Monday, February 18, 2013

Aim at a Nearby Target

If you're familiar with Birkman as a personal assessment tool, then I'll tell you I'm green normally.

Green is sanguine. Green is the relational people-connector. Green enjoys attention and likes being the guy people want to invite over.

Green is my strength.

But under stress I'm blue. I withdraw, I need alone-time. I don't want to engage people.

I am, what my friend Wesley King once said, a "situational extrovert." Or in my own language, I'm a highly-relational introvert."

So what do you do when you're more blueish than greenish on a given day, working on a given project? I really think Roy Williams, the Wizard of Ads, hit the nail on the head in this post. In a nutshell, he says "aim at a nearby target."

We don't want to do things that feel aimless or pointless, so we end up doing nothing, and melancholy takes over. We spend a day doing nothing. Or a week. Or a lifetime.

But when the aimless, pointless blues creep in, don't try to psych yourself up for some great project you're trying to do. Pick a nearby, doable target; something that needs to be done (Roy's example is cleaning his office), and get it done.

This is one of the great pieces of David Allen's "Getting Things Done" system. If you organize your tasks by the context in which they need to be done (@Office, @Home, @Computer, etc) then you have a mix of tasks that need high energy and focus, but also many that you can do when you feel aimless and pointless. Things that need to be done but don't require a ton of concentration or mental energy. Keep a list of those things, and when the pointless blues arrive, pick one and do it.

You might find yourself better aimed, and more to the point.

Read the entire Roy Williams article here:

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