Check out the full notes for “The More You Do the Better You Feel” by David Parker
Okay just popping the editor open and writing. Back to basics. Kindle notes on the left. WordPress editor on the right.
- A book: I started reading “The More You Do The Better You Feel: How to Overcome Procrastination and Live a Happier Life” by David Parker. I heard about it from…
- … A video: Ali Abdaal started an interview channel (and podcast, of course) and one of his recent guests was Oliver Burkeman, author of “Four Thousand Hours” (check out my notes here). He mentions “The More You Do The Better You Feel” in describing a technique he’s found useful.
Instead of having a to-do list that, you take a blank page, write one thing to work on, finish it, cross it off, then write the next thing that you’ll work on. I’m still reading the book but I jumped around to find a description of the technique. From “The More You Do The Better You Feel”, the “Just one thing” method:
You work on the task immediately after writing it down. And these tasks can be super easy. (Example from the book: “Put DVD away”.) In Stephen Curry’s MasterClass, he talks about how he doesn’t come into the practice gym and start bombing threes. He starts with lay-ups and works his way out. The J.O.T. method is like getting right back next to the hoop and building your confidence back up. If you’re a well oiled productivity machine, you don’t need to resort to the J.O.T. method. But if you’ve found yourself completely distracted for days on end, start feeling bad about how little you’re getting done, then ending up more distracted because you’re feeling bad… …time for lay-ups. Some other things that this could help with:
- You can skip prioritizing and overthinking things that you need to do. Take care of that when you’ve built up a little confidence.
- You can get some reps in with seeing how short or long things take. One of the all-too-familiar scenarios he describes is choosing to go out and buy disposable plates and utensils because it’s easier than washing dishes. This takes 40 minutes. Then—you do eventually have to wash the dishes—he sees that it takes much less time than expected.
Anyway. Listen to Ali Abdaal and Oliver Burkeman, then go read “The More You Do the Better You Feel” to get some ideas for becoming productive again, then come back to “Four Thousand Hours” to remind yourself that productivity isn’t the ultimate goal. (So you don’t end up feeling too badly when you’re in an unproductive phase.)