The Piratical Gisele Bundchen Technique

Thursday, September 9th 2010

There are all sorts of ways of organising what you need to do. Index cards, "Getting Things Done", TODO lists, elaborate charts and software. They all seems like attempts to deal with the limited processing capacity of our frontal lobes.

So I have invented my own. The "Piratical Gisele Bundchen Technique".

List of Death!

It works on the basis that we struggle two process more than a few bits of information at a time.

Think of it as an organisational conveyor belt with a cliff of doom at one end.

(This is important! None of this will not work unless you follow these instructions precisely.)

It Began with Seven

Write the top seven things you want to do on index cards. Each thing should take up - at most - a day. 3 hours is even better. Whatever seven things pop into your head. Don't think about it.

Shuffle them randomly.

The conveyor belt has 7 slots on it. An index card goes in each one.

Ask for Assistance from Supernatural Forces

Find seven of small items to guard each slot. Each one should be very clear in your mind and stand out from the others.

I have a

  • pirate
  • robot
  • comely wench
  • dragon
  • a miniature guitar
  • leprachaun
  • strange furred beast.

When you add a card to the slot, ask the small item for assistance to do what's on the card.

Important - these creatures must all be friends.

Your Assistants

Say you add a card to the pirate slot. Imagine a set of pirates helping you do whatever it is on the card. Imagine this vividly and for at least 2 minutes (time yourself).

Then make an effort to forget all about the card itself. Just remember the pirate and him telling you about what's on the card.

Once you have committed it to memory, do not read the card again.

Do, however, imagine the your seven compadres sitting around a giant fire discussing the cards and how glorious they will be.

Try and infuse what's on the card with whoever is guarding the card. So, imagine yourself doing something on a pirate ship, for instance.

The Cliff of Doom

When something new to do comes along, put it on an index card.

Shift the conveyor belt along one step.

The card closest to the cliff of doom falls off the cliff of doom.

When a card falls of the cliff, write what it says on a piece of paper and drop it in a box.

The Muse Box

Think of something very positive in your mind, something alive with hope and possibility. Now, relate that to a person - a "muse".

It is important that this person is of the opposite sex and attractive to you. (Unless, of course you're gay or bi, in which case - go for it!) The person must be in idealised form - but it can be someone you actually know.

At the moment my Muse box is called Gisele Bundchen :-).

Card Burning!

Now, burn the card.


When you finish something, remove the card from the conveyor belt. More importantly, make sure the thing is actually finished.

That means making whatever it is you have done public. I put articles on this web site, for instance. Tell people - or even better - show people what you have done.

The Cycle of Procrastination

Put the finished card in another box, this time picture this box as the Entire Cosmos. Whatever works for you - I usually imagine the cards floating into space.

Then randomly select a piece of paper from your muse. Imagine the person actually giving it to you in a very warm fashion.

Re-write what the piece of paper says on a new index card and place it in the recently cleared slot.

Imagine your muse telling the assistant (such as my robot) about what you want to do.


Every so often, empty the contents of the Entire Cosmos into your muse.

That means you will sometimes be placing completed cards on the conveyor belt when a slot is free. You can immediately remove the cards.

As you remove the card, though, imagine all you compadres - the pirate, the dragon, etc - congratulating you on your glorious success.

Burn the card after your little self-congratulatory reverie.

Now, important note. If you can, persuade someone else to burn the card for you. It is important that this person is of the opposite sex and attractive to you.

In the morning ...

Every morning, just before you wake up, imagine one of your compadres (the pirate, perhaps), wandering in and telling you about what was on the card he is guarding. Just let whatever bubbles up in your mind.

In the Evening ...

Before you drop off to sleep, imagine each compadre telling you about what's on the card.

Thank you!

When someone (real) does something for you, give them a thank you card. Write what was on the card and drop it in the muse box.

Are You Serious?

This set of instructions may or may not be serious, I'll leave it for you to decide.

Keep in mind it's based on sound pscyhological principles, e.g: