a necessity in order too get forward. But make sure you have fun along the way. And set fun goals, stuff that you know is fun from the beginning. And never give up on yourself and the process.

Zero

Back to zero, this lockdown for me is a forced rethink of what I need to do, or love to do. I have had a forced reset after my brain injury and after a few years I have a pretty solid base. And I got into a rhythm again. I sometimes forget to focus on the goals I have set after my return to the ‘real world’.

After adjusting to the lockdown and getting my head around it, I have spent some time going tru my notes and thoughts just after my revalidation. It was very much focussed around learning and getting some old ideas done. Mostly focussed around creativity and music. It’s has been hard getting started on those things for some reason. This part of my goals has been overshadowed by the day to day stuff I need to do. So I am now need to set some time for it.

This new crisis has also made me think we as a society need a reset, a bold start from scratch, back to zero.

It has also shown the fragility of our system and the need to rethink a large part of it. For me a lot needs to get back to zero. Start to rethink the whole idea of how we need to organize society and how we do things.

The focus on economic growth and keeping big business happy is long overdue. The metrics we use for calculating our output is one of the past. The cost of every crisis lands on the weakest shoulders. Most people haven’t really recovered from the financial crisis of 2008 and are now here. It might seem as if there was a recovery but most people just got back to a level of were they were in 2008.

The main problem is the inability for most people to get there financial situation more stable, workers rights have steadily been downgraded, the gig economy is not one that benefits most workers. And thus most people. Combining this with the every growing privatizing of healthcare , utilities and so on it’s a risk cocktail that has again landed on the same group of people.

The risk for society as a whole has gone up as well, the governments around the world have stepped in at an enormous cost for the future , all in a all in bet for quick recovery. Which might not happen.

So while this is all pretty gloomy it also gives us as a opportunity to force a few long overdue changes. The most important is the mindset about how we measure the wealth in our society. It needs to be a new mix of economic growth , health and happiness of the people and nature. A focus more on the quality of life and things rather than just things and masses of them.

It’s just a thought but these levels of leverage on financial , environmental and human risk our current system is very much unsustainable. Hopefully this new crisis will give way to forward thinking and real problem solving. I for one hope for the best.