Above Header Navigation

GTD: Getting Things Done Library

Leadership Insight | What are we doing to help you?

“There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.

Winston Churchill

Why do you have your own business?

Winston Churchill could have been an entrepreneur to have so eloquently dramatized the thrill associated with building a business.

Whether you own it yourself or share it with partners, it’s yours to build, to mold according to your dreams and values.

You may be building it from scratch or seeking new opportunities to jumpstart a mature company. In either case, I hope this will help you on your journey.

Want to build your own boat?

Why do you have your own business?

Independence, many will say, the chance to run my own show?

Be my own boss?

Do things my way – maybe because you’ve seen them done the wrong way and you can do better? (more…)

Share this...FacebookTwitterLinkedInbufferPinterestGoogle+Email
Comment

Personal Productivity: Capture all of the randomness

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization.

____________________________________________

What are you doing with all the random information you get?

One thing’s for sure.

The amount of random bits of information heading our way every day is truly mind-boggling.

Some days more than others but collectively, we receive and try to retain thousands of pieces of data that we’d like to store and recall on a moment’s notice.

It happens in all part of our life, too.

Kid’s classroom schedules, swim meets, volleyball games … and pictures of furniture we like … books and music we don’t want to forget … room measurements that we’ve just taken for the 4th time or wish we remembered when we were looking for a new sofa … or the type of printer ink we need because we always forget which model we have … the list is truly endless.

How many web sites have you visited where you’d like to keep that information … read that article later … keep that software tip handy … gifts we don’t want to forget for our anniversary, the kid’s birthdays, Mother’s Day … this is another endless list by itself.

I love Evernote to collect every tidbit of information

I’ve become pretty attuned to capturing every single minor detail in my trusted system.

Since I’m on the Mac platform, I use Daylite, a great productivity suite.

Let me know if you want me to share more details about their dashboard and how to adapt it using GTD principles.

I’ve also jumped into the deep end of the pool with Evernote.

I’ve had the Premium version for about 3 years but I never used it as much as I do now.

I’ve come to see it as a more important part of my workflow because it serves as a very handy database for random bits of information.

It easily syncs across all of your platforms … laptop or desktop, iPhone, iPad and other devices …. seamlessly and quickly. That part is truly a no-brainer.

The elephant logo of Evernote is just that … your personal memory bank for all things that stumble across your path everyday.

Just this week so far, I’ve added 66 notes to my Evernote database.

If you want to know more about how to integrate this wonderful program into your workflow, let me know and I’ll expand upon it in an upcoming article.

 

Share this...FacebookTwitterLinkedInbufferPinterestGoogle+Email
Comment

Productivity Tip | Work Smarter or Take a Nap? Hmmm ….

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization.

____________________________________________

Good Question – How DO you get more done?

By now, some of you have seen the latest Harvard Business Review with this cover.

I don’t think a day goes by when we’re not pondering how to get more done.

The Being More Productive article is an interview with David Allen of GTD fame and Tony Schwartz at The Energy Project, who leads a growing movement concentrating on optimizing and renewing our energy to become more productive.

In fact, the first thing you see when you visit the home page of The Energy Project is a statistic that we all know: 72% of people have trouble focusing on one thing at a time, something we covered in Are Distractions Destroying Your Brain?

I doubt that it’s really that low.

There are several articles in this guide, as you can see from the quick snapshot.

Take a look at some of these articles and let me know what you think? Any tips there that are  working for you … or is it all just old news?

I’d answer that question myself … but I think I’m a little overdue for my nap.

 

Share this...FacebookTwitterLinkedInbufferPinterestGoogle+Email
1 Comment

Personal Productivity | Don’t overlook the “Elapsed Time Effect”

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization.

____________________________________________

Which stuff are you working on first?

Don’t we all know there are many tasks or projects that require us to wait for something else to get done first … or for someone else to get something done before we can continue?

