Posts Tagged gtd
I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work. ~ Thomas Edison
A nice little quote by Edison to tell you to just get on with what you are doing.
Hardly any entrepreneur or inventor for that matter ever sat in the garden and came up with the big idea to change the world or earn millions of pounds. A few might have but hardly any have.
Getting things right, coming up with good ideas or inventions is about one thing: HARD WORK.
My grandma who would be over 100 years old now never said anything else: Volker, she would say, you going to be ok. You have the gift to get on with people and the stamina and attitude to work hard. And that is exactly what I do.
I get on with things and put a lot of hard work into it. That got me where I am.
No, I haven’t changed the world (yet), not earned a million (yet) and I haven’t invented anything or founded anything (yet). But I got to a place I am happy with: work, life, family – all-round.
Things just don’t come to those who wait, do they? Although a bit of patience would have helped me along the way
Get on with it, work hard and make it happen. You got it in yourself.
Triggered by an article in the New York Times, I thought I pick up on some thoughts re life life balance. I have written about work life balance before. Both when discussing the move towards the South coast and regarding jobs and personal development.
I prefer the term life life balance as we don’t balance work and life, we essentially balance our life.
Actually, there is a reason why I am so interested, and to my mind very good, in productivity. I get a lot more things done than others in less time and know when and where I can get things done. What do I mean by that?
On a normal day I get up at 5 am. Check any important emails, check for podcasts or video on demand services, and go on the treadmill for 30 minutes to catch up on those. Following that I have a small healthy breakfast whilst catching up on the news, shower and be out of the door for my half seven train.
My 50 minute train journey is different every day. Depending on my work load I might nap in the morning, catch up on emails, google reader, read a book, write a blog post or listen to a podcast. I normally don’t nap in the evening but still catch up on the day’s events, doing similar things to what I do in the morning.
Since moving to the South coast I try to leave the office on time on Mondays and Fridays, and normally not later than six or half six during the week. I know anything outside those hours can be dealt with on the journey or when home. I don’t need to be physically present in the office.
Latter is what has changed since the 1950ies when people had rules: clock in clock out, time stamps, or wife stay at home mum whilst husband is the bread winner. I would try to be home for dinner but currently the kids eat around 5 pm and are in bed by 7 pm. That means unless I leave the office extremely early I cannot see them during the week. But some days I see them in the morning.
I am lucky that I can work from homes regularly and try to do so too. It makes a huge difference to spend some time with the family during the week.
Another key to a good life balance is to be able to switch off. Not only your mind but also your phone. Evenings and weekends are key. Before I had two separate phones I got calls and emails late at night or at the weekend. I wouldn’t do that again. If you spend most of your week working, then you need to be fully present at the weekend, to spend as much time with your family as you can. Full on!
It seems like I am always full on. Relaxation happens in the evening, weekends or whilst running. Or on the way home travelling. Having a GTD (Getting Things Done) like system that allows for optimal task management plus my productivity suite on my iPad makes me super efficient on the go.
Or at least I like to think so. There are still some improvements I can make, and I guess I am lucky because my company understands I have family and doesn’t judge me on time in the office but results. Latter is how we should manage performance in the 21st century.
How do you manage?
Have a productive day,
David Allen on TED.
Yes, you read correctly. There is a new approach David Allen, the GTD guy, wrote in his book “Making it all work“. Or maybe it is not a new approach but a different thinking I personally like.
He says pretty much to forget about a work life balance. David argues that people put too much emphasis and pressure trying to separate the two: work & life. He further says that the concept of balance is irrelevant as you only seem to focus on it when you don’t have it.
By just focusing on what you are doing that moment, trying not to count the minutes you play with your dog as supposed to type your article for the press, it gives you more energy. It is about living in the now and thinking about “What am I doing”, “What is next”. David says that the key element is to eliminate the distraction, whatever its source, and to have focused alignment in whatever you’re doing.
I find this approach quite right. If I worked for myself or at home and let’s say I have to go shopping, then I go shopping. In return, I work late at night catching up with my emails. Of course, some companies already offer that, and it is a common approach for some. And, I would not differentiate between my work and my private life.
