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Snowballed Work Ethic

May 15, 2009

Dave Ramsey, the fairly popular Christian financial adviser, frequently tells those in debt to use his debt snowball plan.  Boiled down, he suggests that instead of paying whatever you can to the highest interest loan, you pay as much as possible toward the debt with the lowest balance.  Once that account is repayed, the debtor should then apply all of what was being put toward the freshly repaid debt to the next lowest balance, thus snowballing payments until the debtor owes no more.  Mathematically this seems illogical, but he reasons that people need momentum to get out of debt, and there’s little better than success to keep one going.

Since my time has not yet come to pay the piper called Sallie (though your time is coming, dear lender), I have decided to try to implement the snowball method and apply it to work ethic.

Often, when I finish a large project I’ll plan to kick back and celebrate its completion by not applying myself to anything for a few days.  This plan, were it to become reality, would not be a bad thing.  Unfortunately, I too often put off any work for several weeks and dig myself a deep hole of procrastination.  To remedy this, my plan going forward is to use Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball plan to ameliorate my work ethic.

For about a month, I have been using a hacked moleskine notebook to implement the GTD system (Getting Things Done) to better organize my thoughts, tasks, and duties with limited success.  My moleskine hack is specifically suited for me and my quirks, but I believe that GTD is a system that many could benefit from.

That being said, going forth I will use my notebook to tackle small tasks as they come along and continue that effort, applying it to larger tasks, in an effort to get more done.

Do you have any particularly successful methods of organizing your tasks and thoughts?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2009 8:26 am

    I really wish I did. I seem to swing between two extremes. Either I put all my energy toward the “big” task with none left over for the smaller but very important things that need to be done, or I use the smaller jobs as an excuse to procrastinate and not work on the big project that looms over me. I’ve tried doing the list/prioritize thing, and it really works when I work the plan, but it seems that it just doesn’t take me very long to fall back into my old habits. The funny thing is that I know my stress levels would decrease if I’d just follow the plan. If you get this one figured out, let me know!

  2. May 19, 2009 9:10 am

    As far as organizing my thoughts and tasks go… no. My attempts to organize those usually fail and I spend more time prepping for each of them than I actually do in eliminating them. I try to keep that list to a minimum anyway though. Sometimes that works, but generally it builds. Not being in school though is completely different than I ever thought it would be. I actually DO have time to do things. And when it comes to doing things, I feel that I incorporate the snowball method too… in a different way. As soon as I realize that I am in the mood to accomplish chores or tasks, I latch onto that mood and try to ride it as long as I can. Generally, this gets a lot done. Unfortunately, this mood only happens maybe twice a month.

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