Friday, October 27, 2017

FAQs About my Consulting Services

Well, there's been a lot of interest in my consulting services since I went on Gordon's podcast. And I've gotten several questions that I though would be useful to answer here.



First of all, what consulting services? Go take a look -- if you ever wanted to be more organized or have someone to help you get your shit together, well that's what I do. And if you want to combine that with magic for even more leverage? That's my specialty.

FAQs
How do I start?
I usually like to start with a free half hour Skype chat. I learn what you're after and you to learn how I work. The goal is to decide whether we're a good fit before you spend any money.

How do you work?
I'm neither a therapist or life coach. I like to keep things super practical. Every minute of our consultation needs to be productive and you should come away feeling like you have concrete next steps. You will have homework that I review before the next session. That means our time together is more focused. I'm happy to point out where I see you might have a block, but you'll want to explore it on your own or with someone who specializes in that area.

How long / frequently do I need you?
I'm not interested in people getting coaching from me forever. I want you to get organized, have a plan, and start implementing it. If you can do sessions every other week at first, that's helpful. Later you may just want to check in monthly or even less. But my goal is to get you off and running with your goal. And naturally the more effort you put in the faster progress we make.

Do you still do tarot readings?
Unfortunately, I had to stop doing my readings. I loved doing them and got some great feedback, but they took a lot out of me and I spent a ton of time doing the writeups (which for my largest readings would literally be like 15 pages of material). However, I will pull cards and do readings as part of my consultations as needed -- I just don't do the big write up. If you're interested in the types of readings I did, or want to try them yourself, hunt around on the blog. Early version of the Black Swan and Multiverse divinations are detailed and you can even try them for yourself.

How do I book?
Once upon a time, there was a lot of email back and forth. But now you can use my shiny new booking tool to sign up for either an intro session or a full consultation!

How do I pay?
Once you book a full consultation, I'll send you a Paypal request. I usually wait until just before the consult to send it so that there's no confusion if one of us has to cancel. I don't have a cancellation policy at this point because, hey, I'm just as likely to occasionally need to move a session as anyone.

You have a guarantee?
Yes! If you ever come away from a session feeling like it wasn't worth your time or productive, we can try it again for free. If that doesn't work, you get your money back for that session and any future sessions you may have paid for. You are putting a lot of trust in me and I appreciate that.

You give to charity?
Yeah, 10% of my proceed go to homeless charities. Previously I had the opportunity to work with someone directly under special circumstances, but moving forward I'm supporting a local family shelter and Modest Needs (which I highly recommend).

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The EBER Project -- When Goals Attack

When I started planning my major, three year project (dubbed Early to Bed, Early to Rise -- EBER) I knew it was important to immediately begin working on one or two of the goals. So I broke down part of the project into epics and then chose a couple of stories to get started on. This even before initiating the project.

This is useful because it keeps me from getting too caught up in planning. I need to be making traction even while the rest of the plan comes into focus.

My two chosen epics were around physical fitness and information gathering. Now, there's an argument to be made against focusing on too many things at once. But there's also some logic around intelligently picking stories that compliment one another.

My physical fitness stories are primarily physical -- though they have emotional and mental benefits. They are active but allow me time to think. My information gathering stories are mental / spiritual. They are contemplative but require focus and quiet time.

So the two epics don't conflict and in fact pair together nicely.

But I recently noticed a strong desire to add a third epic. Such a strong desire that I found myself working on the epic without having decided to do it. Instead of blaming myself for this breech of process or resolutely forcing myself to stop, I chose instead to examine my motives and drivers.

When you find yourself working outside your stated objectives there are usually two flavors. First, you might be working on something instead of your planned stories. Second, you might be working on something in addition to your planned stories.




If it's instead of, consider the following possibilities:

  • Are you avoiding the work you should or want to be doing because of some fear? Does the new thing act as a distraction to something you find difficult or scary? In this case, you should stop and spend some time thinking about what you are stuck on and not allow yourself to get distracted.
  • Are you doing this new thing as a direct replacement for the thing you'd planned? Is this a different, maybe better, way to move forward on the epic? Change happens and sometimes a different possibility presents itself and you just know it's the right thing to do. In this case, you should adjust your story, epic, goal, even project based on the new information/opportunity. Agile means flexible.
  • Are you doing this new thing because what you chose to do was wrong? Sometimes we think we want something, but we really don't. Or we think we know how to get someplace, but we are wrong. Remember, any part of your project is up for revision at any point. If going to law school is the wrong thing for you, better accept that now rather than 4 years and $100k in debt from now.
  • Was your original plan too vague, undoable, or fuzzy? Make sure your stories are clear, doable, and tie to your mission/values/vision. You can't take action on things that are not actionable, but you want to make progress so you work on something that is.


