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Weekly Review 2

Looking Back

Last Week I …

Last week I discovered I absolutely love the Salt Lake Roasting Company. I think I’ll go there almost every day and get a mocha latte half the time (ouch on my budget). Last week I decided to focus on getting to GTD–and more broadly, getting organized–and I think I made a lot of progress.

In the last week, I’ve listed everything “on my mind”–all projects–and started filling out a complete GTD organization system. I’ve also completely organized everything digital: click on this MindMap (made early last week) to see how all my pdfs, notes, media, etc. are organized in Dropbox. One of the many highlights is that I’m aware of all the reading material I have, both academic and personal-development. If you’re academically inclined, you can see a list of 52 articles I can’t wait to read (someday). My Gmail is completely cleared out and organized, in a really simple GTD fashion. I took a screenshot of my inbox at zero and shared it on Facebook. Everything was added either to a tickler file, or as a project or action, or deleted or archived. I have like 3 Gmail folders now and just archive everything.

It should be noted that I was already somewhat organized before starting. My possessions had been reduced to 4 boxes (3.5, actually)–and 1 of those is entirely for a student group I lead. I had started to inventory everything that is a part of my life–see the MindMap here–doing so completely in the case of my online presences on various websites). I have a place for every physical thing I own. And I had only about 500 emails to deal with. Also, just before starting this week, on the day I made my first weekly review post, I cleared away most of my papers, leaving only a few that need to be dealt with. (On that note, the sum total of all non-SHIFT paper materials I own fits in a single folder, rather comfortably.)

 Last week’s goals were as follows: (1) plan and announce a SHIFT meeting, (2) write a UFT (UtahFreethinkers.com) post, (3) read the first two chapters of Self-Directed Behavior, and (4) plan a social event with friends. As for (1), I put this off to the last minute, so I didn’t plan anything special. It took 1 minute to announce on Facebook as soon as I decided it couldn’t wait any longer. 1 minute! As for (2), whereas the above took one minute, this took literally hours. In the end, I decided to focus on the more elegant words of those I quoted in 4 or 5 block quotes from people like Yudkowsky and Bostrom. I’m proud of this post, published here as well (What Death Means to an Atheist). As for (3), I did indeed read the first 2 chapters of Self-Directed Behavior. I read it properly; that is, answering the ‘learning objective’ questions for each chapter. I didn’t go beyond this, however: most importantly, I haven’t yet decided on a self-improvement project to use the book for, something I should do right away if I want the book to be valuable. Finally, (4), I did not finish planning a social event. I asked a few people if they were interested in karaoke, which they for the most part were, so I could finish planning that early this week.

Areas of my Life Review. (I’m starting with just three.) Social. This week, just one social hangout. Immediately befriended hot Latina co-worker mostly via lunch at BK (unfortunately, she’s married.). 5/10. Intellectual. Read some self-directed behavior, but that’s it. 2/10. Productivity. Not much outside of my GTD notes (see earlier). As I put it on a FB status: “it feels *really good* to enumerate all your projects / commitments to self and others. It really does!… I am slightly surprised.” On a non-GTD note, I have some confidence that having a weekly focus is going to be one of the first significant keys–for me, anyway–to greater productivity and happiness.

In Other News. 1. I attended my first UCoR board meeting. UCoR stands for “Utah Coalition of Reason”, a coalition of all of the dozen or so non theist groups in Utah. I’m afraid I was a bit of a thorn :/ ..  I think Zach and Evelin are committed to it, and it was nice to meet Bob (H of U prez), Elaine (former UCoR director and former SHIFT prez) and Tiffany (events officer in A of U). UCoR, besides being just cool (to me), is significant because I plan on merging the relatively new blog UtahFreethinkers.com with it, as part of their website. 2. At SHIFT, I finally met both Lance and Varun in person. I wasn’t expecting to, but was pleasantly surprised. I think I kind of let Lance dominate the meeting, but he was cool enough I was cool with it (this time). 3. I have had a fitness program recommended to me, which will probably form my week’s focus in 2-3 weeks. I bought tasty protein powder with the intent of eating every day (somehow).

Looking Ahead

This Week I’ll …

The next week’s focus will be SHIFT projects*, because I want SHIFT to be as active as possible and there are many opportunities for projects that will be passed by unless I act (or just decide) on them now. There are too many to list here, but I plan on making progress simply by having a list of what needs to be looked at or done and doing as much as I can each day.  (*P.S. SHIFT– the link is our Facebook group – is a secular student group I lead. I’ve met a lot of interesting people through it, and I really enjoy being in charge of it, which I have been since April 1.)

My other weekly goals include the following:

  1. Get in the habit of using my little red notebook properly as well as having a morning ritual (and night one), all of which will support GTD. These are the various parts, or habits: (a) a 15-minute Like-A-Boss morning ritual I’ve started doing that gives me high energy and gets me going right away, (b) spending 10 minutes looking at my weekly goals, calendar, and actions needed for those goals to decide what to do today, (c) using To Do and Done lists in my little red notebook, as well as the right side for things that come up, (d) constantly referring to the notebook to decide what to do next or write down something to process later, and (e) spend 5 minutes each night processing/organizing the items I’ve thought up during the day.
  2. Make further progress in GTD. (A) spending a few minutes coming up with protocols for how to decide what to do next (a decision that has to be made throughout the day) and for selecting actions from my next actions list for the day’s goals. (B) organizing my projects to reflect my goals. (C) moving a lot of projects (and actions) to ‘Someday/maybe’. And (D) finishing getting stuff from my few remaining papers into GTD.
  3. Decide what self-improvement project I will do concurrently with reading/doing Self-Directed Behavior, then do the exercises for chapters 1 and 2.
  4. Plan a social event (which can be late this week or early next week). (In addition to seeing Dark Knight Rises Thursday night.)
  5. List my car for sale: (a) for $999, with a new ad on KSL, (b) writing on a For Sale sign to put on the dashboard, and (c) investigating whether CarMax is a good deal for me.
  6. Eliminate website hosting for two old websites I no longer use: (a) ERC and (b) AdamTBri.
  7. Renew my FAFSA for 2012-2013.

Note: I plan on doing #s 5-7 all on Saturday. I’m only worrying about #s 1-4 Tuesday through Friday. That leaves items 2 (est. 2 hours), 3 (est. 2 hours), and 4 (est. 1/2 hour) to do Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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