By desperately trying to separate the two, e.g. working 9-5 in an office, then going home and not looking at any work related things at all, would put more pressure on me. Naturally I try to not think about work when home and not thinking about home when at work. Maybe the way I demonstrate it exaggerates things, but generally speaking, I agree to not separate the two.
Personally, I don’t mind having a day off but checking and in urgent cases responding to my emails, or even make a phone call. When I get home after work, I surely want to spend as much time as possible with my boy, then put him to bed. And, if there is important work, I might just work for another hour or so. In return, I would (and can) expect my employer to give me time if my child is ill and I have to work from home, or come in late as I need to go and see the doctor with him.
But, and that is the way I understand David Allen, people in general worry too much and think too much about the “what if” rather than “what’s next”. It is about productivity and about making the most of your time. If you are officially at work or at home or if you just in “your time”. And that is what counts.
Of course for blue collar workers that have more of a regulated, maybe even machine driven work pace, things are different as they cannot really do anything else whilst supervising a production line. And, whilst being at home, there might less work to be done. Work might not be as flexible.
Bottom line: Stop Worrying, and Start Living. Dale Carnegie wrote about that more than 60 years ago.
Stop being desperate about a balance between work and life. Treat all as life and organise yourself. From there, you will be productive: for work, for life, for yourself.
Hope that makes sense.
My moleskin organiser, as described here, finally arrived.
And, as of GTD it has an integrated inbox at the back of the diary, how convenient!
All eager to put a new system in place for organising my life, I did a couple of things this weekend.
The influence of the seminar? Most certainly so!
I ordered a new diary for 2009 which allows me to have my weekly overview and plenty of notes on the other side. For less than £10 money worth spent! It should enable me to mind sweep any one time and transfer those notes directly into tasks whenever I am in my todo list.
The latter made me think. I am at work with Outlook, I am at home with my paper organiser and I do not want to log into my work emails all the time to add a personal appointment. There are a few things I could do.
However, I found something called IScribe that seems to solve the problem. An online/offline organiser that allows me to have todo lists, calendars and edit it whilst offline and then synchronises it when I am online. So I can have it at work, at home, on the plane – anywhere. And, it seems to sync with digital and non-digital organisers. Neat!
I now hope they soon take on more beta testers I registered anyway.
Let me know your experience with online organisers! I also use Plaxo which is a neat tool to sync your outlook and backup your contacts and tasks etc. However, you cannot use it offline, which I guess you don’t need to if you have your outlook installed. The premium version for less than £30 offers you even greater freedom.
I keep you updated, once I get IScribe, I think that will be the solution for all my problems Will it though, lol.
Have a great Sunday.
Hello, good morning.
Early for a Saturday, but my head is spinning full of ideas. Why? I went to David Allen’s seminar “Getting Things Done”. Wow!
David is an inspirational speaker and trainer. After reading his book I noticed that I have put 80% into practise and that I need another 20% to achieve excellence. I now know how – I just need to do it. How does it stick, how do you motivate yourself, and, how do you not lose that motivation.
Latter will be key, but is key to anything. Stopping smoking or starting to play Golf.
What is so good about GTD?
David developed his system over 25 years. Looking at it, it is simple. Baby Steps. All he does is breaking down purpose in live (50,000 feet), vision (40,000 feet), goals (30,000 feet), Area of Focus (20,000 feet), Projects (10,000 feet) into direct ACTIONS that then need tasking. And, he developed a great way of tasking in various categories, e.g. home, office, plane, calls etc.
The powerful way of combining control with perspective. Motivation with Coaching. Without trying to simplify, but there is the coaching aspect of setting goals and visions and breaking them down into steps/actions. There is the NLP component to motivate, organise and re-focus/re-frame actions. Also, you find the “normal” time management component of having the yearly, monthly, daily, hourly view of things.
So, could anyone have come up with the system? I think so. Sorry, David, that is not meant disrespectful. I guess I was too late to develop my personal system into a GTD and as a second to market it would not wor k Why should I anyway, I rather support yours!
David Allen is a great speaker, a great leader and inspiration of setting up your own system using the right tools. And, there are still the 20% I need to improve my system with. 20% is a lot! And, with things getting busier around business, I need to have this extra edge to free up more time to pursue my visions.
So, not only congratulations to David on inventing a system that works but also to teach it the way he does. I have a lot of respect for you!
PS: if you have not read his book, you find it here.