We know that “waiting for” stuff is a critical piece of our personal productivity program because it’s the linchpin of the critical “follow up” that we must always be doing.

So, that part is pretty obvious.

But, have you ever prioritized your tasks to make sure that you’re taking account of the “elapsed time” that something requires?

Here’s the simple hierarchy I try to use. See if it makes sense to you.

1. The 2 Minute Rule

If you can get it done in 2 minutes, do it, get it over with, move on. I think we all know this one.

2. The “Elapsed Time” Effect

Here’s a simple example of how this works. (more…)

Share this...FacebookTwitterLinkedInbufferPinterestGoogle+Email
Comment

Productivity Tip | Who doesn’t love a home-cooked meal?

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff; the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization. One more thing. When in doubt, write it down.

____________________________________________

It’s hard to beat a home-cooked meal!

Is there something more delectable than sitting down to a home-cooked meal … fresh, hot with flavors wafting through the air?

Some of you may be chefs who prefer to cook it yourself, but I suspect that the vast majority of us savor a meal where our only job is to sit down to enjoy it.

Maybe we’ve exerted a little energy to open the Cabernet to go with it, but not much more.

That’s the same feeling we need to create when we sit down to contemplate our Action Dashboard to begin the day.

Ready to Savor (it’s all actionable). Fresh (it’s all up-to-date). Hot (it’s ready to eat as soon as you sit down).

The Weekly Review is where all chopping, cutting, food prep gets done

Even if you don’t love to cook, you’ll still need to help with the food prep that takes place in the Weekly Review. That’s where all the chopping, cutting, shaving … preparation gets done so the meal can be enjoyed. To create a powerful personal productivity system, (more…)

Share this...FacebookTwitterLinkedInbufferPinterestGoogle+Email
Comment

Productivity Tip | Anyone heard of the Zeigarnik Effect?

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization. One more thing. When in doubt, write it down.

____________________________________________

What the hell is the Zeigarnik Effect?

Have you ever heard of the Zeigarnik Effect? It’s named after a Russian psychologist, Bluma Zeigarnik, who stumbled across the notion in the 1920s that waiters remembered orders that were still unpaid better than those that were already completed. She returned to her lab, ran several experiments and further discovered that people remembered tasks better if they’d been interrupted doing them than if they’d completed them.

“Psychic Tension” drives us to closure

What she concluded has a lot to do with our short-term memory’s propensity to forget completely. The more we try to hold things in our short-term memory, the harder we have to work to remember them. It takes a lot of cognitive energy but with few results. Anyone have a different experience?

No surprise … we also seem to have a better memory for those things we have not yet finished. The “psychic tension” it creates remains a stimulus for us to keep moving forward, wrestling with that idea and continually straining to bring it to closure.

What’s the significance for Personal Productivity?

So, what does this mean for personal productivity? (more…)

Share this...FacebookTwitterLinkedInbufferPinterestGoogle+Email
1 Comment

Personal Productivity | Using the 2 Minute Rule? Do the Opposite!

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to help you get more done. Each Productivity Tip is a remarkably simple tool or concept that can be quickly implemented to make a real difference in your personal productivity. When you apply many of them together, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization.

____________________________________________

Why do I need the 2 Minute Rule?

Most of us follow an informal rule about doing something now if it takes just a few minutes. Most GTD aficionados are familiar with a more specific 2 Minute Rule. The short version? If you can get it done in 2 minutes, don’t add it to your task list. Do it now and be done with it.

That’s about as direct and in-your-face as GTD gets. For me, though, the real power of this rule is to make sure you do the opposite of the rule.

So, what’s the opposite of the 2 Minute Rule? Don’t do it if it takes more than 2 Minutes? Wouldn’t that be nice … but unfortunately, far more things take 2 minutes than not.

What if it takes MORE than 2 minutes? (more…)

Share this...FacebookTwitterLinkedInbufferPinterestGoogle+Email
4 Comments

Leadership & Productivity | Just pals – or Sleeping Together?

