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Get a Load of This CRAP™ in 2009

man_with_clock.jpgNow it’s 2009, a time for making resolutions, turning a new leaf, cleaning the slate, and starting anew. Prioritizing becomes a matter of great importance for most of us at the outset of each year. But do you ever have trouble deciding what things to do first, and why?

Setting and keeping priorities—a cornerstone of achievement—is an ongoing struggle for me.

So here, revealed in print—or pixels—for the second time anywhere, is Clark‘s Rule About Priorities (CRAP™): Do First What You Want to Do Least.

The logic is simple: What we most dread doing is usually the thing we should do soonest.

What do you want to do least today? Apologize to your spouse? Write that report? Make an appointment for that colonoscopy? Well, do it first thing in the morning, and watch your productivity soar.

Clark‘s Rule About Priorities applies equally to personal, professional, and spiritual activity.

For example, six years ago it became apparent that I needed to start exercising regularly if I wanted to maintain my health. I pushed through the dread and started going to a gym, but that meant time-consuming mid-day commutes, two showers on gym days—and spending money.observe_crap_in_2009.gif

About a year later, I realized that exercise, as the most crucial foundation of health besides diet, was, quite literally, the most important thing for me to do each day. So I switched to a daily, at-home regimen, instead of three-times-a-week at the gym. Do First What You Want to Do Least.

Now I exercise first thing each weekday morning, in the comfort of home, while watching NHK news. It costs nothing, no travel’s needed, and I take only one shower a day. And the habit’s so ingrained now that I no longer dread it—though I love taking weekends off from my regimen.

I still struggle to apply CRAP™ to work, but I’m improving. So it’s back to my dissertation research, just as soon as I finish writing this.

Say, that gives me an idea for a new post—about procrastination. Maybe I should start now, while the idea’s still fresh …

Happy New Year!

You may also enjoy:

Why ‘Time Management’ is Nonsense—And What You Can Do About It

The Lonely Novelist’s Five-Point Productivity Plan

Four Simple Steps to Getting Fit


4 Comments to Get a Load of This CRAP™ in 2009

On Jan 8, 2009, Adam Steer - Better Is Better commented:

Hi Tim,

Too true! I’m going to get off my butt right now and right an article I’ve been meaning to get done!

I’d like to send you a copy of my new book to help you with your home exercise regimen. It’s devoted entirely to innovative body weight exercise options and programs. But I don’t want to put a spammy link here, so if you want to drop me a line at info@bodyweightexerciserevolution.com I’d be happy to fix you up with a copy.


On Jan 8, 2009, by Tim commented:

Thanks, Adam. I’m committed to staying with 1) no equipment, 2) no gym, so I look forward to learning about your method!

On Feb 6, 2009, Happiness Is Better commented:

I agree with trying to do what you least want to do. I’ve found that those tend to be the most pressing issues. Funny how that works :).

I love the acronym. Very clever!

On Feb 6, 2009, by Tim commented:

Since I’m often told I’m full of it, I figured it was time to formalize the principle … :)

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