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Productivity Library

I have written more than 150 articles about Productivity. They cover many aspects of the popular GTD methodology which I actively practice, along with articles on technology that include cool hardware devices and valuable software tools

Please check out the Featured Articles from our Productivity Library to get you started.

“Learn-it-all” will always do better than “Know-it-all” … and a few tips on dealing with the tragedy of the NorCal fires

I know our friends, colleagues and clients in the wine country of Sonoma and Napa are reeling today from the tragedy and devastation brought about by the raging fires in Northern California, which at this moment, are still not under control.


FEMA offers a valuable article, After the Fire! Returning to Normal which may be helpful for those who are experiencing property loss. I also hope an article offering self-care strategies to cope with the emotional distress created by such tragedies, will bring comfort and solace to those afflicted.

A Few Ideas ….

This week, I’ve discovered some articles I want to share with you that touch upon some of the most fundamental challenges facing business leaders …

  • How to make sure you’re staying on top of what’s best for your organization,
  • Why strategy execution almost never happens,
  • Why people can’t get anything done in the office, and
  • Why the least likely suspect is spending more on employee benefits than product.

“Learn-It-All” Will Always Do Better Than “Know-It-All”


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I’ve Spent a Professional Lifetime Becoming a Productivity Junkie

No, I don’t want to count the hours (honestly, thousands over 30 years) I’ve devoted to learning about Productivity … its processes, workflows, tools … and more.

If you’ve been an Exkalibur Subscriber for long, you have seen a wide and deep range of Productivity articles from me over the years.

ON THE FRONT LINES OF PRODUCTIVITY

I have spent over 30 years on the front lines of productivity, testing hundreds … more likely thousands … of tools and workflows … long before the first desktop computer.

I really dug in when I bought my first Apple computer in 1984 and discovered programs like VisiCalc, a predecessor to Excel, and Filemaker, now an Apple subsidiary, but then an independent database developer.

THE CRASH TEST DUMMY OF PRODUCTIVITY


Keep reading to discover these valuable productivity articles …

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Start Drinking. Coffee First. Then, a Nice Chilled Mug of Amnesia

Have a seat and start sipping on that delicious mug of amnesia.

You can down more than one of these if you need it.

We just concluded a three-day Labor Day weekend and just maybe we had a few too many burgers, dogs and mugs of adult beverages over the holiday?

After all that practice with adult beverages, maybe it’s time to sober up with an even more powerful adult beverage.

How About a Mug of Amnesia?

No calories. Low carbs. Non fat … AND loaded with the protein you need to turbocharge your organization.

Finally, a Hangover That Feels Good


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The 2 Minute Rule … Rules … Until It Doesn’t

You may be using something like the “Two Minute Rule” to help you get quick things done quickly.

But what are you doing with everything else?

You’ll Be Surprised When You Try This Experiment

You might be thinking,

“Two Minutes? You can’t get anything done in 2 minutes? What’s this guy thinking?”

I get it. So here’s a little experiment I want you to try.

  • Stop doing anything.
  • Set a timer for 2 minutes.
  • How long does that feel?

It feels even longer than 2 Minutes, doesn’t it?

The key is that you can get important tasks DONE in a couple of minutes if you’re prepared to take advantage of it. But, you’ll also see when you take a look at Why You Should Implement the 2 Minute Rule … and When You Shouldn’t, that it’s only a one trick pony.

The more important question is what are you doing to get control of and manage everything else that doesn’t fit that simple rule?

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This Has Been My Universal Experience: No Momentum? No Results!

How often have you started a project which ran out of steam?

It’s not because the idea is no longer valid or the results desirable … but because other priorities jumped in line … energy was diverted to new projects … and the original project died on the vine.

Isn’t it interesting that Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion perfectly predicted this?

“An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

In other words … if an object is in motion, it tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by another force which slows it down … like unexpected obstacles, new priorities, emergencies … really, anything that gets in the way.

I’ve described this phenomenon in greater detail in Why the Lack of Momentum is the Most Lethal Force in Your Business because I want you to create and harness the concept of Momentum. You’ll find that while it’s invisible to the touch, it’s paramount to the energy that’s needed to successfully complete … almost anything.

