There is a sickness in our modern society. It can affect anyone, but is usually found in men and women aged 20 and over. This disease has no official name, but it does have clear symptoms.
Most people who are affected will say things like:
- "I'll take that trip to Italy someday..."
- "I'll get my health in order someday..."
- "I'll find a soulmate someday..."
- "I'll get that promotion someday..."
Here is a typical day for most people reading this:
- Wake up, check phone and email
- Have breakfast, surf the internet
- Go to work, check phone, and surf the internet
- Go home, check email, surf the internet
- Sleep, wake up and repeat
The long-term implications of the someday disease is regret. The number one remorse on Bronnie Ware's article: Regrets of the Dying is:
"I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
Are we doomed to a life of broken dreams, woeful regrets, and missed opportunities? How do we actually do anything about it, Jeff?
Ahem...glad you asked...
The Red Pill (Actionable Tactics)“The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. ” -Randy Pausch, Author The Last Lecture
First of all: There are NO quick fixes, fairy dust, or magic bullets. Curing your someday disease will take work.
So that's why we're going to take small steps, and get the snowball of momentum rolling down the hill.
The Four QuadrantsLate Carnegie-Mellon professor Randy Pausch gave a keynote at the University of Virginia in 2007 on time management. In this keynote, Pausch outlines Dr. Stephen Covey's four quadrants method for getting things done. (Fast forward to the 20:55 mark in this video)
The beauty of this method for tasks is that it provides altitude, allowing us to "zoom out" and look at our to-do list in a different way. It also allows us to prioritize based on immediacy and importance.
The Mañana MethodI'm sure I didn't come up with this one, but It's proved effective when I'm trying to get an especially intimidating task done:
Step 1: Before bed, write down the ONE most important thing to do the following day.
Step 2: Sleep.
Step 3: Wake up, knock out to-do list. Feel good.
Screw setting the bar low, set the bar on the ground.
The Super Saver MethodWarning, this one is not for the faint of heart, or wallet:
Step 1: Choose daunting task or project.
Step 2: Find a friend, write him or her a check for enough money that you would be physically ill if you didn't have. (You're placing a bet on yourself that you'll get the project done within a set amount of time, or they'll cash the check.)
Step 3: Do the task, or lose money...and vomit.
It requires balls and/or ovaries, but I'm willing to bet that you'd rather do that thing that you've been putting off than lose money.
Sometimes, negative consequences can be a very powerful motivator. Who knows, it may even spur you to make those travel plans, or go on a run in the morning.
Cure the disease.
Live with more purpose. (Click to Tweet)
Kill it today.
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