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BLOWING A DAY UP
It doesn’t matter. The push is designed to be “Until I get it done.” Think of it as a queue. Yes, that’s it.

And think of that spreadsheet as being a company-wide queue.

Consider that in a corporation there are multiple departments. Periodically the department heads get together with upper management and (literally) fight over resources. Of course, the primary resource they fight over is money. In my world, the resource the currency is time.

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THE PROCESS
Imagine that once a week – Friday afternoon or evening usually – I have a roundtable discussion of sorts with my imaginary department heads. Each one (in my head) builds a case for why his projects are most important and needs to be on the agenda next week. I load up the spreadsheet for the next week pretty good, with 70-80 items, knowing full well that many of them will get carried over to the next week.

Then I build the Monday push with somewhere between 5-14 items. The Monday push is a little different because it is usually small and may even have been completed over the weekend. If so, that gives me at least part of Monday off if I want it. The entire system is designed to reward (with self-praise and time off) as opposed to punish (with guilt and more work). This system helps me to avoid the whole “Pattern Break” problem most of the time.

So, in a normal week, Monday afternoon some time the first push is finished. I (as the CEO of this entire operation) cross items off the spreadsheet and populate the next push. The others will usually have 25-35 items, which will usually mean I will take Tuesday and Wednesday to get it done.

BTW, after the Monday push, the next push is labeled Tuesday, even though it will be available for work time on Monday. This is the same principle as “No weekend pushes allowed.” I have designed this to be a relatively carefree management system. It is kind of like saying, “Here’s your push #1 for the week. It’s not too hard, so you can come into work all fired up on Monday because you have little or nothing to do because you probably already took a substantial bite out of the first one before you came to work on Monday.

Consider why this works so well. First, Monday is, for most people, the most stressful days of the week because you tried to take off early on Friday, and so that work is added to what is coming on Monday. In our system, if your last push of the week is not finished it is still over, it isn’t a big deal, because on Friday all is forgiven.

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ANOTHER THING
I used to listen to a lot of Anthony Robbins. He sold me on the whole pain vs pleasure concept. That is all part of Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT). It is a great idea for fixing problems in life. However, living one’s life fearing the stick and running towards the carrot is not a pleasant way to live. In fact, it is a very old-school therapy.

The entire plan-execute-assess-repeat process is designed to MOTIVATE us to GET SOMETHING DONE. If it is something important to us (or leads us to something important), then we should not need to be driven. Where’s the joy in the doing? A process that demands being whipped to get things done on a regular basis leads to a form of self-slavery. Slaves are not typically very happy.

For me, this was a huge lesson in self-discovery.

Dave

PS: I am thinking we should take this private.

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