How do we get from Victim to Captain and Commander in our productivity?
In his book Making it All Work David Allen describes the matrix of self-management.
In the mire of little perspective and little control, in the lower left quadrant is the Victim. A feared state of hopelessness and inertia.
In the upper right quadrant is the widely admired state of Captain and Commander. That’s the perfect state in which we are if we have both perfect perspective and control over what we do. Of course these states can alternate per week, day or even hour…
Sometimes I can get into a slump and I must admit: the label Victim best suits me in that situation. Sigh…
So what do I do to drag myself out of it and start doing?
Last Wednesday I wanted to knock a whole lot of tasks off my to-do-list.
I started with the Most Important Task, which was adjusting six similar reports. Instead of spreading the energy and focus thin, I gave myself an extremely tight time limit for each report: 10 minutes. So I started chopping away at my reports like a ninja chops his wooden boards. I even had to suppress some of the little ninja-yells. Immediately I saw myself from a helicopter vision and thought: I am a Task Killer Ninja, that’s what I am!!! I was exhilarated and in great flow.
Here’s what defines the Task Killer Ninja GTD-style:
- clear vision of the outcome: next action thinking
- extreme focus
- compressed energy
- bold task killer attitude
- black suit is optional
Later that day I applied my Task Killer Ninja-attitude to my Weekly Review. I grabbed my intray and started chopping away at all the little Collected notes. Within 30 seconds I divided them between actionable and non-actionable items. You should’ve seen me! I looked like a ninja movie played fast forward. This was my record in Clarifying!
The Task Killer Ninja-attitude I can also recommend for cleaning your house or chopping wood.
Let me know if you’ve ever felt like a productivity-ninja or if you identify with something else. I’m so curious!
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p.s. I googled task killer ninja and I saw that Leo Babauta also has an excellent blog post on Task Ninja’s (without killer)