WWPYCBW: Productivity and Effectiveness (September 1, 2008)

Nicholas released his 101 ideas about productivity post … a great summation of many good ideas in one place. Eg, #66, “E-mail simply brings into sharp relief how devastating regular interrupts are to your greatest asset: your thinking. Remove and reduce your distracters.

Plan in Reverse
Laura points to a new book by a colleague of hers, The Encore Effect by Mark Sanborn, which describes the problem of trying to “be on time”. “This is the source of many people’s lateness, I believe: they are trying to be on time. On page 17 of The Encore Effect, Mark defines average performance as, “the best of the worst and the worst of the best.” He says further, “These performers are the best of the mediocre middle, neither hot nor cold but lukewarm. The problem is that average performance doesn’t get you noticed.” Simply being on time doesn’t get you noticed, because it’s fairly typical. It just doesn’t stand out. It’s okay…it’s just expected…yawn. Don’t be simply “average”! So don’t be on time: be EARLY …. Being prepared means you do things EARLY. Not on time. Early. Done in advance. Proactive. Forward looking. With a long-term focus. We’re not talking ridiculously early here, in a way that inconveniences your host when you arrive for a party. It’s a way of thinking, a way of being, a way you frame your behavior.

Get Back to Organized
Jason outlines four steps to getting back to a state of organization: (1) start with a single step, (2) use a helping hand, (3) give yourself more time, and (4) focus on your restart. “Let’s face it; everyone’s productivity system ends up buried sooner or later. It’s your ability to get back to organized after falling off the wagon that will create some semblance of order and peace of mind that comes with having a system in place.

Quick Links
– WAMU recently featured a discussion on loneliness (audio, 1 hour)

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