“Make use of time, let not advantage slip.” ~  William Shakespeare

What Does It Take to be a Great Leader?

As we’ve all learned, most of life’s lessons don’t travel in a neat formation accompanied by bugles and cavalry. They arrive filthy and unkempt, prominent in the mess we’ve made around our foxhole. These lessons are typically the offspring of hubris, naivete and ignorance … or from overlooking the land mines hidden beneath our feet.

Every Tuesday, we’ll share valuable and practical leadership tips and tools to help you BE a better leader so you can BECOME a better leader. Remember … you won’t BECOME a better leader until you start BEING a better leader  … implementing NOW the changes necessary to adopt the proven strategies of successful leaders.

___________________

Protect the Castle from the Intruders

From the unusual amount of email I received following Are Distractions Destroying Your Brain?, I realize we share a universal revulsion for the distractions that confound our days.

We’ve taken the first step to taming the behemoth by trying to understand these forces and how they derail our focus and productivity.

Leadership & Productivity are Sleeping Together

Some of you probably expected this article to appear in our Productivity Tips series, and it certainly fits there as well.

I included it here because I think that as good leader, you absolutely must spend more time devoted to what only you can do, as well as thinking” about what needs to be done.

Some of the techniques that can provide that untethered head space require more than productivity tools. If you can protect yourself from the casual interlopers that eat up your day, (more…)

Share this...FacebookTwitterLinkedInbufferPinterestGoogle+Email
Comment

Personal Productivity | You Can Conquer the Devil in the Details

A Weekly Personal Productivity series to help you get more done!

Every Thursday, I’m sharing a new Personal Productivity Tip to make a real difference in your personal productivity success. When you apply these techniques, they’ll make a big difference in improving productivity, achieving accountability and staying focused on the things that matter the most in your life.

You may want to check out some of the posts in this Productivity series, including the the value of checklists; the importance of getting rid of the crappy stuff;  the nightmare of the cluttered mind; and that feeling of being buried all the time. You can also leverage your resources and apply the lessons of the ARCI chart and the S.M.A.R.T. goals to boost the accountability of your entire organization. Start by Turbocharging the Sunrise! Last week, we talked about the distractions that are destroying our brains, and next week I’ll outline one approach to getting more control over these relentless intruders.

____________________________________________

Are you having any trouble making your routines … routine?

If you’re like me, you realize that there are a lot of “little things” that we need to do every day that often escape us in the maelstrom that surrounds our normal routine. It’s usually those things we’ve promised someone we would do that day FOR SURE … a small thing, easily done … but then, in the firestorm at the office, we completely forget about until we hit home and are gently reminded about our oversight … again.

What is a Routines List?

This may sound absurd … maybe it is a sign of the times … but I’ve recently created a “Routines List”, an innovation that serves as a handy checklist of routines that I may or may not need on any given day but I want a quick reminder of what they are. As you know, I’ve written before about the power of such checklists. (You can also check out David Allen of Getting Things Done (GTD) fame, who has also written extensively on the value of checklists.)

We all have routines, don’t we? (more…)

Share this...FacebookTwitterLinkedInbufferPinterestGoogle+Email
Comment

Personal Productivity | Are Distractions Destroying Your Brain?

Anyone thinking very clearly these days?

I’m really trying hard to do only one thing at a time, like writing this column. I’m trying hard not to glance at the red icon that announces that new e-mail has arrived and how much has arrived since the last time I checked.

In fact, I’m closing down e-mail right now. I’m ignoring all of my social media connections, putting on a little Norman Brown and Ahmad Jamal jazz in the background, a fresh cup of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. Life is good … isn’t it?

If I could only focus ….

Oh, if it were only that simple, and (more…)

Share this...FacebookTwitterLinkedInbufferPinterestGoogle+Email
Comment