Productivity Report, Oct 18

Productivity Report

  • Focus Attention and Limited Time … Charlie and Jim offer some suggestions and observations intended to help themselves (and us) focus our attention and limited time on what truly matters. The authors suggest taking one of five meaningful actions on everything that shows up in your life. Future of Work Weblog
  • Making Time Stretch … John says that “setting aside 50 minutes at a time for a large project has revolutionized the way I work”. He offers some ideas on how to deal with email: (a) use a 5 minute clock, and (b) use templates for regular email messages. He discussed the 50 minutes idea back in September. Success Begins Today. Comment: Hey John, I’ve tried the 50 minutes of work + 10 minutes of cognitive / physical change for the past few days, and I have felt a real difference in the amount of intuitive and physical energy I have left at the end of the day: it’s been much more than when I’ve just sat and slogged away!
  • Embrace Kaizen … Jason discusses how the philosophy of Kaizen–slow, continuous improvement–can work wonders for individuals. “you’re continually improving your process, painlessly, without having to interrupt much of your present workflow or take anything new by storm. There’s the thing with Kaizen: you have to stick to it. It doesn’t necessarily require a huge amount of discipline front loaded, but you have to hold on to each small gain you make. Since each step is a small increment, that’s easy enough to do.” He outlines the key ideas: (1) take on the low-hanging fruit, (b) externalize thinking and book-keeping, (c) build in error-proofing, (d) eliminate waste, and (e) stanardization so work practices become automatic. Lifehacker
  • Sharpen Thy Tools … Per Abe Lincoln, if you have limited time in which to cut down a tree, spend much of it sharpening the axe. Brad asks “But how do we “sharpen the ax” when it comes to our goals and our projects?“, and then proceeds to give some answers: (a) think through how to break big goals down to little ones, and (b) educate yourself and do your research on the front end. He analyzes the reasons we hold off sharpening the ax too. Achieve IT!
  • The Cost of Too Many Goals … is “an impossibility of focus, as the human mind will be confused and try to bring the varying goals into alignment with one another. The result is that it becomes almost impossible to focus and communicate” Gary’s comment reminds me of Peter Drucker’s line in The Effective Executive, a paraphrase of which is “a successful executive knows that he can only focus on one thing at a time; the secret is to choose that one thing, and devote all of his time and energy thereon. When it’s done, make the judgment call about what’s the next best thing to do.” ManagersRealm
  • Bind Your Own Paperback Books … A simple DIY approach to binding your own paperback books at home. Think eBooks to paper. Neat idea. Achieve-IT!
  • Omit Unnecessary Words … The secret of writing successfully in three words … Copy Blogger

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