I often get asked why I focus on productivity. The answer seems simple to me. Ever since I was a wee boy, I did focus on improving myself and my workflow.
Whilst in school I realised early that it didn’t make sense to come home on a Monday to finish my homework I was given that day. If I did for instance had a task of reading a story, I wouldn’t remember it, if we weren’t having the same class until Thursday. Hence I changed and worked more project oriented, result driven. Of course I didn’t call it that.
So for the example above I wrote down to read the story on Wednesday (or for Thursday). The written tasks, like writing an essay or doing some maths homework, I did on the Monday but reviewed again just the day before they were due. I did effectively managed my tasks, created my own todo list to stay on top of things.
Then, as I grew up, I thought a lot about life. I thought about what I wanted to be, how the day went, which girls I liked and so on. I realised soon that a lot of thoughts came to my mind that stopped me from sleeping. So I took a pen and paper, put it next to my bed, and whenever I remembered to do something or review something, I wrote it down. I got it off my brain, emptied it, so I could sleep. The notes were in a safe place, a trusted system, for me to review at a later stage. I must have just been 10 years old.
I refined this over the years and found a lot of those things covered in GTD (Getting Things Done) by David Allen. Many years later I read all his books, I attended his seminar and realised I knew it all already, yet had less experience than he did. Never mind. This comes over time, and today I am here, talking about GTD, my own experience, work flows, processes, structures and strategies.
More often than not I am sitting at my desk, reviewing some articles, and notice that essentially all those time management and productivity gurus speak about the same things over again. They change the context of course. So for instance, the trusted place:
– This could be the trusted archive online (I recommend Evernote to do that).
– This could be a trusted place for your keys like a key hook or a place for important (offline) documents, like a folder.
– This could be for certain emails, an archive or folder within your email system.
– This could be a system rather than a place for certain processes: this could apply to anything from housework, office work, but also hobbies and alike. A routine if you like and if you are living with a partner and might even have children, then you already know what I am talking about. Because you can be set in your own ways too – which can be both positive but also negative.
You see, just because one is interested in productivity, that doesn’t mean it cannot touch all sort of things in life.
So where do we start, where do we stop.
As a basis for this blog I decided to make my newly commented book on Productivity of Life available to everyone. Open Source if you like. I want to discuss my ideas, make them available to everyone in order to being able to help you with some of the things you might need help with. My recent promotion of the book resulted in over 200 downloads, so I am confident you find it useful!
So for now, let’s have a look at some general things. We touched on trusted systems what they could mean, but haven’t really decided what they are or how we create them. Habits take seconds to break but 60 days to build. A tough decision to prioritise. That is another aspect of productivity.
Let’s leave it for now and let’s bring in some structure in the next post.
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