If it's in addition to, consider the following:
  • Were you too easy on yourself? Sometimes we don't give ourselves enough to do, and we start adding extra work to stay motivated. That's great, but next time do it mindfully.
  • Is there a dependency with your other work? Is it impossible to make traction on your planned efforts without also doing this other thing? You have just learned something important about how project dependencies work. Learn from the experience as you choose work in the future.
  • Is there a gap in your planned efforts? Did you leave a big hole in what you choose to do that has an impact on your project or life? Sometimes we know what we need without knowing. Accept that and use the information to adjust your plan.
In my case it was this last item. I was still making traction on my physical and mental work, but found that the lack of any emotional component was difficult. In fact, the information gathering I was doing was difficult and it was hard to keep my composure -- to remain coherent (to use a Gordonism). So I began immersing myself into modern applications of Stoic thinking again. This was the extra work I hadn't planned, but that I clearly need.



The universe obliged by providing me opportunities to do that very thing. So I will roll with it and count on Stoicism to help me through the stress caused by intelligence gathering.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sustain-ability: what you can, with what you've got, where you are.

Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Boy, this past week has been crazy and the next is shaping up the same. We've got family illness, migraines, too much work, not enough sleep, etc. And lots of good stuff going on too (like PM consults and travel and plans to meet people and so forth). We've all been focused on just motoring through the tough stuff so we can try to enjoy the good.

This happens to everyone of course. Chaos theory tells us that shit clumps up (actually it probably tells us some more elegant things using math, but go with me here) and good or bad, stuff does seem to clump. Even the budding psychonaut commented on it: "why is it completely boring for weeks and then suddenly everything happens all at once?"

And with that mustache, what couldn't he do?

When things get crazy, I like to remind myself of the quote above. Sometimes plans, goals, and best intentions are all sacrificed on the altar of the daily grind. Whatever you want to do, sometimes there are things you have to do. This happens to everyone from time to time and there's no point beating yourself up over it.

Optimally, you'd keep this sort of thing to a minimum. In fact, you can use the amount of time you spend focused only on the immediate -- or worse operating in crisis mitigation mode -- as a metric for how your life overall is going. And the trick to reducing time in crisis mode is to prep when things are going well. Like an emergency fund for life.

For example, most weekends I go to the farmers market on Saturday morning and the local healthy grocery Saturday afternoon (I know, it's a thrill a minute at Chez Ivy). These errands are really enjoyable for me, not just chores, but this weekend I didn't do either. Because of a combination of "up in the night with a very ill person" "morning migraine headache - again" and "epic endless cold rain storm" I just hunkered down at home instead. But since we tend to have a full larder, it's not like we were going to starve. And by taking time to rest on Saturday, I did catch up on some stuff on Sunday. And I make the coming week (work meetings, early flights) easier to deal with as well.

That quote isn't just useful for when things go sideways either. It's also really useful for setting realistic goals for your projects. Because whatever your vision of your future is, the epic journey to get there has to start where you're at right now.

Image that your goal is to "eat better" (and if you ask me, that should be on everyone's list). Now there's lots of ways to eat better and your goal is going to need refining if you want to be able to achieve it. Maybe better is organic, local, sustainable, fair-trade. Maybe better is less takeout and more cooking. Maybe better is no trans fats, fewer empty calories, low carb, low inflammation. Maybe better is together, at the table, as a family. All good goals and all achievable for lots of people.


Not a goal!

But between there and here is a gap. Sometimes a big gap. And in order to bridge that gap you need to start where you are right now.

I get the urge to want to want to do and be all the things! Right now! But you can't ignore where you're starting from and you can't skip the steps in between. Even if you could magically skip to the end goal (maybe through a reality show where contestants humiliate themselves by like eating 100 HotPockets in order to win a new kitchen filled with free vegetables -- any producers watching should contact me for options on this) it wouldn't stick. The process and the journey really are important.



