I love my ScanSnap scanner. Pop it open, push the blue button, and the page appears as a PDF on my Desktop.
Most of the time.
If the companion app isn’t running for some reason, it takes about 30 seconds of troubleshooting to diagnose the problem and start scanning. That’s 30 seconds of precious time and brainpower I shouldn’t have to spend. Besides, 30 seconds is a significant percentage of the two-minute rule.
So I did what I like to do and solved the problem so it stays solved: I figured out how to automatically launch ScanSnap Manager when I turn the scanner on.
It’s trivial and I could solve the problem with the tools I already use. The app is ready when I need it and stays out of the way when I don’t. It takes the friction and cognitive overhead to about zero.
It happens every year.
We start off strong, but fade. We start out excited, but fizzle. We work hard in January, but 80% of the goals we set are forgotten by February.
That number eventually climbs to 92%. Out of every hundred goals we set, only eight of them actually happen. The rest are cast aside, abandoned, waiting to discourage us the next time we set a goal.
Why does it happen? There’s probably a limiting belief, old habit, or bad strategy in play that we’re not aware of. The specific reason can be different for each goal and can change over the course of a goal.
Here are some of the most common reasons we don’t reach the goals we set.
When the American West was settled, whoever got there first established a claim on the land. It was theirs. They got to say how it was used.
Your time follows this same law of homesteading. Whatever gets put on our calendar first becomes the defacto standard for what we’re “supposed” to be doing with that time.
This is why it’s important to put your priorities on the calendar first. We commonly think of this when we’re scheduling our day or our week, simply because that’s the kind of scheduling we most commonly do.
Scheduling your year can have an even more profound effect.
My wife and I are methodically working our way through the menu at our favorite pizza place. Some of their creations are better than others, but even the “bad” ones are pretty doggone good.
Each time we order, we order two kinds: a favorite we love and a new one we haven’t tried before. (Yes, we have a checklist.) This way, we’re going to enjoy our meal(s) no matter how the new pizza turns out. If it’s a little less than we were hoping for, we still have a really good pizza to enjoy with it. If it’s absolutely incredible, we have another favorite.
We’re cheating at the explore/exploit problem a little bit, but life doesn’t have to be either-or. It can be and. And this is a good way we’ve found to maximize our pizza enjoyment. We get the benefits of exploiting a favorite pizza while still exploring new pizzas.
Two of our basic human needs are the need for Safety and Security and the need for Variety. Those two needs alone will often pull us in different directions. That’s not a bad thing.
Every time you get in the car, you have a destination in mind. You’re going to work. You’re taking the kids to school. You’re going to the grocery store, the library, and the dry cleaner’s.
Even if you’re heading out for the sheer joy of hearing your Maserati purr on the open road, you have a specific destination in mind. You’re heading someplace.
Goals shouldn’t be any more intimidating than popping out for a gallon of milk. More exciting, yes. And they’ll probably take a little more planning than grabbing your keys and wallet and heading out the door.
At some point, you need to switch from thinking about the goal to doing something about it. Here’s how to set up OmniFocus to you moving forward.