A few people on here have mentioned ADHD and general distractability, so thought I’d start a new thread to share ideas and discuss how this affects magick.
First off, time management, and being distracted by urgent “shiny things” - here’s some stuff I typed in a reply (moved over here for on-topicalness):
What I was talking about, was how we often let the Urgent get in the way of the Important. Here’s the method I use, with considerable success:
Basically, things in our life fall into 4 categories:
Important And Urgent: crises, deadlines, all the things that if they’re not dealt with today (the “urgent” part) will cause loss, fuckups of some kind, or otherwise damage your peace of mind, health, income, etc.
Urgent, Not Important: this one’s most people’s killer because they confuse it with U&I (above) and end up responding to facebook posts, e-mails and so on that are NOT Important to your overall life plan or goals, but which claim your attention and give off this vibe of needing attention NOW.
This category is the dark vortex of doom that magicians SHOULD be afraid of!!
Important, Not Urgent: things like exercise that you justify constantly delaying, because your head won’t fall off if you fail to work out today, etc.
This section is where the powerhouses that make other people truly successful lurk: writing books, starting to meditate, eating healthfully, planning ahead, saving a % of your income - everything you KNOW will improve your life if done, and yet keep putting off because it doesn’t have that spice of being Urgent.
Neither Important Nor Urgent: this is for timewasters and trivia, that will cause no losses whatsoever if you never return to doing them.
Knowing how to categorise things is critical!
As is having a list of the U&I things for that day, followed closely by striking off at least a few Important, Not Urgent things, daily or at least regularly, so the list of things you know you NEED to do, and haven’t yet got round to, starts to shrink.
And sooner or later when you feel the benefits, they’ll become U&I because you’ll know there’s a tangible loss to you in every day when they don’t happen.
You can bastardise another (and compatible) time-management system called Get Things Done (GTD) by making a list of the Important, Not Urgent stuff, e.g., “Exercise more” has the Important, Not Urgent action of “start walking 4 miles a day” as an example.
Then, using GTD, the item to go in the Important part of your day’s “To Do” list is the Next Action needed - could be “Look for walking shoes” or “Lookup safest routes online” or whatever else is the single next action - not chain of actions or desired goal, just “What’s NEXT” to break down those big intimidating goals into easy chunks.
The book The Now Habit also has a concept of breaking down tasks we procrastinate on by NOT focusing on the bigger picture, or on completing the task - only keep asking ourselves “What’s next?” so all these amazing books totally fit together.
Having just one simple do-able task written down helps to bring them up to a conscious level of urgency, because we actually get a minor mental buzz from crossing things off a list, which is why reading a ton of funny but pointless web pages feels rewarding, in the way a huge goal like “Get really fit” does not. It’s a way to trick your psyche into getting that same reward thrill.
Crossing things off that are written down is more satisfying than deleting some pixels, so do consider a paper-based list or planner system, our brains react differently to a physical obsject and dimensions in space that it takes up, then they do to even the most well-kept spreadsheet (both are fine, if you don’t find this burdensome).
I’ve used this to achieve some seriously awesome things, so it’s really a good workable system in my experience.
There’s always a small achievable action you need to take next on any major goal, and getting it on a list and ploughing through, whilst knowing anything that’s Urgent, Not Important is your enemy, is the key to powering through things you were getting continually distracted from.
There’s a great video series about time management and how to stop drifting through life (not saying you’re doing this!) here: http://michaelhyatt.com/three-powerful-questions-video.html
I’ll post some more on here later about ADHD-compatible techniques some people use.