Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Driven to Distraction

You can read about "Twitter, Adderall, lifehacking, mindful jogging, power browsing, Obama’s BlackBerry, and the benefits of overstimulation" in New York Magazine, but The Profit Burglar is off sick and I have to gird my loins and get stuff done.

I have so many demands on my time that "12 Essential Rules to Live More Like a Zen Monk," will be more use than Twitter today.

  1. Do one thing at a time. This rule (and some of the others that follow) will be familiar to long-time Zen Habits readers. It’s part of my philosophy, and it’s also a part of the life of a Zen monk: single-task, don’t multi-task. When you’re pouring water, just pour water. When you’re eating, just eat. When you’re bathing, just bathe. Don’t try to knock off a few tasks while eating or bathing. Zen proverb: “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”

  2. Do it slowly and deliberately. You can do one task at a time, but also rush that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you focus on the task.

  3. Do it completely. Put your mind completely on the task. Don’t move on to the next task until you’re finished. If, for some reason, you have no choice but to move on to something else, try to at least put away the unfinished task and clean up after yourself. If you prepare a sandwich, don’t start eating it until you’ve put away the stuff you used to prepare it, wiped down the counter, and washed the dishes used for preparation. Then you’re done with that task, and can focus more completely on the next task.
Don't give up on lists of 12 items after the first three.
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