Mission accomplished

The roundtable discussion around the theme #dreamdone for the Tracking Wonder Quest 2018 and the productivity to accomplish things was with Charlie Gilkey with his Productive Flourishing concept, and Ishita Gupta with Be Fearless.

I associated very easily with Ishita's experience of trying to dream herself out of the "ordinary".  Also in regard to messing around with your time, trying to prioritise, trying to start something.

She asks whether we would be ready if our dream is suddenly delivered on your doorstep. 

Charlie Gilkey suspects that we end up in our heads too often, underestimating the power of feeling, since it is feeling that drives action.  The challenge that he presents questers with is to dream straight from the heart and not the head and also to use feeling to prioritise your dreams - just cut what you don't feel about strongly.

I really hope that I never have to account for the hours, the deals the accolades that I have lost due to procrastination.  I can stare at a blank page for quite long.  I can engage in superficial activities just not too start.  I have had so many systems to try and break the procrastination habit and I am still held in the grips of it.  There are countless how-to videos and books which more or less give the same advice (break down the task, reward yourself for small actions completed, do the important things first).  All these are of course true but I have just not really made a breakthrough.

One of my tricks is to do a mindmap of all the projects on a flipchart and then the list the crucial activities on the right hand side of the page.  This has the advantage of identifying the sequence of tasks and assist with prioritising.  Ishita's suggestion of getting the team to support each others milestones have also worked for me, but we have challenges in terms of the distance we live from each other. 

I think I may have that affliction of wanting to be perfect, but putting off the moment.  When I was a child my homework always needed to be perfect, no scratched out sums, no mistakes.  My room was tidy - until I was a teenager, round 15 years, when I almost consciously decided to just give all this up and almost became the opposite.  I still have a yearning for that clean desk, that neat filing system, but just never seem to achieve it.

I am part of an interesting team of unique individuals, with totally different working styles.  My one colleague has an absolutely systematic mind.  She can argue something from all sides.  She is also the one who can organise chaotic facts into a systematic document.  Her desk is not that neat: the filing system is in her head, not in her physical space. Nevertheless, her tax returns are up to date, her timesheets done properly and with all the detailed evidence.

My other colleague has a very clear sense of priority.  He works in communities and he has the patience to wait for the correct moment.  He knows when to push, when to listen, when to withdraw.  He predicts correctly who is a genuine participant and who has other motives and hidden agendas. He is a good strategis. He is probably the most irreplacable person on our team, since that type of knowledge is closer to wisdom and not to be packaged in a few hours of training.  His timesheets are a mess, he loses toll slips and receipts.  He gets the important things done.

One of our challenges is that we work on a road corridor of 400 km.  We also do not live close to one another so do not share a physical office space.  Not all of us are equally into using a virtual space or online project management systems.  This remains a challenge for us as a team to visually see the next activities, to understand what the rest of the team are keeping themselves busy with (although we communicate daily with whatsapp and calls).

Chaos of material space though is often one of my excuses for putting things off.  I have to find those notes of the meeting.  I forgot my diary in someones vehicle.  I have filed the attendance registers in the wrong file - so cant finalise the report.  Etc Etc.  Clearly a challenge to my productivity.  This is really one of the things I have decided to tackle in 2018:  Clear a workspace and find a system that can support keeping it like that.  I was glad to hear that others also finds it difficult to keep to their systems and need to change these all the time.

Some other thoughts:

  • Anxiety is often what underpins my procrastination (when I have two important things that needs to be done I become anxious and just do nothing)
  • Ordinary daydreaming: I hate a day where I have no time for just doing nothing - but since I am anxious because of things not done, I am not truly using it as a creative impetus
  • Lately I have realised that it is better for me not to try to multi-task so much - keeping a whole morning just for one project gives time to build up momentum and finish a series of related tasks and helps with focus

But am I now addressing Ishita and Charlie's challenges?

Really part of what they are challenging us is whether we are even working towards the correct dream.  We might be cutting down the trees correctly, but we may be working in the wrong forest.

I dont know if anyone has tried these manifestation affirmations of which there are now so many on youtube (it takes 30 minutes to decide which one to listen to).  In some sense though the affirmations urge us to do these two things:

  • Visualise - I think Ishita's challenge speaks a bit to this.  If I do not fully visualise what it is that I want to achieve, I might not be ready when it lands in my lap, simply because I did not really think it through:  the details; the implications, the time you have to spend on this?  
  • Feeling - that the emotion of what we want to achieve is an essential aspect of drawing whatever you want,  toward you
I have a bit of an issue with these The Secret type manifestations since so many of them are materialistic (the dream car, the dream house, the millionaire).  Living in a country where so many people are really poor it just feels wrong to want all these THINGS.

I do think however that we not spend enough time in thinking through exactly what it is we want to achieve and what the implications will be on our time, our relationships. 
I do think we do not spend enough time to truly ask ourseveles whether our stated goals are really what we want, or whether we are trying to live someone elses dream.  The Feeling test suggested by Charlie Gilkey would help towards that.

Yes - I will look again at my goals and ask the following questions;
If I am really successful - what will actually be different and what implications will it have for myself and others
Is this really what I want to achieve or am I still following what society expects of me?  Do I feel strong enough to pull through, even in the face of adversity?

By the way - I have not added my specific GOALS and March Milestone in my previous posts so here they are:



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