We've all seen it.  The mad scientist or the super genius who is unable to get anything accomplished (or at least not much and/or not consistently).  The "creative" who can't hardly create any results.  The high "ideaphoria" fellow (me) who wastes much time thinking of and recording ideas which will not result in anything other than wasting his (my) time - I had to cure this in me when I really looked at the cost of my addictive habit that was getting me nowhere.  The well-meaning, but ineffectual person who can't seem to get hardly any good results.  The masses who leave themselves .

Of course, one way to increase your average productivity in life is to eliminate that which is unproductively or less productively done.

We should stop this as early in the process as possible so that we save time and effort that might be wasted if we continue on for awhile.  (The best way not to cause the symptoms of a problem is to cure it as early as possible in the "causal chain".)  For instance, if I ask "can this information be found another way when I need it?" - if so, I then toss it in the garbage, rather than spewing it into the front yard of my life.

Ideas that go nowhere, projects started that will never be completed in terms of getting results, handling things that we can just avoid handling at all - all such things should be found out and then stopped cold, asap! 


In Getting Things Done, David Allen, seems to say that the key to managing information and tasks lies in "making decisions" about what to do with them, including assuring that there is adequate followup if that is what is needed. 

In other words, if we take in and record information or tasks to be done, we should set it up so that those things are actually used to get an outcome.  No outcome is of course equal to doing nothing.  But doing the work and not finishing the work needed to produce the outcome is worse than doing nothing, as it takes up the potential benefit that could be derived from that effort being expended elsewhere. 

If I get an idea and then I write it down, but place it somewhere where it can't be found, I have just wasted my time and diverted it from something better.  There is a "life cost" incurred in not doing something else that would be useful, so this is a negative behavior in terms of it having a net negative effect on the potential value derived from life.


If I end up doing a task where there is no desired outcome achieved, then I have been foolish.  Of course, I cannot be a perfect predictor of failure or mistakes that cause the desirable outcome not to be reached.  But if I fail to ask an answerable question and to put reasonable effort into answering it, I am being a true fool, instead of being human and making mistakes that inevitably occur periodically. 

The question, of course, is "Will this lead to producing a desired outcome?"  "Will I find it and/or followup on it?"  

If the answer is no, then the immediate action must be to just "drop it" "like a hot potato"! 

If I come up with a brilliant idea, but I ask the question above and answer it with a "no", then I would best not even write it down.  If my life is full of piles and files of notes unacted upon and/or unused, then there is a sign of something afoul in my way of proceeding with regard to such things.  It is undeniable evidence of my (human) foolishness, of my need to engage my higher brain to get more from my life by making intelligent choices about what not to put into my life (waste my time on!). 

Notes and articles saved, books not followed up on (and kept even though they'll never again be used), seminars/workshop notes and thoughts not followed up on - all go into a big black hole in the universe of your life, sucking energy out of your life. 

I have to have something that can be of value for the future, or I stop right then and let go. 

If the item to be put away for reference is of low marginal value, don't save it in the first place, as it is attached to the giant life-sucking machine where your attention units are taken away and wasted into nothingness.


If there is no triggering event to look at the information, such as using it later when I start to write on that topic, then it will go nowhere and be of no use.  Just toss it in the trash, instead of tossing your life units in the trash by using them up to no avail. 

If there is a task or possible task of pretty low value, it is virtually always going to be something that will not be followed up on, when we have so many other things of higher value to do, many of which we will not even get around to. 

The solution, of course, is screen it up front and allow only high value, or medium value at the lowest.

If there is an activity in your life with a low payoff, eliminate it and allocate the time to something of higher value.  And don't fall into the trap of the greatly unproductive people by using a low threshold for your choices - don't just do anything "of value", for if it is of low value, it pushes something of higher value out of the basket of life value.  (See, understand, now, and use this:  Valuing What Turns Out Not To Be Valuable - Shouldn't We Define This Earlier And Better?)

Everything must have an end point to do it or use it.  The decision must be made at the initial point or where if can be deleted off a list that it automatically goes to....


You must:

Schedule the task on the calendar
    Or put it on a list that will be accessed for sure
Or have a triggering event that will cause one to look at the information


Key objection:  "But it takes so much time to decide and classify and do it the right way!".

Answer: But at least you'll have more things that end up getting results and you'll see that you need to stop doing the stuff you can't or don't process either way.  And you'll save massive amounts of time because you chose just no to do many things at all.

The key point of all of this

"Life Value Productivity" - Producing The Maximum Life In Your Life - The "secret" formula for life.

Stop stopping short of learning and utilizing

There is no purpose of learning, or starting to learn, if there will be no outcome produced from it.  (Intrinsic satisfaction is considered an outcome, though.)

Instead, do this and start nothing unless you do this:  Authentic, Effective Learning, Real Learning To Get What You Really Want In Life

The bigger the item...

The bigger the cost of making a wrong decision, the more rigor one would put into screening it out upfront.

Importance cut off point

You'll still have plenty to do even if you accept only high-value activities/tasks to do and just let the rest go. "Good to do" will no longer be a valid criterion!


For instance, one must have a great screening system to avoid having bad, intimate relationships! (Such as in Finding And Selecting A Partner or the criteia specified in the piece Friends - The Right Ones Can Make A Huge Difference!.)