The Action Machine Diary, Day 3

by JL Beeken on 8-16-2010

The Action MachineBy the end of Day 2 of The Action Machine I’d come to a different idea about setting up my timers. Having one for ‘maintenance’ is too distracting. I don’t need to be reminded about checking email, logging into my various accounts, upgrades, updates, data backup, etc. They’re already like breathing.

You know what they say about changing habits. It’s not a matter of fighting the bad ones, it’s a matter of developing the good ones. Where your attention goes, so goes your energy.

'Default' Action List, The Action Machine

‘Default’ Action List, The Action Machine

What I do need to do is focus on some projects and get them done. So, this is what I need to schedule in. I’ve already added a long list of to-do’s. Some of them can be done in one sitting, some in several and some of them need to be broken down into separate Action Steps.

If I commit to even a measly hour or two of project-focus and can’t get through it in a day then I’ll know, more than likely, email ate it. Do I need to know how badly? No. Or it could mean that I’ve spent the day doing something away from my computer. And that can only be good. My unscheduled time to enjoy a healthy balanced lifestyle.

I got off track with my thinking initially because I was looking at the ‘Default’ Action List rather than focusing entirely on my own ‘focus problems’. There are items on the default list like “Clean & Organize – Garage” and “Food – Eat Lunch”. I guess that’s for people who have garages to clean and scheduled lunches. It’s not my life.

The idea is to create your own lists. The only things that should be on my Action Lists are things that I need focus in getting done. There’s no point adding items that I don’t want to do (unless I really should), only things I want to get done and procrastinate about.

… and projects that I sabotage by imagining myself stuck on Step 8 before I’ve even begun Step 1.

The Action Machine is based on a revolutionary, thought-altering process. Yesterday, I was feeling like a zombie from too many late nights and I still got through over 3 hours of scheduled tasks. (The timers made me do it.)

Try this with a kitchen timer. Pick something you want to accomplish. It can be a short task or a step toward a larger goal. Set the timer for 30 minutes. And then work on your chosen task. Do not get up for a snack, do not answer the phone and do not check your email. Just focus.

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