Over the past few months I’ve been feeling pretty smug about my productivity progress. I’ve managed to:
- Get my work and personal mailboxes to Zero
- Develop a ‘Do/Defer/Delegate’ GTD routine using Nozbe
- Introduce a paperless workflow that has significantly reduced the paper cluttering up the house
- Automate a number of of my daily workflow steps using tools like IFTTT
I’m well on my way to achieving a sustainable, productive lifestyle.
So why do I always come unstuck on one particular task? No matter how well ingrained my habits, how positive my thinking I always have a productivity meltdown when faced with the propsect of having to:
Process my expenses.
I have no idea why this particular task fills me with such dread. It’s a huge pain for me to put off and directly impacts my pocket as unprocessed expenses sit on my credit card and cost me money.
For some reason wherever ‘process my expenses’ is in my next actions list it’s the one task I always avoid. Which is nuts considering the longer I leave it the more likely it is that I’ll lose crucial receipts needed to put the claim through.
"Eat the frog’ methodology would propose getting the expenses done as soon as it comes onto my list (i.e. after each trip). Yeah, good luck getting my subconscious to play along with that one.
GTD would say that the process of daily/weekly review and working through all the other next actions would naturally surface an opportunity to process the expenses. It doesn’t happen.
For some reason this one recurring task is a complete mental block for me and I’ve realised that I’ve got to change things up to break through this particular brick wall.
There’s a well-used quote out there that goes something along the lines of:
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different outcome the second time.
I think it’s particularly apt in this situation. I need to break down what it is about this task that’s blocking me and finding a different way of achieving it. Things I’m going to try:
- Documenting each step of my workflow and ‘autopsy-ing’ it
- Evernote the hell out of my paperwork
- Create an IFTTT recipe that pushes reminders out to me when I’ve got outstanding expenses to process
- Create an affirmation around having an awesome expense-processing habit in place and visit it daily.
- Look at ways of automating the workflow so it’s easier to complete.
So here’s my message to my ‘kryptonite task’:
I’m coming for you. I will crush you. I will be victorious.
I’ll post an update next month on how it’s going.