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Where Do You Find Truth?

Where Do You Find Truth?

    You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. ~Middle Eastern Proverb

    You lie online. It might be a lie to sell something or a lie to make yourself feel better. You might lie to help somebody else or perhaps to make another feel worse. Perhaps you just exaggerate. You brag. That’s not lying, right? That’s just expanding something to be more than it should be. Surely there’s no harm in that?!

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    There probably wouldn’t be any harm if we didn’t live such nuanced lives.

    A required smile is just a glint away from a genuine grin. A really great product is only a few words away from a product that often fails to work. A cool link is a millisecond away from a link we’re sharing just because somebody shared a link of our own.

    It’s all nuance.

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    The truth that lies within you does not arise as some blazing scepter for the world to see. It peeks out in wisps and glimmers through the nuance of your everyday life. It flits about the stream of clicks and characters you produce as you move about and share online.

    Have you seen it? Can you point to a conversation and say, “Aha! There. That is my truth!” or are you forced to rifle through your words and excuse yourself for not lying overtly?

    My sister often makes a joke that, “Everybody runs faster online.” in reference to the ways people lie about things online. But if we allow the behavior of the masses to choose the way in which we share or muzzle our truth, what then? What happens to the community made up of people who only pretend to like each other? Is that a Tribe that will bring about real change in the world or will it end in a disappointing trail of tears?

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    I fear for any community that sets aside truth in the pursuit of short-term goals. I fear for any person who throws away their convictions in the name of fame and glory. Can we not build real communities that trust each other or have we been sucked into an echo chamber that insists community is about the number of people who sign up and has nothing to do with the number that shows up? Are we so jaded as a people that we shall always withhold good things from those who do not make an effort to lie to our faces with caramelized hyperbole?

    Will we continue to lie? Or will we take another look in the mirror and ask our tired reflection to show us a bit of truth?

    If we can find that truth and hold it tightly with unwavering palms, I believe we will find freedom. Not freedom from work, or pain, or tribulation. But freedom from the tiny guilts that gouge away at our joy.

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    When we can look at our conversations and say, “Yes, there is my truth.” I think we’ll discover more grins in our day and hands that reach out to catch us when we start to fall.

    Image: Giampolo Macarig

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    Seth Simonds

    Seth writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on September 10, 2019

    How to Master the Art of Prioritization

    How to Master the Art of Prioritization

    Do you know that prioritization is an art? It is an art that will lead you to success in whatever area that matters to you.

    By prioritization, I’m not talking so much about assigning tasks, but deciding which will take chronological priority in your day—figuring out which tasks you’ll do first, and which you’ll leave to last.

    Effective Prioritization

    There are two approaches to “prioritizing” the tasks in your to-do list that I see fairly often:

    Approach #1 Tackling the Biggest Tasks First and Getting Them out of the Way

    The idea is that by tackling them first, you deal with the pressure and anxiety that builds up and prevents you from getting anything done—whether we’re talking about big or small tasks. Leo Babauta is a proponent of this Big Rocks method.[1]

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    Approach #2 Tackling the Tasks You Can Get Done Quickly and Easily, with Minimal Effort

    Proponents of this method believe that by tackling the small fries first, you’ll have less noise distracting you from the periphery of your consciousness.

    If you believe in getting your email read and responded to, making phone calls and getting Google Reader zeroed before you dive into the high-yield work, you’re a proponent of this method. I suppose you could say Getting Things Done (GTD) encourages this sort of method, since the methodology advises followers to tackle tasks that can be completed within two minutes, right there and then.

    Figure out Your Approach for Prioritization

    My own approach is perhaps a mixture of the two.

    I’ll write out my daily task list and draw little priority stars next to the three items I need to get done that day. They don’t need to be big tasks, but nine times out of ten, they are.

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    Smaller tasks are rarely important enough to warrant a star in the first place; I can always get away without even checking my inbox until the next day if I’m swamped, and the people who need to get in touch with me super quickly know how.

    But I’m not recommending my system of prioritization to you. I’m also not saying that mine is better than Leo’s Big Rocks method, and I’m not saying it’s better than the “if it can be done quickly, do it first” method either.

    The thing with prioritization is that knowing when to do what relies very much on you and the way you work. Some people need to get some small work done to find a sense of accomplishment and clarity that allows them to focus on and tackle bigger items. Others need to deal with the big tasks or they’ll get caught up in the busywork of the day and never move on, especially when that Google Reader count just refuses to get zeroed (personally, I recommend the Mark All As Read button—I use it most days!).

    I’m in between, because my own patterns can be all over the place. Some days I will be ready to rip into massive projects at 7AM. Other times I’ll feel the need to zero every inbox I have and clean up the papers on my desk before I can focus on anything serious. I also know that my peak, efficient working time doesn’t come at 11AM or 3PM or some specific time like it does for many people, but I have several peaks divided by a few troughs. I can feel what’s coming on when and try to keep my schedule liquid enough that I can adapt.

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    That’s why I use a starred task list system rather than a scheduled task list. It allows me to trust myself (something that I suppose takes a certain amount of discipline) and achieve peak efficiency by blowing with the winds. If I fight the peaks and troughs, I’ll get less done; but if I do certain kinds of work in each period of the day as they come, I’ll get more done than most others in a similar line of work.

    You may not be able to trust yourself to that extent without falling into the busywork trap. You may not be able to tackle big tasks first thing in the morning without feeling like you’re pushing against an invisible brick wall that won’t budge. You might not be able to deal with small tasks before the big tasks without feeling pangs of guilt and urgency.

    My point is:

    The prioritization systems themselves don’t matter. They’re all pretty good for a group of people, not least of all to the people who espouse them because they use them and find them effective.

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    What matters is that you don’t fall for one set of dogma (and I’m not saying Leo Babauta or David Allen preach these things as dogma, but sometimes their proponents do) until you’ve tried the systems extensively, and found which method of chronological prioritization works for you.

    And if the system you already use works great, then there’s no need to bother trying others—in the world of personal productivity, it’s too easy to mess with something that works and find yourself unable to get back into your former groove.

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    In truth, this principle applies to all sorts of personal productivity issues, though it’s important to know which issues it applies to.

    If you thought multitasking worked well for you each day and I’d have to contend that you are wrong—multitasking is a universal myth in my books! But if you find yourself prioritizing tasks that never get done, you might need to reconsider which of the above approaches you’re using and change to a system that is more personally effective.

    More About Prioritization & Time Management

    Featured photo credit: Sabri Tuzcu via unsplash.com

    Reference

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