Hi. My name is Gary, and I suck at productivity. I mean, I really, really suck at productivity.
I want to be good at it. I watch a lot of productivity YouTubers. I have apps. I try to collect most of my information.
I’m like the armchair quarterback sitting in his living room on Sundays criticizing the players and coaches, yelling at the TV, and telling everyone in the room what the coach or quarterback should have done.
I know what I should do. I know the basics of GTD. I can tell anyone that wants to know how to be productive. I know because I’ve watched enough YouTube to be an expert.
But all I do is create more information and messes than I can deal with. I’m a painting contractor. I generate a lot of paperwork, and digital information and I suck at keeping track of it all.
I have Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Sherwin Williams receipts everywhere. In my vehicle, in shopping bags and shoe boxes, in drawers around my house, and in my filing cabinet. They are EVERYWHERE!
I have lots of notepads with bits of information scribbled on them. But do I have the right one available when I need it? Of course not.
I have multiple partially used invoice pads and job estimate form pads scattered around because I misplace the one I’m using and go buy a new one so I can get paid.
My Digital World is Even Worse
I have several note-taking apps with bits and pieces of digital information. They aren’t organized.
My iPhone camera is the only reliable capture device that I regularly use because it’s so easy to find the information. But my photo library is so messed up. There are more pictures of job projects and paint cans than actual pictures that I would like to look at. That’s sad because I have three daughters, two stepchildren, and nine grandchildren. There are a lot of photos I want to look at and show other people, but I have to sift through so many pictures of paint cans and issues that clients want to have fixed or painted it’s embarrassing.
If I don’t have a picture, voice mail, or text about it, I will forget it. In fact, I already forgot about it.
My various notes apps contain materials lists, information for estimates, names and numbers I should have called but didn’t, and random phone numbers and addresses that I have no idea why I put them there, or what job they were for. There are a lot of lockbox and door codes too! For what client or address? Why would I bother to write that down?
I’ve got to fix this mess. I’m so frustrated, embarrassed, and overwhelmed. I’m not productive. It costs me money and time and income.
It’s Costing Me My Future
I’m fifty-three years old. My body and mind aren’t going to be able to do physical work forever. I’m already slower than I used to be. I’m tired. My body doesn’t recover from a long hot day wrestling tall ladders as it used to.
I’m tired and burned out. I want to do something different.
I have a couple of ideas I want to try. They will require constant research and information management. They will require many extra hours of work in addition to the work I already do. I have dreamed about doing these things, and other things like them, but I get overwhelmed. Given my current mess and lack of productivity, how the heck can I accomplish these other goals?
So I procrastinate. I put things off. I make up excuses.
No More Excuses
I’m going to at least give one or two of my ideas a try.
I’m going to clean up tha current mess I have. I’m going to figure out ways to make the work I already do productive, profitable, and as streamlined as possible.
I’m going to build a simple, reliable system to capture, organize, and then use all of this information.
I’m also going to start on the dreams, and use the systems I come up with to accomplish them too. I’m going to clean up the current mess I have. I’m going to figure out ways to make the work I already do productive, profitable, and as streamlined as possible.
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