Thursday, January 23, 2014

My System for Getting Sh*t Done

As many articles tout the Pomodoro Technique and GTD, my own habits for increasing productivity and breaking through procrastination are downright crude. I have come to recognize that in the world of productivity tools, my ideas might seem dysfunctional, but at least they are all mine. I present to you:
KiKi's System for Getting Sh*t Done.

Part 1: The Ramen Noodle Method
Ramen noodles are embarrassingly good. At least, I think so. Cheap. Unhealthy. And good.
I can afford better than ramen, but sometimes, on a really hard day, I long for the taste of them. When it's lunchtime and nothing else is around, I'll pop into the little sundries market downstairs and buy a cup of ramen. It's a guilty reading tabloid headlines in the checkout line in the grocery store.

There's just enough nostalgia connected to ramen for me that when I eat it I instinctively release a reflective sigh exhaling the memories of my college days working late editing the school newspaper. The ramen gives me fortitude on an otherwise unremarkable day. Its message is this: You will get through this. The little noodles are surges of power to help you rocket through your day. Just look at them and you might be reminded of your brain's synapses firing off new pathways for learning.

By the time I finish a cup of ramen noodles, I am comforted and convinced I can finish the task at hand.

Do your noodles talk to you? Maybe they should. The Ramen Noodle Method might be the way to make it to the end of that project. Then again, you might need to take a different approach. Something that gives you wings...

Part 2: The Red Bull Exercise
If ramen offers fortitude for day, Red Bull provides power for the evening. Red Bull tastes bad. Even with vodka. But I still drink it. Especially with vodka. It's relatively expensive, as soft drinks go, but people keep buying more and more of it and there is one big reason why.

Red Bull offers one primary benefit: Energy. Its promise is this: If you drink it, you will stay least for a work, party, or do whatever it is you need to do before you finally go to sleep. Its a little less dangerous than making a deal with the devil, but not by much. A little Red Bull goes a long way.

By the end of a can of Red Bull, I feel like I've white-knuckled my way through driving in a snowstorm...and survived.

Part 3: Cry. Pray. Cry Some More.
That Eat Pray Love book only got part of the answer. Crying is not only therapeutic, but I'm convinced it helps when you regularly clear out the tear ducts. The exact process is still under review, but it goes something like this:

1. Wait until last minute to face the fact that you have to do something
2. Cry in frustration
3. Pray to a higher power that you be delivered from the situation
4. Cry when you realize you'll still have to do it
5. Actually sit down and start working on the thing you must get done

What are your methods for finishing your tasks? What gets you through a tough day or helps you push past procrastination to finish that project? Share your real methods for getting stuff done here!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Price of Honesty

Honesty can be really expensive. At least it seems like it. Because if I were to tell you a list of truths, you might make decisions about me that were not necessarily pleasant. For example:

I hate exercise.
I'm bored with green juice and the entire juicing craze.
I like wine - probably a little too much.
I'm productive from 7:30 am until about noon, and then the wheels fall off.
I love writing. I hate writing. Then I love writing again.
I procrastinate by reading articles about procrastination.

However, honesty can be misleading. Just like some people lie by leaving out part of the information, sometimes honesty leaves out pertinent information that can color this "truth."

I hate exercise. But I love dancing.
I'm bored with green juice and the entire juicing craze. Though I drank green juice this very morning.
I like wine - probably a little too much. I can't help but prefer to have a glass or two with dinner.
I'm productive from 7:30 am until about noon, and then the wheels fall off. I try to make myself more productive by using the last part of the day for calls and emails.
I love writing. I hate writing. Then I love writing again. At least I'm passionate about it.!
I procrastinate by reading articles about procrastination. Who doesn't?

I've been grappling with the question of transparency and authenticity lately. Advice for business from people I know varies wildly from, "always tell people you are doing great - no one wants to do business with a loser," to "have the courage to be honest and people will respond to that honesty."

My tendency is toward  the latter. I expose a lot. Maybe too much. Maybe not enough.

Recently, I went to New Media Expo (#NMX) in Las Vegas. This conference is for bloggers and podcasters - content creators of all types really - and it fed my soul. Although I haven't written in my blog for a while I realized that I still self-identify as a blogger and the only difference between feeling guilty about that and not is my writing a post more often.

Pat Flynn was one of the presenters there. He is a lot of things now: business owner, podcaster, passive income guru, author, and speaker. More than all that, he is astonishingly REAL. He shares his financial information, about the way he makes money, with everyone online. He spoke about authenticity with Cliff Ravenscraft at #NMX and it was the most powerful session I witnessed. They were both a refreshing change of pace from the typical do-whatever-it-takes-to-make-the-sale old-school nastiness I'm sick of. Pat seems happy and at peace with himself.

One thing I had to recognize for myself was that I'm happier creating ways to communicate with people, than not...usually using something like video to do so. I decided I want to pick up podcasting again (I miss doing the Social Media Sweet Spot) even if it is just for fun and not related to business.

All of this is to say that I am going to be testing out some podcasting ideas. If they stick, they stick. If not, I'm not going to worry about it. But I will be sharing them here on my blog, if you are interested.

What truth are you not telling? Do you think honesty really is the best policy or are there reasons to "keep your cards close to your chest?"