So, the next time you find a project flailing about … and its energy dissipating … be sure to consider what you can do to jumpstart that project and renew its energy

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5 Powerful Leadership Lessons from the Indianapolis 500

Our leadership prowess is always on the line but nowhere more powerfully than on the starting line at the Indy 500.

You’re all in, 24/7 for 365 days … with victory in a 33 car lineup about 3 hours away. Do you understand the leadership requirements to achieve victory where there is no do-over?

 

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades

On Sunday, May 28, 2017 … and with a spread of only 0.2011 seconds – yes, that’s about 2/10 of one second – Takuma Sato edged out Helio Castroneves who was trying to become only the 4th driver to win 4 times at the Indy 500. Sato is the first Japanese driver to win at Indy and earned his redemption from hitting the wall on the final lap in 2012.

I’ve been following this race for more than 50 years

For over 50+ years, I have listened to … and starting with the first live, same-day telecast in 1971 … watched the Indianapolis 500.

Every year.

Without fail.

What do I know about cars?

Nothing!

Really, I should say Absolutely Nothing!
Keep reading to learn the 5 Powerful Leadership Lessons from the Indy 500

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Happy Birthday, Winston | How Did You Get It All Done?

Today, November 30, is the birthday of Winston Churchill.

H e was born 142 years ago in 1874 … and died almost 51 years ago in 1965 … yet his talent and prodigious output remains striking to this day.

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Winston Churchill has always been one of my favorite historical characters … and for many reasons. His oratorical wit, style and passion was without peer.

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity, a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity. ~Winston Churchill

He had a spine of steel … with discipline and resilience to match, albeit the certainty of his convictions often triggered an abject stubbornness that wasn’t always welcome. It also created no small amount of turmoil.

I suppose some of these attributes can be found among many of us, so by themselves, they may not be so distinctive.

Prime Minister during WWII is only part of his record

To believe is to be strong … Doubt cramps energy … Belief is power. ~Winston Churchill

For me, his greatest distinction is the enormity of his accomplishments.

In most lifetimes, we’d be fortunate to accomplish a fraction of what Churchill got done.

Most notably, he served as the Prime Minister for Great Britain (and for 40+ years in the House of Commons, holding many other cabinet-level positions previously), leading the Allies to victory against the Axis forces during World War II … by most standards, enough to earn eternal praise and approbation.

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The Nobel Prize for Literature

Yet, who else in that same lifetime wrote 43 book-length works in 72 volumes?

Keep reading to learn of Churchill’s extraordinary accomplishments

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Are you moving at the Speed of Lame?

Here’s the thing. If you’re not organized, you can’t be the effective leader you want and need to become.

If you aren’t organized … and know it … you will be among the loudest critics.

If you like to think you’re organized but know you’re really not, you will quickly delete this email because you don’t want to face up to that challenge.

Sorry about all this. Go ahead and disagree if you wish.

I get it.

Getting organized is a lot harder than you think. It’s a lot harder than it ought to be, but as soon as we get some time, gosh darn it, we’re going to get organized.

But, what does that mean? It’s a valuable shorthand that some people will debate as sadly misplaced, but I think we all know what it means.

For me, it means making sure that I don’t lose track of any thing that has my attention and holds my interest. There’s no better bible for Getting Things Done than David Allen’s book by that name.

Keep Reading for Productivity Tips & Tools …

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Why don’t people return phone calls?

It’s remarkable that so few people return their phone calls on a timely basis. Why is that?

Are we just lazy? Too busy? Did I mention lazy? Don’t give a rip? “If it’s important, they’ll call back?”

 

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Are you eyeballin’ me? Of course not … not you. You return all your calls. Right?

Wanna think about all the time we invest in phone tag? Nah, me neither.

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Ok, let’s do it anyway. Talk about a time sink … keeping track of all those who …

  • don’t return the call,
  • are out of the office,
  • traveling,
  • on vacation,
  • sick,
  • already on the phone …

… what a bother, huh?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably got dozens of these floating around at any one time.

What if they don’t return phone calls at all?

Keep reading if you need a few more reasons to NOT return phone calls

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