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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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