WWPYCBW: Productivity and Effectiveness (August 9, 2008)

Contents at a Glance

– Don’t Schedule Arbitrary Tasks
– Stay on Target
– Quick News

Don’t Schedule Arbitrary Tasks
Andre considers the dangers of using your calendar as a to do list, because of the high risk of compromising the integrity of your calendar.

Every time you schedule an action with no authentic time dependency, you create an agreement with yourself. If the action is executed on time, everything’s fine, but if not, you reduce the integrity of your calendar as a focus tool — especially if the margin for error reflects a pattern. The lack of focus is exacerbated by the fact that you have to sort through the calendar to distinguish between commitments and aspirations.

The solution? Stick to hard landscape. Don’t put anything else on your calendar. Use the whitespace to work from your untimed action lists. Use your calendar for information, not motivation.

He also notes the exception: when you need an extended time block for your own work.

Analysis
I run two systems in parallel … a digital list of upcoming day-specific milestones and meetings … and a paper calendar for the next week or month that outlines how I think I’ll get everything done. It’s a bit of a mix … the digital list has the hard landscape, and the paper edition my current view of how to survive! How do you manage your calendar?

Stay on Target
Good reminder from Art about being constant to purpose as a predictor of success.

The phrase, “Constancy of Purpose” strikes me as perhaps the best way I’ve heard to describe that intangible but palpable drive that propels the most effective individuals and the most successful organizations.

Instead of being singularly focused in pursuit of our goals, most professionals that I know struggle to find even a shred of time to work on the most important priorities. It’s not that they don’t have the time, but rather, they allow the noise in the environment to keep them from focusing.

Analysis
What’s one sure fire way to reach a goal? Start toward it and don’t stop. Keep going. Do a little (or a lot) each day. Are you doing it? (If not, as Jason just said, What are you waiting for?)

Quick News
– Making a job out of your passion can be really difficult.
– Nicholas has 101 tips for wellness.
– Want to get more done? Trick yourself into thinking that everything is an emergency.

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