I already presented my actual priority backlog in a former article. When I started using it I asked myself how I will be able to really work on the priorities I wrote down.

The key of learning

First things first: if you really want to learn something the key is regularity. One of the things on my priority backlog is to learn proper touch typing. I have already tried learning it some years ago and failed miserably. I had a hard time learning it regularly. I have done it only occasionally - but then for an extended period of time, maybe for 20 minutes. This obviously did not work out. Every learning session I needed time to get used to it again which reduced the quality of my learning.

My way of sticking to it

What I have done is very simple. I created a visible trigger next to my monitor which says “Typing first!“. The idea of a visible trigger is probably not new and Leo Babauta wrote about it o his blog and in his new book.

Additionally, I close my mail program and all other sources of notifications on my computer before I leave the office. When I come to work the next morning and boot my computer I read the note and open the program which I use to learn touch typing.

This took a while to get used to it. I also had to resist the urge to open the mail program or anything else at the beginning. However, this approach increases focus massively. What I learned is that it is not important to learn for a long time every session. Much more important is to do it regularly - and if it is only for two or five minutes, that's totally fine.

The take aways

The described approach works out fine for me most of the time. Of course, there are exceptions, but mostly I am able to adhere to the plan. Currently I am not able to apply this to all the things written in my priority backlog. I usually can do it for the first two to three items. The rest is probably not important enough for me right now, which is fine.

Post image taken by Tim Pierce, published under CC BY 2.0.