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Five Things

Today, I am thankful for…

  1. … having a good woman as my partner.
  2. … music and art. My life is infinitely richer because of them.
  3. … the time I’ve had recently with my daughters. I’ve been trying to focus more on the truly important things in life, and it has paid off with immediate returns.
  4. … homemade yogurt. It’s eerily simple to make. I feel like I’ve learned a secret art.
  5. … the philosophy of fire and motion.

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Return and Report

It has been a month since I swore off Mormon-themed blogs for a month, so I guess I can go back if I want. I don’t want.

It has been a positive change in my life for at least two reasons. The first is that I have a lot more time to do other, more important things. I avoided reading at least 367 blog posts. I’m positive that I would have enjoyed many of those posts. Still, I enjoyed the free time that I had instead of reading them. A lot of my blog-reading is pure procrastination. Avoiding reading these blogs gave me less opportunity to put off things I would like to do. (It’s ironic that I would put off things I would like to do, n’est-ce pas?)

The second reason is that I’ve found greater peace of mind. The less often I’m reminded of how annoying and dangerous Mormonism is, the more I’m able to change things that are more within my control. Being constantly outraged wears me down over time like water torture. It threatens to make me see Mormons and other religious folk as flat, two-dimensional characters in a farce. That’s far from the truth. I owe my first loyalty to the truth.

So I’ll be releasing a select one or two blogs from quarantine, but I am hereby reclaiming a little more of my time and head-space from Mormonism.

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Single Tasking

I’ve recently found a secret to getting myself to do stuff. The idea of cringe busting my to do list has made me aware of the sneaky feeling of panic that makes me want to procrastinate.

Not only does each item on my task list threaten to freak me out, the whole assemblage drives me to fiddle with addictive games and madness. I take one look at my task list and my eyes glaze over: I don’t know where to start.

The obvious strategy is to start at the top. You know that and I know that, but my gut reactions don’t. They tell me to head for the life rafts and abandon all hope. “The list is too long!”

I have a homebrew task management system (cobbled together using big ass text files, Bash scripting, and Vim). I recently programmed it to be able to give me exactly one task at a time.

The effect is magical.

My task list has lost its power to intimidate. “Sure, I have 15 minutes to create that spreadsheet. Easy-peasy!” I find myself ripping through my tasks so fast that I don’t know what to do with all the time left over.

Multitasking is a moral weakness. One task at a time. One. Task.

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Who Moved My Brain?

Merlin Mann is a smart guy who spends a lot of time thinking about how to accomplish the important things in life (as opposed to checking your email inbox every five minutes). Here’s his presentation called Who Moved My Brain? Revaluing Time & Attention.

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Getting Things Done

An excellent introduction to the central philosophy behind Getting Things Done from the man himself. GTD (as it’s known to the dark cult that surrounds it) is the art of stress free productivity.

(via lifehacker)

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