Troy D Patterson
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Fri 28 Aug 2020
1:00 PM

Simplify the System

I’ve got a problem. I need to constantly change my system, change my apps and crank widgets. I can’t seem to help it and I know it’s worse than just trying to just do the work from memory. I’ve tried GTD, Zen, PARA and so many more. I’ve used Reminders, Todoist, Things and Omnifocus. I’ve put my notes in Evernote, Bear, Apple Notes and so many others.

Today I’m putting a flag in the ground and making a commitment to stick with one system and my current apps for at least the rest of 2020. That means sticking with a simple Collect, Organize and Do system using Things, Apple Notes and Apple Calendar. Any files will be saved to Files in iCloud, but those are few and limited in number.

Without a true hobby and feeling bored I once again this year have slipped into Productivity porn and tried several new systems and apps. I’ve spent hours moving my tasks to the new system because of the design, cross platform or because the shiny new iOS 14 beta only has widgets for Apple apps.

Once I’m in these new apps I remember functions, designs or something that then makes me regret the switch. So I spend a few days not using either system because I’m not happy with the one I’m using. Then I finally throw in the towel and go back.

I need to commit to getting tasks done and not just setting up a new app as the task. I’ve also started something I really enjoy lately which is woodworking. I’ve refinished a kitchen table and created three new wood desktops for my kids as they start the fall in remote school. This has made me really want to keep making things.

So often I start something like guitar lessons, story writing or learning a new language and even though the interest fades I try to force the hobby” into a habit”. I’m getting no joy from them but still pushing to do them. This quickly fades and I fall back to having only gaming to mostly fill my free time.

Having a hobby should be very big along with my increased reading lately as well. This summer has been tough as so much time was spent training for a marathon and with a wacky work from home schedule. I finally feel like I have something that might fill more of that free” time that I will limit my mindless productivity reading and might help me stay with the systems I have.