This is Week 6 of a Year of Living Productively
This week I tested the ability of Nick Jehlen’s Guilt Hour, as described on Lifehacker to help me get things done. I did not work with a team, nor did I plan to use a one-hour time slot a week, but four 15-minute guilt-attacking periods. Scroll to the end of this post for a full description of my test.
How the Guilt Hour Saved My Sanity This Week
- Helped me realize how guilty I feel. This may have been the worst week for me to test this approach because I was playing catch-up from the week before when I had many scheduled commitments. I felt guilty about putting things off, especially when people started asking me about them. Thinking about doing what I feel most guilty about made me realize that there aren’t many things I don’t feel guilty about. That’s an important piece of my productivity pie.
- Encouraged me to spend quality time with my kids. Maybe my kids are reading this blog, because two of them asked me to spend individual time with them this week and I couldn’t refuse. Of course, I feel guilty about not having individual time with the kids. My son asked to use a gift card he’d gotten for his birthday, so we went out for a great dinner together. I’ve already seen improvement in his attitude as a result. My daughter asked for a girl’s night which she planned so many activities for, it ended up being a girl’s DAY, too. When all is said and done, no one will remember that I got buttons stitched on, woodwork cleaned, or a blog plugin installed. But my kids will remember their time with mom.
How the Guilt Hour Made Me Crazy This Week
- Too much I feel guilty about. I felt very overwhelmed trying to decide which guilty tasks to focus on–especially because I felt guilty enough just trying to dig my way out of last week’s backlog.
- Vague time commitment. I hadn’t scheduled time to do this. I just knew that I would be doing four 15-minute periods. But after spending almost an entire day and night with my kids, I didn’t feel like I could afford to spend more time on the Guilt Hour. That made me feel–you guessed it!–guilty.
- Tapped into my procrastination issues. I’ve discovered that guilt and procrastination are a vicious cycle. It really doesn’t matter which I start with (guilt or procrastination), because I’m in trouble either way. I need more than a guilt hour to get me to tackle some of these tasks, I’m afraid. The little-and-often approach of SMEMA from last week might help. Maybe I needed the support of other people tackling their guilt-producing tasks, too.
Did the Guilt Hour Help Me Get More Done?
In general, NO. I invested time in my children which is extremely important to me, but in terms of getting things–even just guilt-laden tasks–done, it did not work for me. It’s possible this was a bad week, that scheduling it as a complete hour, and getting support might help. But for now, it’s not something I plan to continue.
Unsurprisingly, I still do not use a Guilt Hour and avoid feeling guilty about tasks. Instead, I take Sundays off completely to do ONLY what I want to do (aside from family, friend, and church commitments). This works much better for me.
The Productivity Approach I’ll Be Using for Week 7
Jason Womack believes that envisioning your ideal day is the best way to make it happen. He spends 15 minutes a day picturing how he’d like the next 24 hours to go.
The concept. By imagining how you’d like your day to unfold, you’re reviewing your goals, your tasks, and your time in a realistic way. After all, no one’s ideal day is working at an intense pace for 24 hours with no breaks. A friend mentioned that she was going to use SMEMA in conjunction with envisioning her ideal day and I thought that was a great idea. I’m not committed to spending a full 15 minutes, but I will do this every day this week in written form using idonethis. I have my idonethis email sent to me in the morning, so I can email my ideal day to idonethis in the morning and write back in the evening with what my day was actually like.
If you’d like to join me this week, here’s what you do. Read Jason’s description of how he envisions his ideal day. Decide if you’ll record it and follow up like I am or will just dream it. Check out idonethis if you’re interested in recording your ideal day. It’s free.
Click here to see how envisioning my ideal day worked for me.
If you’ve tried the Guilt Hour to increase your productivity, please vote in the poll below.
Here are the links to the productivity hacks I’ve tried so far:
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As soon as I read your Guilty Hour thread on Gerry’s site, I recoiled! I prefer my daily 30″ peace of mind contract. There’s no guilt. Of course, sometimes (often, in fact) I’ll spend more than 30″ for my peace of mind. The 30″ daily just keeps the ball rolling. There’s no guilt because it’s done daily. Even if life forces you to miss a few, it’s OK because, overall, you’re attending to it daily on average. Somehow, it makes the entire landscape of my day feel more optimistic because I’ve established my peace of mind activities first. IOW, I don’t have to feel guilty because all that’s covered in the daily 30″ peace of mind contract.
