Recommended Podcast: 43 Folders on Kung Fu, Meditation, and Sex
With a title like this, the 43 folders podcast is bound to attract listeners. But more than a gimmick, this podcast from 43 folders is actually pretty interesting. Basically, with kung fu, meditation, and sex, you can study and think and learn about these topics all day, but until you actually go out and do them, you'll never get anywhere.
The 43 folders guy explained how some people can become obsessed with studying methods for productivity. You can spend hours categorizing, prioritizing, and quantifying your goals and list of items to do. But if you've got a to-do list, he said stop studying proactive methodology — just go out and do it!
He also said that if you have to-do's you never seem to get to, you should remove them from your list. You don't care about them. They aren't important to you.
This reminds me of a story from Benjamin Franklin's autobiography. Apparently Franklin had 11 virtues he strived to achieve. His friend encouraged him to add humility to his list of virtues. At the end of the year, Franklin looked back at whether he had achieved his goals. He said he achieved all but one: humility. It was never really his goal. It wasn't something he truly wanted, even though he had added it to his list.
I actually have a to-do list that I use from 37 Signals, but I haven't updated it for a while, and to be honest, as the list grows ever larger, it becomes more and more depressing. After a while I feel like I have 200,000 things that I have to do, so I throw up my hands and say 'screw you' to my to-do list. Then after a week or so I say, wait a minute, I need to get organized again, so I resurrect the list.
What do you use to organize yourself?
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.