(Direct reply to avoid hijacking the bucket list thread)
I have a handful of old, languishing todo items, while many less annoying
todos get handled promptly. Can you share you todo system on the list? Or
maybe it’s already written up on your blog? I’m especially interested in a
probably-Beeminder-backed way to force those old todos to get handled in a
reasonable time frame.
On Sun Aug 24 2014 at 8:33:11 PM Brent Yorgey wrote:
I like it! I have decided to adopt this idea, but adapted a bit. The
problem for me is that the barrier to taking some immediate action to make
it more likely to happen is still too high. At the very least that
requires stopping and putting some thought into what an appropriate
action to make it more likely to happen would be. So instead my rule is “IF
I hear myself stating a vague intention THEN I will immediately make a
ticket for it in my todo system”. This works since I already have good
processes in place for making sure that I work through my todos in a timely
way, not letting any languish for too long without working on them, etc.
So once I file a ticket I know I will be forced to work on it at some point
in the future; when I am forced to work on a ticket I am not required to
complete it but simply to—you guessed it—take some concrete action
that gets me further toward completing it.
And yes, I have already filed two “vague intention” tickets. So at some
point soon I will have to take some concrete steps towards getting back to
reading some classical Greek, and producing sets of factorization diagram
http://mathlesstraveled.com/factorization/ cards. =)
On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 5:20 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:
Buried in a recent thread about maniac weeks I had some advice about
beeminding bucket list items. (The answer is not “make a bucket list
and beemind ticking off one item per month.”)
There’s something related that I just said in a daily beemail and
which I’m repeating here for possible general discussion. I call it my
Anti-Resolution Resolution, which I formulated as what the Center For
Applied Rationality calls a trigger-response plan, or life recipe.
(One rationality guru has chimed in already that I’m wrong to
characterize this as a trigger-response plan since it’s not
sufficiently focused on Kahneman’s System 1. Nonetheless, it’s working
for me so I’m keen to see if others like it.) Here it is:
IF you hear yourself stating a vague intention THEN take some
immediate action to make it more likely to actually happen.
Often the immediate action can be “create a Beeminder goal”, but here
are some non-Beeminder examples:
- “We should run a marathon sometime” --> Find one later in the season
and email a few friends about it.
- “Let’s be better about keeping the house clean” --> Host a weekly
meetup that will have a side effect of shaming you into tidying.
- “We should host a weekly meetup” --> Send an email to a relevant
mailing list proposing it.
- “I need to write more code” --> Solve a Project Euler problem.
- “I should blog about X” --> Email yourself some notes or work it
into today’s daily beemail.
I’m worried this sounds vacuous, like “just do things and be awesome”.
But the idea is to take some action, no matter how tiny, as a
conditioned response to hearing yourself state an intention. Cultivate
an aversion to saying “I should…” and then sitting there like an
idiot failing to follow through.