I am making a concerted effort to have the highest possible number of emails in my inbox this month. It’s because I’m in the middle of my “Maynia” experiment .
And do you know what? It’s really hard! For about five or six years now, I’ve kept my inbox at zero more or less every day, and the only exceptions to this have been holidays and days where I choose to ignore email for some particular reason.
So far this month, I cannot resist the urge to process: to file, delete, action or organise. And yet, if you’d have said to me 10 years ago, when I was sat at my computer with 6,000 emails piling up and a barrowful of stress that one day I’d be the one helping others in their quest for productivity I’d have laughed. Because well, that just wasn’t me.
For those of you not in the habit of regular email processing to zero, this is great news. Your old habits are hard to break, but those new habits you want to instil? They’ll become just as hard to break. We tend to see engrained habits as part of our true selves, or at least part of our constructed identity. We weave a narrative in our mind saying “I’m a person who does X, or I’m a person that isn’t capable of Y”. The good news is that we can change these narratives.
What’s even more powerful than this is the realisation that changing these narratives we hold within ourselves is as simple as creating a new and better habit. Your good habits create an identity that you can feel good about. It takes effort to create the effortless. But by then it’s even harder to go back to what you’re glad you left behind.
Like this? Try these
Graham’s productivity experiments – see where it started
End the maynia, check out our ‘How to Get Things Done’ public workshops’s
Michael Hyatt asks ‘What Story Are You Telling Yourself?’