The entire thing is called my 90″ scut cap. 30″ peace of mind plus one hour scut work daily (except Sabboth). True, the times aren’t exact but the attitude is habitualized. I may do a couple of hours of scut on a day but I already chose the most important scut for that day in the 60″ cap.
Clear as mud? LOL! It keeps me at peace and also teaches me how to sort out the most important peace of mind and also to cut through all the scut. As I said, even if I don’t do exactly 60″, I know that I chose the best scut for the effort. (I HATE scut so I like to keep it contained as much as possible.) Of course, this is on average. It’s not a dictated rule as much as it’s a daily guideline to keep me current without worrying…..or….GUILT!
I can see why this one hour GUILT failed. Guilt is going to occur even with your most conscientious intentions. Peace of Mind is easier to approach than fessing up to guilt! Semantics? Maybe….but the shift in attitude makes both my decision making process better and the atmosphere of constructing my day (responsibilities and fun)
It’s always so nice to hear from you. You’re both open minded and intelligent.
learning as I go
Learning, I’m so glad you commented and shared your wisdom. I remembered you getting the scut work out of the way first thing. One challenge I have is that it’s afternoon before I can do scut work. I have to keep my school schedule intact. I think envisioning my ideal day and having my devotional time will be akin to your peace contract. But I agree with you that terminology is huge. I definitely want more peace in my life. Thanks again for writing. It’s so great to hear from you again.
I can’t always do ALL my scut first thing. The doesn’t present scut in that way. I’m sure keeping after your kids reminds you of that everyday! In the beginning of the day, I get rid of the scut that gets the biggest bang for the buck. Sometimes it’s little things that matter most. For me anyway, it’s an overall attitude of starting the day right. Pain derails my best efforts far more than I care to admit. Plus I just hate the sisyphus effect of non-ending scut. I like things nice so I choose the best result for the least effort! LOL
I truly admire all that you do….and manage to run a business, website, and all the twitter, facebook stuff that I don’t even dare to attempt. Besides earning a Ph.D, you did it while being married and raising a family….plus home schooling them! Phew! I’m sure God kisses your forehead every night once you fall asleep to say “Thanks!” One day your children will come to both appreciate and admire all that you took upon yourself to do to enrich their character and give them a good foundation to move forward with their lives. Best of all, you set a wonderful example. That’s probably what does them the most good….seeing you sometimes struggle with it all yet see that you’re committed to seeing by them the best that you can…..while having a great life overall! I tip my hat to you. psssst…..conscientious people always feel a bit anxious…it keeps us honest in our intentions…but don’t call it guilt…LOL!
Well, that’s incredibly kind of you. I admire your attitude so much. You’ve long been an inspiration to me, more so as I’ve been battling my own health issues. You should know that I didn’t get my Ph.D. until AFTER I had kids. I was barely able to get through grad school without kids. It wouldn’t have been possible once I had them. I do want to be a good example for them all and yes, I do share my struggles with them and lots of apologies. 🙂 I love what you said about conscientious. I’ve always been gifted in that area. LOL I do prefer that term to guilt-prone, because I do think conscientiousness can be a good thing. Thanks so much for your comments. They helped me smile on a hard day.
I’m so sorry that you’re suffering. I wouldn’t wish that on any human being let alone such a great person as you. I’m glad you also see “over-achieveritis” as not a bad thing. Hey, if you’re intelligent and active, boredom hurts so we keep lots of plates spinning to both avoid the boredom …..and….enjoy the rush of accomplishment…..especially in your case….8 folks total are invested!
It hurts me to know that you have to put up with ill health on top of all that you do. But the bright side? You aren’t suffering alone. You have the blessings of the family’s love.
I know it’s futile to advise you but…..take it light where you can. Let your body use as much energy as it can to heal you or relieve you! We sometimes forget how miraculous our bodies are.
You’re too kind. Really what I deal with isn’t nearly as challenging as what I see many others battle, including you. But thank you. Do you suffer alone? Or do you have the support of people who care about you? Our bodies are indeed miraculous and yes, I do forget that sometimes. Thanks for the reminder. I love what you said about boredom hurting. I never thought of it that way! I remember saying I was taking two weeks off after college let out for the summer before I got a job and that ended up being two days. LOL
All pain hurts….don’t discount yours! I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m doing this completely solo.
I wrote a rambling reply to your DIT post at the old forum. I hope that some of it makes sense. For some reason, I think you forgot much of the book. I reviewed a bit of it and used my little variations as examples. It’s actually quite flexible if you rely more on the underlying principles as opposed to the suggested rules. I’m better at following my own rules so I don’t follow all the ones laid out in the book. I don’t think my modifications taint the principles. But I had to make guidelines that I could keep to…….to avoid…..unnecessary………GUILT! LOL!
