Granularity

An everyday system, TM, is a simple, commonsense solution to an everyday problem, grounded by a pun or metaphor. Propose/discuss new systems here.
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Hunter Gatherer
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Granularity

Post by Hunter Gatherer » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:21 pm

I'm having trouble with day-to-day granularity on my personal punch-cards. (I think.) So if you guys could chime in and help me clarify... that would be great.

Symptoms: 1)I'm not getting anywhere near ten tasks in each column and the days still feel full, busy or at least well-used. I know the days are supposed to be full, but I thought that they were also supposed to LOOK full.
2)The same non-routine tasks keep appearing on my schedule.

Hypothesis: One part of the problem may be me misusing JOT (Just One Thing). If I spelled things out more clearly there would be more tasks. That sounds like making busy-work for myself. But in the same way I'm worried about getting too granular. Divided too small it becomes overwhelming again (I have HOW many steps left?).

Example: I have this art project I'm working on and I keep putting down "Art project-JOT" instead of putting down "Trim elastic" or "Paint back."

I like JOT because it gives me leeway, I can just trim the elastic, or I can trim, paint, and glue depending on time and enthusiasm, but am I abusing it? Maybe I should just make "Art" a routine and stop feeling guilty?

Comments/suggestions please? My robot army needs an upgrade!
"You've been reading about arctic explorers," I accused him. "If a man's starving he'll eat anything, but when he's just ordinarily hungry he doesn't want to clutter up his stomach with a lot of candy."
Dashiell Hammett

kccc
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Post by kccc » Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:11 pm

The card doesn't have to look full. I don't get close to ten things on mine in each column. Different people's lives lay out differently.

JOT is my personal adaptation, and I ONLY use it when I'm resisting a project. If it's not working for you, do something else. :)

Work with it. Put down whatever chunk will make you feel you "did something" when you cross it off, but that is small enough that you will do it. :)

I sometimes write a bunch of "things I might possibly do, but am not obligated to" on the BACK of my card. If I do one, I re-write it on the front and mark it off. That gives me flexibility.

So, some options to play with. You could write "Art Project" and mark it off if you do anything at all. Or list the next task that really should be done if you know it "Art Project/paint boards." Or put a time limit "Art Project 15 minutes." (I do that for housekeeping or organizing.)

Good luck!

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reinhard
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Post by reinhard » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:52 pm

I usually have about 7 items per column. I do think having a more full card than not is motivating.... apart from the fact that my problem seems to be the opposite: keeping the number of tasks in each column under 10.

I've pared down the routine column a bit (from 10ish to 7) because it was getting overwhelming. The trick here is making sufficiently flexible (but still meaningful) routine tasks. 'Art' sounds like a good candidate for you.

If you keep writing the same thing in "errand," it's a good candidate for "routine."

Like KCCC, I find JOT most helpful to motivate me to take that next step forward (usually in the work column). It's certainly not obligatory.

If you are looking for extra errands to fill out your card, social errands are a big row filler for me (call mom, call bob, lunch with fred, etc).

When I get around to scanning some monthly cards, I'll scan in some more recent dailies, too.

Reinhard

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Hunter Gatherer
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Post by Hunter Gatherer » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:43 pm

I too use JOT for breaking down resistance. I just resist doing fun stuff (like art) sometimes when it seems huge and overwhelming. But I think I was overusing it for stuff that I already knew how to break down for a short time there. It has been a big help with work related stuff and other things I consider "scary" for no particluar reason.

Well I'm glad 10 in each every day isn't required or even usual.

I am slowly making the Routine row more populous. I've got about four regulars now and a couple things that happen routinely (but not on a daily basis) like laundry which pop in and out.

Thanks for your helpful comments!
"You've been reading about arctic explorers," I accused him. "If a man's starving he'll eat anything, but when he's just ordinarily hungry he doesn't want to clutter up his stomach with a lot of candy."
Dashiell Hammett

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