One of the things that constantly blocks my productivity is the feeling that I am falling behind. When I see how much I haven’t done, I instantly move to “Then why bother?”
Of course, the worst part of this is that it is manufactured. I bring it on myself. For example, every time I hear about a really cool podcast, I subscribe to it, and then I don’t listen to it. But when I do open my podcast app (BeyondPod) to listen to something, I am faced with a wall of podcasts that have all downloaded 10 episodes and tell me how many new episodes there are, usually dozens, sometimes hundreds, and I feel like a failure. All of these podcasts are things I want to listen to, but I’m not doing it. The episodes are just piling up.
So this morning I sat down with my phone and deleted all the feeds for the podcasts I’m not listening to. I’m keeping all the ones I’m caught up on, because I’m clearly listening to them, and I’m keeping all the ones that have less than 10 new episodes (my app is set to download up to 10 oldest episodes), and I’m keeping, like, 2 podcasts that I’m further behind on, but are the ones I’m most likely to listen to.
I’m also going through all my various To Do lists, and I’m either doing them, because they are stupid tiny things that just need doing, or I’m getting rid of them. Been on my To Do list for 4 months with no progress? Well, clearly I don’t want OR need to do it. Gone!
By the end of today I should be left with only a list of things I’ve already started that I am ready to work on, or things that have to be done, with deadlines to do them.