I hope that your health improves. Be glad that you have loving support. Going it alone is sometimes scary and tough….but it was my choice. Brain injuries and money create temptations for some folks so I had to make some tough choices. No big deal. I’ve always been a solo act…even when I was married! *blush* I don’ know why but I’ve always been better at giving than receiving but with my brain injuries I’ve been taken advantage of….even by a couple of my doctors. People don’t know that I keep fantastic records to compensate for my weak brain. I showed my proof….it’s a shame that even professional caretakers get greedy and try to take advantage….Good records and a good lawyer keep me fairly safe. Burned once. Twice shy. LOL! ….I’m OK…don’t worry about me. LOL!
I hope you and your family had a nice Sunday. Since it’s Saint Patrick’s day I shamed my poor german shepherd into wearing a green scarf today! LOL!
You have no reason to be embarrassed. I’m sorry you’ve been burned. I won’t worry about you, but my heart aches for you. Wish I could give you a real life hug! But I’m so glad you have a dog. They’re wonderful blessings, aren’t they? I got a dog when I was single and named it Honey so I could say, “Honey, I’m home!” LOL
I like your ideas on avoiding guilt. I need that!
Happy St. Pat’s to you and your furry pal.
Thanks for the review of these productivity methods! Great post.
Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on Saved by Grace!
Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow Saved by Grace also:
Love in Him,
Laurie, thanks so much for following. When I try to follow you on Google Friend Connect, I get an error message using two different computers. I’m not sure what the problem is. Blessings on your week!
repeat after me….I don’t have guilt. What I’m experiencing is conscientiousness!
I’m not giving you a snow job…honestly. Anxiety feels a lot like guilt when you have to make choices. When you’re doing one thing, you’re necessarily not doing everything else! And to be creative and productive you have to have leisure time also.
again…repeat after me….I don’t have guilt. What I’m experiencing is conscientiousness!
Dare I say that perfectionism might be creeping in? I am GUILTY of that sometimes….
I’m glad you understand. I’d much rather deal with these challenges than be dead….which could have happened! LOL! Relative gratitudes!
I don’t feel so bad about being burned. I’ve always been naively too trusting. I regret having to be a bit crustier now! Most people learn this at a much younger age. The bright side? The people I can trust I feel a deeper gratitude and respect for. Somehow I always believed that most everybody is moral and compassionate…..Oh, well! Like everybody I learn my life lessons one way or the other! LOL!
Wishing you a guilt free tomorrow!
Learning, I’ll repeat it. 🙂 And you’re right, your life was spared and that’s an incredible blessing. I’m so thankful to have “met” you! And you’re right, too, about having to learn not to be too trusting. I’ve had to learn that, too. Along with believing everyone was moral, I thought everyone I was friends with would be my friend forever! Must have been all those fairy tales I read. 😉 I agree with you that sometimes it’s anxiety I’m dealing with. More to work on. Hope you’ve had a great day.
I hope you know that I was joking about the “repeat”…LOL! I just figure that a bit of anxiety goes along with striving for excellence and making sure your character and motives positively impact on others. Add to the fact that you’re a mom. Anxiety? yup! Guilt? nah…
I don’t think it was fairy tales for me. It was a combo of my parents teaching me ideals to strive toward and me assuming that it was an adult character trait! LOL! Sometimes we forget that kids are always trying to learn towards being “grown up”. I’m sure our parents, pastor, teachers, etc never thought that we’d interpret ideals as requirements for being a decent adult! LOL!
Also, in the 50’s and 60’s we had “scrubbed clean” idealistic tv. Father knows best, leave it to beaver. Even the evening news was scrubbed clean! They had us living in a bubble of naivete….even many unsophisticated adults believed what was in the newspapers, magazines and tv as pure truth! LOL! (Just bear this in mind when you are guiding your children. Let them know the difference between the value of striving toward ideals and the realness of being a fallible yet loved human being. LOL! Remember in those days the FCC would fine the station if somebody said “damn” or “hell”…..Now look at the disgusting tripe that’s on primetime tv….children imitating Miley Cirrus or Paris Hilton…ugggg
You always make me think…..and smile! Thanks!
p.s. I suppose that Mark didn’t like my reply to your DIT questions….He wrote THREE POSTS to clean up my mess! :-0 :-0 :-0