Starting the JD'ing process
It’s the 3rd January. I decided to reset my life yesterday.
I’m exhausted already and I haven’t even started. Just the thought of it is exhausting. So let’s recognise that — I see you, fear — and move on.
Don’t just pretend that this feeling doesn’t exist. Don’t pretend that what you’re about to do isn’t going to be difficult.
Following the rough theme of the Workbook, I’m going to define my scope first. To help me do that, I’m going to brain-dump everything that I can think of. Here, now.
(Even if I wasn’t writing this post, I often write notes to myself in this voice; as in, I type out a note as if I were talking to myself. It’s me, talking to me. I find this helps as it’s less boring, and allows me to recall things more easily.)
What prompted this?
I was chatting to one of my best friends and he reminded me about a video we made about ~15 years ago. I think I have a copy of it somewhere; I recall seeing it recently. As in, some time this decade. But I couldn’t lay my hands on it now.
I’m not sentimental, but this video is precious. It would be silly to lose it.
So let’s fix it by reorganising my entire life.
Think about your goals
This got me thinking. If you’re reading this, you want to be better organised.
Your reason might influence how you do this: how long you take, the methods you use, how well you do it, who else you involve. We’re all different: I can give you tools, but I can’t tell you what to want.
So, just think about that. Write it down. Why do you want to be organised? What do you want to achieve? What do you care about? What do you not care about?
I want to be organised because:
- It frustrates me when I know that a thing exists and I don’t know where it is.
- This frustration can quickly derail my mental state. It’s an excuse to give up.
- I’ve applied this system to various jobs and home projects and I’ve felt the relief that it brings. But my own ‘personal life’ has barely had any attention, and the worse it’s got the less I’ve cared.
- This has become a vicious cycle.
- So now I’m in a position where I’m Johnny.Decimal and my own personal stuff is a mess. This is silly.
- Doing this will teach me more about the system.
- So I should pay attention to the process, and meticulously document my findings. 👋
- I need to know what to do next. More on this below. This one’s really important.
I don’t care about:
- Being a digital hoarder. I don’t have to keep everything I’ve ever done.
- I have a feeling for what’s important and what isn’t. I’m going to listen to this voice and let it guide me.
- Being perfect. I know that I can be a perfectionist and that this stops me from doing things. So I will recognise that and not allow it to derail me.
- I like the aphorism ‘don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.’1
I just made a decision:
- In this round of organisation, I either organise it, or I delete it.
- There will be no more folders called
archive of stuff from 2014 from USB drive.
- I can leave these less-important potentially more-difficult decisions until the end: but they must be made.
- There will be no more folders called
What do I do next?
I run my own business now: Johnny.Decimal. So figuring out what to do next is a) daunting and b) life-alteringly important.
Late 2023 was ‘easy’ from this perspective: finish the Workbook; make sure it’s selling enough to pay the rent; make sure people are happy with it and that there are no major issues. ✅
January 2024 is a blank canvas. I have a decade’s worth of ideas, and the time to pursue them. But I have to choose, and be focused.
So my new organisational system needs to enable this. Note that I don’t have any idea how it’s going to do this yet: I’m just stating my intent.
All the things
Okay, so what are all the things? This is just going to be a bullet list of stuff to consider.
In the Workbook I exhort you to go for walks and to give this the consideration it deserves. So here I will commit to myself: for the next 24 hours I will try to think about little else but this.
My job for the next 24h
Until at least 2024-01-04 15:002, and until I think that this list is finished:
- I will not check my social media.
- I will check my mail once, tomorrow morning.3
- I will go for walks or a bike ride.
- I will not listen to podcasts while I do this.
- I’ll just think about this, as much as I can.
The list will be in a new post
I might as well post this one as-is. See you tomorrow.
You should have a quick way to insert a date/time. It’s so handy. I use Alfred’s ‘Snippets’ feature triggered by
;;jptime. (‘jp’ because before I knew it as ISO-8601 I knew it as ‘the way that Japanese people wrote the time’.) ↩
Sometimes people have account issues with the Workbook and I don’t like to leave them waiting. ↩