Friday, March 30, 2012

- the road most taken -

I was the grammarian for Toastmasters this week. On the most basic level, our club's grammarian is supposed to keep track of how many um's and ah's speakers are using. This helps the speakers because they become self-conscious about using filler words; this also helps me because it forces me to pay close attention to the speeches.

During a Breaking Bad Habits speech, the speaker said:

"We're programmed to follow the path of least resistance. So what should we do? Make our bad habits the path of most resistance."

That flipped a 100-volt lightbulb in my head. If we only do things that are easy to us, we should make bad habits harder to do. Hide the remote control in the drawer. Uninstall the games. Turn off the internets.

I already knew that self-discipline is over-rated and why building systems gives you a better shot at doing the right thing. That's the basis of "Getting Things Done" (GTD). The sequel ("Making It All Work") was supposed to explain *why* GTD works. But Toastmasters gave me the clearest explanation: GTD breaks down our goals into simple, easy pieces - pieces that form the path of least resistance.

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