I learned a trick from Merlin Mann a long time ago that has served me well when I’m procrastinating and I’ve recently combined it with OF’s tag feature. It helps me fend off procrastination, so I share in case it helps you, too.
So, the trick from Merlin is this: When I find that I’m avoiding things and letting that escalate into a state of procrastination, I’ll make a list of all the things I don’t want to do. I’ll go through that list and put a star next to the ones I really don’t want to do. Then, I’ll go down the list of starred items and put a star next to the ones I really, really don’t want to do. Then, I’ll go down the list of double-starred items, and put a star next to the ones I really, really, really … you get the idea. I do this until I get to a list with exactly one item that has, like, 17 stars next to it. I set a pomodoro and I work on THAT THING. Normally the <17 starred items are a lot less scary after that.
I can’t remember what he called it but for some reason “bear traps” comes to mind.
Anyway, this is a successful strategy I’ve used for years and with tags, I am using OF to help me operationalize it. I’ve created a tag called Avoiding and I’ve assigned it to my Forecast. Now, I can right click and mark any tag “Avoiding” and I can see where those tasks in my everyday view. Putting the things I’m procrastinating front and center invites me to tackle them in that brute force way: JUST DO THE DARN THING. It’s not quite the same as my list of star-spangled bear traps (or whatever Mann called it), but I’ve come to appreciate that I can make the OF interface work with me to manage this frustrating response I can have to some types of work.