Which is why the eagles couldn't just give Frodo a ride to Mt. Doom.

When there's something about our lives we want to change it's tempting to avoid looking at that part of our lives now. Just like when things we've tried haven't worked, you kind of just want selective amnesia. But where you are is important, what you've done helps you understand what you can do now, and working with what you've got? Well, what else do you have to work with?

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

EBER Project -- Bullet Ephemeris Redux

Since I'm in the middle of flushing out the EBER project, I wanted to explain how I've been using the bullet ephemeris for project planning and management.

First, I created a main project page to capture the high level stuff:


Sorry for all the blank space, but it is a personal project after all.

I ended up using vision statements rather than a long narrative paragraph. This means that my vision statement sounds a lot like the kind of things I'd make sigils out of -- and don't think I won't take advantage of that.

I also very briefly outlined the first two main phases of the project, which are scheduled to take a year. Then I'll have a month long review / planning period to define and kick off year two. This is important for two reasons: one, the entire first year is focused on information gathering so I won't know what's next until I have more information and two, with agile planning I don't have to know everything in advance.

Consider how lightweight this is. Yes, it takes some thought (and I believe that thought is worthwhile honestly) but the entire purpose of the project takes like half a page. And the high level details for the first year take less than the other half. And this is for a three year project.

The following two pages (left and right) is the start of my backlog, and this is where the bullet journal model really shines. On the left page, I have the epics and stories outlined and numbered. On the right page I create a double column list of short tasks for each story. I do it this way because the inherent limitation of paper is that you can't insert into a list very easily. Still I'm really enjoying paper for the EBER project planning, so I will keep doing it.

If you wanted to keep your backlog electronically, I'd recommend a hierarchical list with everything in it. That way you could add and insert easily -- and no numbering.

And if you like paper, but think more organically, you can create a mindmap version where your epic breaks out into story bubbles and then into task bubbles. Whatever makes sense for your brain (my brain loves bulleted lists, so there you go).

This is a mockup of a backlog / task list page (note comment above about personal project being personal):



Notice I leave a little space in case I want to add stories to an existing epic and that later epics won't have any stories yet (you plan as you go, not all in advance).

So each story gets a dot (as per the bullet method) and when those stories are added to a sprint (which for me is a month) they get a little arrow. I'll then jot them down on my month page along with the page of the corresponding task list. When they're done, they get an 'X'.

For tasks, I either complete them right off the task list and 'X' them out or if they are date based (events, appointments, todos) I schedule them right into my electronic calendar. The scheduled items get a little up arrow (cause the calendar is in the cloud, get it?).

So here's how the sprint planning process works. Note: this is long when written out, but doesn't really take that much time (particularly since it's once a month). If you schedule a little quiet time, you can make it into a very contemplative activity where you review your goals and think about who you are and what you want to accomplish.



Review
  1. I look at last month and see whether I completed the stories I set out to complete.
  2. If I did, I mark them complete on my backlog (and give myself a pat on the back). 
  3. If I didn't, I have a decision to make: 
    • Do I move them forward to next month? If so, I put a forward arrow on the past month and add them to the next month's page.
    • Do I decide to work on them later? I give them a backward arrow effectively putting them back in the backlog. 
    • Do I decide to scratch the whole idea? No need to continue with something you aren't finding valuable. I strike it out for the month and on the backlog.
    This is useful because if I look at an old month, I can see what happened to the stuff I didn't do.
Retrospective

I think about what went well and what didn't and whether I need to adjust course moving forward. I ask questions like "why didn't I accomplish what I set out to?" "what changed in the last month that affects my project?" "why did I kick ass on this one thing and can I replicate it?"

Based on that, I might adjust any part of the project, from the vision to the epics to the stories.
Preplanning -- Update the Backlog
Based on what seems to be the next up priorities, I may take a little time flushing out upcoming epics or stories. That makes planning go smoother. But the further out something is, the less time you spend sorting out the details. Because by the time you get to them, things will have changed anyway. So no need to overthink this.

