How Lazymeter enables getting stuff done

Lazymeter is at first glance a very simple task tracking tool that has some bells and whistles.  So what is the benefit of using Lazymeter over just notepad or the spartan To-Do list built into Gmail?  

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I find that I have many non-trivial, unwieldy goals and similar goals being added every few days, so it’s difficult to track and prioritize goals in a flattened list.  Lazymeter gives me just the few extra features I need, so that task management does give me better efficiency rather than becoming a needless bureacracy in itself.  

There are three task breakdowns, which I have relabelled for myself as: do it now (the play list), do it later (pause list), and too-big-to-swallow goals (stopped list).

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So for example, I’ll put a bigger task like “learn arbitrary programming language” in the stop list, then break it down into consumable chunks for the appropriate play and pause lists.   I’ve especially noticed the benefits of this type of tracking when my goals change or when I need to make some diversion to fill a knowledge/skill gap.  Thus, I no longer feel as if I am potentially abandoning a larger goal with some unforseen context switch.  Rather, I’ve tracked the chunks I’ve accomplished and simply deferred tasks later between pause and stop lists.

Then Lazymeter also feeds my infographic desires, by giving me some indication on how well I’m doing according to my plans.  So you can see that I tend to be overly ambitious compared to what I can actually accomplish.  So Lazymeter might be for you if you are the over-ambitious, time-constrained person who needs some help getting things into bite-size pieces.

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Defeatism

I don’t want to succumb to a defeatist mentality.  This mentality is something I’ve actively tried to eradicate from my life, starting from finding at least one thing positive in even a negative incident to making an effort in noting a small positive trait in other people.  Now, when it comes to having something to say from the ruminating part of my mind, for instance, to bring forth that thought experiment or idea that’s been stewing in some recess of the brain, I just have not found the inner strength to fight defeat.  I cannot overcome that idea that everything interesting and noteworthy has been said. I’ve finally understood the stark reality that writing down an idea has the lowest entry barrier and this statistically will work against someone seeking to break new ground in this area.  Maybe I am late to the party.  Maybe I am stating the most obvious.  But I have just understood that  creating something, something beyond words, is the true domain of creativity — at least a domain that hasn’t had its final word.

Uncertain Success

Wikipedia defines success here:

 

Success may mean, but is not limited to:

 

This definition seems like the entry level version of success and is pretty easy to cheat.  Since there’s no definition of maximum possible success, then I’m going to interpret one of my own.  

Consider this Maximum Possible Success:

  • A lifetime achievement of objective/goal
  • Achieving highest social status
  • Exceeding all other personal successes
  • Exceeding unparalleled successes of objective/goal by others with the same objective/goals

How does a person achieve Maximum Possible Success?  

What are the prerequisites to this epic achievement?  

I’ve become convinced that there are some vital ingredients (based from Gladwell and lesswrong.com):

  1. Passion / Confidence
    • You must be willing to drop everything else in life besides obtaining this goal.  
    • You must be among the best possible persons for the task.  
    • You must persevere in the face of all adversity
  2. Time (Youth) – You must start as early as possible. 
  3. Health – You must have enough energy to accomplish your goals
  4. Luck (External factors beyond your control) – You had better be luckier than everyone else.

Why do I define success in this way?  Why does society reinforce this image of success?

In some sense, there is a sadness and lonliness that comes with achieving this great success.  The lonliness comes, perhaps, as a byproduct of the labors involved and from being mentally unable to identify with the norm.  If a person’s greatest accomplishment in personal and societal life is to have his whole being serve a singluar purpose, does that not make him a tool?  Why does society value the dehumanization of “great” persons?

There seems to be a inevitable slant, perhaps a psychological inclination, to glamorize success and ignore failure.  In a single human mind, doing so is a defensive mechanism.  The media, the hive mind, society, some collective of many human minds, are all just human minds and they react no differently than any other “unqualified” individual.  I see our definition of success has been refined and reinforced in an infinite loop between the individual and the collective.

Confucious said:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

 

The Collective dictates:

A job you love may not provide you with an adequate income.

 

Why is the collective given so much power to dictate inevitable unhappiness?

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