Tuesday, January 25, 2005

PG: How to do nothing? Lesson#1 : the will-do matrix

Today i would like to introduce to you the Will-Do Matrix, courtesy of JIM VAN DEN BEUKEN.

Now Jim has made a beautiful set of cards called Pioneer and Pirates. Card number 8 from the "Be Wise" category is titled "What do you want?" - "Feel what you want, do what you want".

You know what you want if you feel what you like. Your will aims your creative energy at the difference between who you are and what you become. To want is rather an intuitive feeling than a wining action or duty. What would you like to be? What would you like to do? What would you like to not-do? Making contact with your intuitive will is seeking your destiny. Have to is the world according to others. Want to is the world according to yourself.

Will-do Matrix
Make a list of all activities that you spend time, attention and money on every month again (Include things like watching tv, traveling, sleeping etc). Divide the activities into four categories.

A) Activities that you DO and WANT to keep doing
Think of 3 ways to add even more quality and pleasure from these activities
B) Activities that you DO but DONT WANT to do
Think of a list for these activities to either increase your pleasure doing them, let other people do them or say goodbye to them.
C) Activities that you DONT DO and DONT WANT to do either
Accept the fact that you don´t want to do them, keep on saying no and explaining to other people.
D) Think of activities that you DONT DO but WANT to start doing
Choose one that gives you energy when you think of it. Start your plan within 24 hours.

Well, this was the Jim part. So where do we go from here?

First of all, take a piece of paper. Then draw the matrix, easy enough, draw a box and divide into 2x2.
The vertical (Y) axis is DO for the upper half, and DONT DO for the lower half.
The horizontal (X) axis is , the other axis is DONT WANT for the left part, and WANT for the right part.
If it is still too difficult, or better yet if you do not need this course on doing nothing, have a look at the artist impression.

Next, there is an evolution in this matrix. Like all movements in nature, its direction is reverse clockwise.

Movement#1: Going from (B) to (C) - the CleanUp
We find ourselves in the left half of the matrix, which is the DONT WANT section. The movement your activities make is from DO to DONT DO. It reads `well I used to do these activities but i stopped doing them`. Remember, quadrant C is your best friend. This is your trashcan for things done in the past. You have grown beyond doing them. Accepting this fact is crucial. You may need to reread the Reflection here.

Now, when you start NOT DOing them, people will probably notice. I mean, why else would you keep on doing them, right? If this question is other than a no-brainer to you, then you should really stop doing whatever you do instantly, and start contemplating the Reflection above. However, getting beyond this point took me about all of my life. Well, maybe reflection is my numer one DO and WANT activity.

Anyway, when you move an activity in the DONT WANT hafl from DO to DONT DO, you will not save time immediately. This is a common mistake. Here is what happens.
People need to get used to you not doing these activities any longer. And because they noticed, they need to change. Now the funny thing with human brains is, that they are not built to accept change. Unless ofcourse it means their brains need to spend less effort than before.
So you need to prepare for two actions. One is that you communicate to people you don´t do these activities any more. It won´t do you no good, because i told you about human brains. But it needs to be done. So then it really comes down to the second part, which is resistance. You need to teach the other person´s brains that convincing you to do the things you no longer want to do will cost them more effort than any other solution. This is where studying a character like Wally is extremely useful. Like in networking, you need to build up trust with the other person that you won´t give in, no matter how hard they try. You might want to study psychology to become aware of how extinction works. It is like this: when you say NO only nine out of ten times, people will forget all but this one time YES. So when you start this cycle, have plenty and i mean plenty of time to say no. It is an investment in your credibility, an investment in your own future as an expert in doing nothing.

Movement#2: Going from (A) to (B) - the Leverage
This time, we find ourselves in the upper half of the matrix, which is the DO section. The movement your activities make is from WANT to DONT WANT. It reads `well I used to like these activities but now i dont anymore`. See how easy it is? Before you know it, these activities are on their way to your best friend, quadrant C the TrashCan. Here is what to do.

Go study managers like Dilberts Boss. As Jim said, there are three roads to choose from. From the perspective of doing nothing, there is obviously only one road. You say goodbye to these activities, and move them on to the trashcan (C) as quickly as possible. However, sometimes you can gain a good friendship by exploiting your network to see if you can make someone else happy by letting them do the activity. If this too is impossible, choose road number three.

This is the road where you increase the pleasure you have in activities that you dont want to do anymore. Having tried road#1, there is bound to be a person who will stand up against you not doing them anymore. Keep an eye on this person, for he´s responsible for the activity. Remember, this is the person that should actually be doing this activity that you didn´t want to do in the first place. You may think this person is ahead of you in the art of doing nothing. But wait, you have an advantage. Study this person in depth, then you will know what to do. Chances are he´s too busy to do the activity, and then came up with the idea of having you do it. So the simple tactic is to go back to this person and ask them what he wants you to do, and why you should be the one to do it. Be stupid. Be naive. Don´t even think of trying to understand what it is. Here is where the investment is leveraged.

The outcome of these conversations are either one. Or this person will respect you as an equal, and only then a whole new life will open up for you. Or this person has promised to someone else that this activity will be done, and then he´s in deep trouble because you are in no hurry at all. This means that you do this person a favour. See why studying this person (and especially his environment) is so important? When this person realizes you hate the activity but you´ll do it just because of him, you will have a friend for life. Again, the extinction rule from psychology basic class will be to your extreme advantage. After nine times `why` (a NO would kill you instantly) this one time YES will be remembered forever.

Movement#3: Going from (D) to (A) - the Value
Are you still with me? Great. By the time you reach this level, life becomes a wonderful thing. You finally get to choose from all activities that you WANT to do, which is located in the right half of the matrix. The movement your activities make is from DONT DO to DO. It reads `well I would like to do these activities but i have not been able to`.
This ofcourse is not a quote from an expert. But you are well on your way of becoming one.

You may think: what should i choose? I never had the time to think of activities that i want to do, i was too busy with all these other activities! Again, please go and consult the Reflection. Now, making a choice may sound piece of cake, but really it is not. In order to make a choice, you need this measurement device called intuition. This my friend is where this exercise is all about. Why do you think did it take so long to get you here? Why were you so busy doing all these nasty little things that you don´t like? Is is because you owe the world? Is it because feeliig happy is last on the list? With duties first? Maybe Nelson Mandela was right when he mentioned something like the biggest of all fears is to be totally free? Maybe there was a reason for you to do all these DONT WANT activities?

I will let go of you now. You may have thought saving time is gonna make you happy :-) Well, go on and study one of these two characters. It all depends on what you like. Is it Dogbert? Or would you rather be like Catbert?

Movement#4: Going from (C) to (D) - the Womb of Creation
This is like satori for experts at doing nothing. The section you are in now is the DONT DO half. Whatever movement comes forth, in the end it will mean you just do nothing. Did you ever think people could come this far? The answer is ofcourse YES.

My favourite object of study is a character by the name of the Garbageman. And yes, without intuition you have no instrument to weigh the consequences of any choice. With only your mind at hand, each choice weights exactly the same, which is zero pounds. Welcome to reality. Welcome to the world of response ability. Give me your hand. You´ve made it.
Let the dialogue commence...
One can not change and remain the same person.

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