Who's it for? Internal and external drivers for prioritizing

This post isn't about productivity in general as much as it is about prioritizing TODOs in the short term. Whether you use GTD, write lists on the back of napkins, or have a personal assistant track everything for you, at some point you need to sit down and decide what to do next. This decision depends on time, inclination, what's at hand, etc (this is familiar sounding to fans of David Allen's GTD system). Anyway, what I try to do is always ensure that I accomplish at least a couple of things for others before I do things "just for me". I know that I am supposed to put myself first, and no one is more important than me, and I need to love myself and all that crap but in reality two things motivate me to do things for others first:
  1. I can't relax and enjoy things for me if I know I am preventing others from doing this (NOTE: this is NOT always the case when it comes to external drivers for TODO items and so not everything has urgency for me in this way)
  2. If you don't get things done from other people's perspectives they are less likely to want to rely on you, work with you, trust you, etc. Sometimes this is a good thing, if they are unwanted. For those you do want in your life, though, this is a huge thing.
Anyway, it comes down to being able to enjoy downtime and not being a chump. That is one way in which I prioritize what I want to do next.


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