Planning
  1. I review the project page to remind myself about my mission, vision, and goals. I make changes as necessary.
  2. I check my deadline list if I have one, to see what needs to be worked on for upcoming deadlines (that application is due soon, I'd better get my recommendations and write that essay -- for example). I add new deadlines as they appear.
  3. I pick the story or stories for the coming month. Sometimes they come from the backlog and sometimes I make them up based on changing circumstances. Remember, the idea is to complete the entire story in that month. If you can't then you have to make the story smaller (or even, in a pinch, have a part one and part two). If you decide to do more than one story, they can be from different epics (which is how you work on more than one thing at a time).
  4. I make sure the stories have their tasks listed and add / update / strike out tasks as necessary.
  5. I write the stories on the monthly planner page and note the task page (you can also rewrite the tasks for your month, your choice).
  6. I schedule the tasks that have a date and/or time.

    One useful thing to remember is that you don't have to keep some pristine single source for all of this. If you have stuff to do, you can write it straight into the month page and skip the backlog. The backlog is a holding pen for stuff you have yet to do, so you can dump all your ideas for meeting your project goals. But stuff changes as you go so you want to stay flexible -- which can mean messy. Just make sure your stories includes a reason (why you need to do the thing) that aligns with your vision and values. That's how you keep your project in focus.
Important -- any part of your project is fair game for changing. If you decide mid-way through that your goal is wrong, a new opportunity presents itself, or a huge risk appears that you didn't anticipate, you need to react to that. Anything is up for changing, even the project itself:

  • Maybe all your efforts and magic means that you meet your goal suddenly and way earlier than you planned (yay!!!). So call it a success and move on.
  • Maybe something big and bad arose that you have to put all your effort toward (boo!!!). So defer your goal until later and start on the new thing.
  • Maybe you complete the first epic of your goal and think "fuck this ring nonsense, I'm going to retire to Tahiti and start hospice for the rehabilitation of troubled Gollums" (change!!!). So you ax the project, call it a learning experience and reset your sights on the thing you REALLY want.
That's the heart of agile and what makes it so powerful. This also means that your backlog, particularly on paper, will end up being a mess with changes and updates. And that's just fine too. If it gets crazy in the bullet journal, you just flip to a new page and clean it up. It's not as graceful as an electronic backlog, but it allows you to a) really own what you are writing and b) see a history of the project in all its real-life messiness.


This is also, bluntly, what separates agile from other project planners (some printed out in very lovely hardbound books for quite a lot of money). Having goals is good and so is planning to get those goals done. But life is messy, change is constant, and the world is filled with uncertainty. Pretending that isn't the case is how you end up with stiff, complicated plans that you never look at again, being able to only have near-term goals without a longer-term vision, or -- even worse -- achieving a goal without ever stopping to realize it's the wrong goal.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Talking About Magic and Project Management with Gordon

I was so pleased to be able to chat with Gordon on his RuneSoup podcast recently. He's a great interviewer and is really good at putting people at ease. Pretty much everything he does is highly recommended.

Runesoup.com -- I'm totally pretending that's me.
Amusing note, I'm so bad at marketing that the spouse had to remind me that maybe I want to mention it on my blog too!

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

The EBER Project -- Backlog and Schedule and Phases Oh my!

So, let's talk a little bit more about the component parts of a major agile project like the EBER project. At the highest level, your project contains goals, plans, and deadlines. However, we now know more about how each of those things is handled.



Goals



The epics, stories, and tasks that you started creating become part of the backlog of work. A backlog is basically a stack-ranked list of things you need to do to meet your goals. So for example:

[EPIC] story
    task
    task
    task

So for my physical fitness epic, I might have the following stories and tasks

[Fit] I want to get additional regular exercise to increase strength and stamina
        Buy new running shoes
        Take the dog for a run instead of a walk
        Take a walk at lunch during the week
        Research three gym options in the area
        Update budget to account for gym membership
        Schedule gym visits in advance 3x per week
        Sign up for membership
        Pack a gym bag
        Get your ass to the gym

[Fit] I want to eat more vegetables and make sure I get my vitamins
        Buy fresh veggies each weekend
        Prep veggies in advance of the week
        Prepack vitamins to take to work to have with lunch
        Start dinner planning with a veggie dish
        Add a second vegetable whenever possible

Important note, you don't need to have everything planned out in your backlog in advance! No, that's the least agile way to go about it. Instead, you have a few things planned in detail (like my examples above) and then things get fuzzier as you go out in time.

