onsdag 15 oktober 2014

Immediacy Mode - Just do it right now (sometimes)

Household work

Yes, I know, who needs it? But, still, someone has to do it and unless you want to hire people going through your stuff you are the one that has to perform it sooner or later.

Sometimes, in particular when it comes to houshold work like shopping, cleaning, washing, changing light bulbs etc., rather than planning, writing lists, prioritizing or procrastinating, I just enter my

"Immediacy Mode"

That means I take care of everything that enters my mind just as I become aware of. If another thought interrupts me I let it temporarily override the current task at hand and move fluidly from task to task and then circle back to half-finished tasks.


  • Have eaten: clear away the plates and cutlery
  • Dishwasher is full but clean. Empty dishwasher.
  • Dishwasher's filter appears clogged. Clean filter.
  • Floor is dirty, needs vacuuming. Get vacuum cleaner. Notice broken light bulb on the way. Change light bulb. Then get back to getting vacuum cleaner.
  • Vaccum floors.
  • Notice plates are still on the table, put them in dishwasher (feel good you emptied it and declogged the filter)
  • Take out the garbage or just place it by the door.
  • Jeans itch. Take them off. Take a shower. Collect all jeans material that needs washing. Start washing machine.
  • Want a cup of coffee. Got no milk. Go to the store (polish shoes first if you notice it needs doing) and buy milk (yes, without hesitation) - take out the garbage you left by the door on the way. Make coffee and have a café au lait when you get back.
  • Come to think of a short blog post you'd like to write. Write it right away if possible (if it's short and simple enough. Immediacy Mode really only works for non cognitive tasks)
  • Remember you are supposed to to your mobility exercises today - or 50 push-ups. Do them right away just as soon as you think of them. Yes, just drop to the floor while the thought is being thought and do it.
  • Fold laundry
  • Make bed
  • Pay bills
  • Add song to Spotify list
and on and on... Just clear away all those little things, one after the other. A loose screw, unstable chairs, time to recycle, clean away winter clothes, throw away old t-shirts, clip toenails...

In just one hour you can get surprisingly much done and never being bored about it or feel burdened. No need for planning, for lists, for feeling overwhelmed, just do everything you see right away when you see it.

What do you see now?

2 kommentarer:

  1. The issue is when you have immediacy overload and you don't know how to prioritize a giant list of mundane tasks that hit you all at once.

    1. I see. I agree, it's individual and situation-dependent. You have to know who YOU are and what YOUR issues are. Sometimes I tend to be too strategic and write lists instead of just DOING.

      For me, Immediacy Mode works well for HH work. Rather than decide "Spring Cleaning Time", I say "Immediacy Mode: do whatever you see and just keep on doing". That feels less daunting.

      Actually IM often starts by just doing one thing like cleaning the tumbler filter and REALIZING this might be a good time for IM and follow that flow.

      It's probably not for everyone, but what is? If I plan for spring cleaning I tend to postpone it indefinitely. Immediacy Mode, however, is just as easy as brushing my teeth and can even start there: brushing teeth, cleaning the mirror, changing the liquid soap, cleaning the toilet, Vacuuming the floors, folding laundray and so on... The trick for me is to get started.

      And to keep going I need to NOT have a distant and difficult goal like "a spring cleaned house" but rather just the spontaneous fixing of all the small things that get in my way.