Archive for December, 2005

How Much Can You Do In 5 Years?

Friday, December 30th, 2005

Steve Pavlina, Be Patient With Yourself:

“A general rule of thumb is that people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year, but they underestimate what they can accomplish in five years. I’ve found this to be fairly accurate.”

The Power of Lists

Monday, December 26th, 2005

Approaching Normal:

“One of the things that impacted me the most about GTD is lists. It’s such a ridiculously simple concept, but it’s incredibly powerful.”

Good Procrastination

Monday, December 26th, 2005

Paul Graham on good and bad kinds of procrastination:

“The most impressive people I know are all terrible procrastinators. So could it be that procrastination isn’t always bad?

Most people who write about procrastination write about how to cure it. But this is, strictly speaking, impossible. There are an infinite number of things you could be doing. No matter what you work on, you’re not working on everything else. So the question is not how to avoid procrastination, but how to procrastinate well.”

Revelations

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

ViewFromHome discovers GTD:

“If you live & die by your inbox and have to juggle 50 things at one time, this is an incredible yet simple way to get organized. I’ve been leaning in this direction for a while now (realizing that taking notes on paper didn’t work because I wasn’t processing the notes after I wrote them was a good start). “

GTD For Procrastinators

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

How to Save the World on a modified GTD system:

“I still keep my three paper lists (ideas to blog, books to buy, other shopping), which are updated daily, but otherwise I have no paper at all in my office except bills to pay and books to read. I appreciate that this is a rare luxury — most people have a lot more paper to handle, whether they like it or not.”

Workflow GTD

GTD Xmas Gifts

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

You know how to tell you’re a GTD geek?:

“Your co-workers buy you index card keepers for Christmas. And, though you deeply suspect they are teasing, you love them! Love them! And then you photograph them, upload to flickr and blog.”

What 3 Things Will You Do In 2006?

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

What are the 3 Things you are going to get done in 2006?

Every year around this time I start asking myself this question. The exercise of narrowing it down to only three things is actually much harder than it seems. Usually I can come up with a dozen things I’d like to do but of course most of them I never will.

So by really forcing myself to choose only three things I have to think hard about what my priorities are and what I’m going to focus on in the coming year.

Another trick is that all Things are equal in the sense that if I pick one personal Thing (say, spend at least one night a week with my friends) then that can bump off a business Thing (get a promotion). This process of picking and choosing, bumping off good goals for better ones can be agonizing and it always makes me think of that old nugget of wisdom, “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”

How do you set your priorities for the coming year?

Working at Home in the WSJ

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

The WSJ has this funny (and so true) look at some of the downsides of working at home:

“Many people seem to think that jobs that can be done at home aren’t real jobs. Never mind that home-office dwellers are their own cafeteria staff, shipping-and-receiving clerks and janitors. They never get credit for cutting an employer’s costs, or saving commuting time to do more work. Instead, managers believe that if they aren’t there to witness someone working, it can’t be happening. They envision homebound workers getting away with something, like lounging in their bathrobes and watching “General Hospital.”"

Of course it depends on what kind of job you have, but most task based jobs that need uninterrupted time can really get done in a proper home office. Of course if the home office is even more interrupt-prone than the cubicle then that’s another story…

That Which We Measure, We Improve

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

I have long held that that which you measure you will improve. This seems to be true regardless of whether or not you make an extra effort to improve the thing you are measuring.

That is, just the act of measuring something seems to automatically get you to take steps to improvement.

So if you want to lose weight, hop on the scale every morning. If you want to save money calculate your Net Worth every month. If you want to read more, record the number of books you have read this year so far (and update the record weekly).

Another example of this comes from a recent Hydro One study where consumers are given monitoring devices that let them track their hydro usage in realtime. The result? Given a way to measure their usage people used less electricity:

“The bottom line is that this study — the largest ever conducted in Canada – found an average 7 to 10 per cent reduction in electricity use over the course of a year, when compared to the same months and seaons in the previous year. This finding supports past studies, including one out of Oxford Unversity, that came to similar conclusions.”

Monitor

Whats the Return on your Life?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

Bloomberg:

““Spending income on experiences makes people much happier than spending on material goods (beyond a threshold of income). So to increase happiness, concentrate on experiences (diving, safari and concerts) rather than possessions (new house, fast cars or flashy watches).'’”

Getting Things Done, GTD, Mac, Personal Productivity, Time Management, Motivation



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