Systems over self-discipline: my dog

Darky in the woods
Darky in the woods

You can call him a friend, you can call him an accountability partner, you can call him a tool: darky, the family dog.

I’ve always had a faible for self-improvement and productivity blogs. When I started following lifehacker and other publications, I was definitely a technology and gadget nut. I thought that I could become more productive by using software and technology alone. And that I have to try every new hype that is going around. Even though my own domain name was called no hype. Ironic, isn’t it?

Over time this has evolved. I definitely began to realize the difference between efficiency and effectiveness, the latter becoming more important every day. While trying out new stuff all the time was very fun, it proved to be a superb procrastination method in itself.

Nowadays it is more important to me what I do versus how I do it. Although I still think efficiency at many points of the day.

A nice example of this might be my personal goal of staying or getting fit. I tried many different applications like runtastic or other fitness apps. But I found out, that the best tool for me getting off the couch and out moving about is my dog Darky.

  • he is my moral obligation to get out because HE needs to get out
  • he is the perfect reminder because he looks at me with his big eyes and begs me to go out
  • bonus: he also reminds me by farting incessantly when he needs to go out
  • he does not leave me alone, but he comes with me and supports me on the way

If I would rely on self-discipline, I would definitely not get off the couch every single day in the week and even on weekends. By accepting Darky into our family life, I have gotten the perfect tool for my goal to stay healthy.

I have also found that for moral or ethical goals my children act in a similar way as reminders and guardians of my desired reality.

Come to realize that this type of systems thinking leads to real achievement of goals, I will definitely try to find ways in which to incorporate this methodology in other parts of my life.

Maybe you have areas in your own life where this type of thinking might be helpful. Give it some thought…