Here I am on a Friday afternoon, with a mild fever, having reorganized my OmniFocus and feeling more in control. What kicked me over the edge besides a week of feeling bad about myself? I figured out how to get my work’s corporate OneNote to open on my iPad. That’s it. That’s what it took today. The idea that I could do more of my work on my iPad made me finally get my external brain in order. Brains are weird.

I go in cycles. I’m simultaneously a creature of routine and one who rebels against routine. I organize myself in OmniFocus and live the “mind-like-water” life for a couple weeks, then I slip up somehow and say to myself, “System? I don’t need no stinking SYSTEM”. I’ll play with alternative systems—I’ll try to organize my work stuff solely in Outlook; I’ll try to use Reminders on iOS. I’ll do everything to avoid the actual getting things done part of Getting Things Done.

Some people’s default mode is doin’ stuff. My default mode is the opposite. I don’t think I can change that, but I can work to know myself better so that when I’ve got a burst of attention, I make the most of it, building good habits so that my downswings are tempered by mindless, but useful routine. And, when I’m in a valley, I recognize it and don’t beat myself up about it. That only makes it last longer.

What habits do I want to start?