I am quite possibly the least productive person on the planet.

Somehow I manage to get stuff done, but it comes at the expense of wasting many, many more hours than necessary.

Recently there have been a few weaknesses in particular that all-too-successfully drag me away from what I need to do. Actually, scratch that. Saying that they drag me away isn’t accurate. I go up to them and beg them to take me home. It’s entirely my doing. I have an addictive personality, and these things . More specifically, they are

  • Netflix – So many Instant Play reality TV shows!
  • Poker – Though I never play for money, poker has been a weakness of mine for years. I put a version on my Kindle last month and… yeah. I *might* be addicted.
  • Email & RSS feed reader – I lump these together because I always check one right after the other.

Your guilty pleasures will likely be different, but you undoubtedly have some.

I was going through The Art of Non-Conformity not too long ago and read the author’s recommendation to start a To-Not-Do List. It’s just a list of things that you want to stop doing.

I decided to put mine in a place where I’d see it a lot: my computer’s desktop background.

This is the result:

To-Not-Do List

I just created a 1280 x 800 pixel blank document in Photoshop and added the text to the bottom right corner. I saved a .png version to make as my desktop background, but kept the original Photoshop source file so I can quickly and easily edit and change it as necessary.

Does it help? So far, yes. I’ve only had it there for a few days, but now if I do find myself heading over to Netflix or busting out the Kindle, I feel a little pang of guilt. Sometimes I override it and play some poker anyway, but other times I talk myself out of it. Baby steps, right?

  • What are your guilty little pleasures that keep you from being productive in your blogging and/or work?
  • How do you keep yourself focused and on track?