[I know what's coming] I want to perform divination for my household monthly
[I know what's coming] I want to follow three industry journals / blogs

These may have tasks like setting aside time to do readings, deciding on a schedule of different types of divination, deciding which journals or blogs to follow, and subscribing to the ones that you decide on. But until I get to that story, I don't have to break it down.

Plans



In a classic project, you'd have a project charter that outlined your plans in detail. But we're doing an agile project, so it gets much simpler. First, if you have a long project, you may have different phases. For example, this winter, I'm focusing on physical fitness (because it's harder for me in the winter) and divination (because I have some open questions about what's coming that I'd like to get a bead on). So that's my first phase.

The rest is your basic agile cycle of the sprint, which I talked about before.


Much simpler and more flexible than a classic project plan... and definitely more effective for projects with a lot of uncertainty (which seems like everything in the world right now, doesn't it?). 


Because the agile model is cyclical, you don't need many hard deadlines. You simple size your stories so that you can finish it within the sprint. If you can't, you just break down your stories into smaller bits. But there will still be external drivers and deadlines, for example a special on gym membership that you need to take advantage of before the end of the next sprint. And if you have project phases, it's smart to have concurrent milestones. And finally, it's useful to make sure that, as you create your backlog, you know what it means to be successful. So gym 3x per week or readings every other Tuesday.

The best way to handle these deadlines is to put them right into your backlog. So I have a project phase this winter for fitness and divination. I simply need to decide which stories I'd like to accomplish in this phase. And if a particular story or task also has a deadline, I just note it. And for each story, I need to make sure I understand what it means to be successful and reflect that in the tasks. Because let me tell you from personal experience, paying for a gym membership isn't enough to get fit.

So I get that it looks like a lot of stuff you have to be tracking, but the great thing about agile is that everything is built into the backlog -- which is nothing more than a list of stories (with tasks as necessary). You can keep it on paper (and even some corporate software teams do that) or in a digital list.

Here's a sample backlog for the garage cleaning project:

Epic -- clean garage to use for home improvement projects -- Deadline: 15 Nov
(not a complex project, but a single epic to focus on)

I want to get rid of crap we don't need in order to make room
    Order shiny new cabinets -- sale through Oct
    Identify stuff to donate and put in car
    Identify stuff to go in house / laundry room
    Order a large trash container for the week -- 1 Oct
    Drop off stuff to donate
    Rip down old crappy shelves
    Get container -- 4 Oct
    Fill up the trash container with crappy shelves, extra construction material, and any crap we find
    Trash container pickup -- 11 Oct
I want to insulate the laundry room
    Buy insulation
    Install insulation

One note: if I have a lot of deadlines (like I do at work) I will create a deadline list that's just the items that are due in date order. That allows me to "see into the future" to determine what's coming that I need to work on.

Finally, here's my quick breakdown of the four types of tasks:

Events -- If it lasts a whole day or more and you can't schedule anything else... that's an event. The key to tracking events is advanced visibility. Events are the only things that I actually track in multiple places (something I usually try to avoid). I note them on my Outlook calendar at work, our home calendars, and on a vis-a-vis annual wall calendar.

Appointments -- An activity that includes a start and end time (duration), affects availability, and needs a reminder. These are tracked on the same electronic calendars as above. No double-tracking required. A date book -- or datebook area in your bullet journal -- is a perfectly acceptable paper solution.

Todos -- An activity with a rough timeframe (today, this morning, this week, etc), no duration, doesn't affect availability, usually repeats, needs a reminder. They don't really fit into a calendar slot like an appointment because they don't have a specific start time. But they do have a rough time they need to be completed by. They typically repeat and are infrequent enough that a reminder is necessary. There are a host of tools and apps that work great for this kind of stuff -- pick one that works for your platforms and allows you to get an email, txt, or phone reminder when they are due. If you prefer paper, then putting them in a side column in your date book works.

Tasks -- An activity with no timeframe, unknown duration, no auto-repeat, and no reminder. If you make a list of all the small tasks you need to do to accomplish a big goal, there will be a ton of things you have to crank through. But while they may all have to be completed by a certain date, they don't each have to be completed on a particular date. This is the key difference from a todo. For tracking these the best tool is a good old fashioned checklist. Many of the todo-type tools and apps will also allow you to create checklists that don't have dates attached. Outliners are great for fast and flexible capture and it what I use at work. And for paper, nothing beats a notebook or bullet journal where you write down everything you need to do and then check or strike them off.

I find that group efforts (like at work) require more events and appointments where personal efforts usually need more todos and tasks.

For the EBER project, I'm currently identifying stories for the first phase, and also starting on the first stories (don't wait to start until you plan everything!).

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Monday, October 2, 2017

The EBER Project -- Epics and Stories

One of the things that appealed to be most when I first learned about Agile was that they had epics and stories (and themes too, though I don't usually work with those). Since I take a narrative-focused view of life and magic, it makes sense that these terms would appeal to me.

In the last EBER project post, we walked down from strategic to tactical as far as goals. But it's not always a clean jump from a goal to the day to day things you need to do to meet the goal.

I'm going to steal an example from Dave Ramsey's Getting Things Done (tm) method here. I don't like everything about his method (his hoarders-level attitude to saving paper, for example) but there are lots of good nuggets in the system. He talks about how you probably have items on your to do list that never get done like "clean the garage." This is because "clean the garage" isn't granular enough. It's too overwhelming. You really need to break it down to much smaller bits (place ad to sell old lawnmower).

For the record, this isn't our garage... yet. But we do need to clean it.
If this theoretical garage is anything like ours, you can't just call cleaning a task. It's much bigger than that. In agile terms, it's an EPIC (maybe not on par with throwing the ring into Mount Doom, but close).

An EPIC is a discrete item -- a goal -- that you would like to accomplish, but that's way too large to just jump in and do. In the software world, an epic might be something like: Users can save their data and access it later.

Underneath that epic, you have one or more stories. In agile, they are called stories because they are literally supposed to be phrased as a little story. So: As a new user, I want to create an account with user name and password to save my data. As an existing user, I want to log in with my account to access my data. As a user, I want to update my account with new log in information. The user doesn't even have to be a person: As a server, I want to store user data using secure encryption so that data isn't compromised.

The format is As a {type of user}, I want {goal} so that {reason}.

For our garage example:
As a homeowner, I want to be able to find my tools so I can fix stuff around the house.
As a mechanic, I want the car to fit into the garage so I can work on it.

Notice that we are still in the realm of goals here. This is something you want to accomplish, it doesn't say how you will do it. They're sub goals effectively.



Also, note that this format may be too heavy handed for personal project use because they typically refer to you or your household. So endless stories that start with "As Ivy..." or "As a household..." get kind of redundant.

But there is something critical about the rest of that story format that I want to highlight. It not only notes what you want to accomplish but WHY. This is huge. Back to cleaning out the garage. As you turn that epic into stories, it forced you to think about your vision for the garage (what you want it to look like when you're done) and your values (what you want to do with your garage). For example, you might picture your garage as a place for home improvement projects and crafts -- because you value the do-it-yourself ethic. Or you may want your garage to be neat and clean because you just love order and value having a calm place to come home to at the end of your crazy commute. Maybe the garage will become a gym to meet your need for physical fitness.

What we're doing here is creating a link between your project goals and the values / vision you have for your life. This is where most projects, particularly agile projects, get lost in my opinion. You want to be flexible and adjust course as you do, but none of that will do you any good if you lose sight of who you are and what you value.

The EPICs and stories form a little hierarchy below your goals. Remember, my EBER project is a three year project. There are a lot of big goals here and one of the critical items for me it to break then down into doable chunks of work. And from stories, it's a really short hop to tasks -- the stuff you actually need to do.

From "I want to be able to find my tools so I can fix stuff around the house" you get:
* Collect all the tools from all over the house
* Sort them and get rid of duplicates and broken ones
* Buy a toolbox where they all will fit


So in our example, we end up with:

Vision -- An organized life - spend less time hunting for stuff and more time doing what I care about
  Value -- Do it yourself / self-sufficiency
    Epic -- Clean the garage
      Story -- I want to be able to find my tools so I can fix stuff around the house
        Tasks -- Collect all the tools...

Before we wrap this up, I'm going to give you an example from my own EBER project:

Vision -- I am strong and healthy -- mind and body -- as I age
  Value -- Caring (about myself and others)
    Epic -- I want to by physically fit
      Story -- I want to get additional regular exercise to increase strength and stamina
        Tasks -- Take the dog for a run instead of a walk...

Backlogs are for next time and so is a sampling of my "bitches get shit done" techniques for actually doing stuff -- you know, instead of just planning it.

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