Personal Productivity & Knowledge Work: Hard Truths and "Hot Tips"

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A talk I gave on personal productivity and knowledge work. The talk begins with an overview of what knowledge work is and the barriers we face in getting to the work that is really important to us. This is followed by a very brief overview of David Allen's Getting Things Done methodology and what I've learned from Merlin Mann's many online platforms, including 43folders.com, his great talks available on Youtube, and the Back to Work podcast on the 5by5 network. It ends with some practical "hot tips" that people can easily implement in their work environment today. The "hot tips" part is in quotes because getting to stress-free productivity is REALLY hard to do.

Text of Personal Productivity & Knowledge Work: Hard Truths and "Hot Tips"

  • PERSONALPRODUCTIVITY ANDKNOWLEDGE WORK:HARD TRUTHS ANDHOT TIPSNovember 29, 2012Scott Bragg
  • Why does this matter to me?
  • PersonalProductivity=when you take howproductive you arepersonally.
  • Congratulations!YOUARE A KNOWLEDGEWORKER
  • In knowledge work, thetask is not given, it has tobe determined. -Peter Drucker
  • THE BAD NEWSThis is how we livetoday:New demands +insufficientresources = STRESS!
  • THE BAD NEWScan lead to DESPAIR
  • THE BAD NEWS (contd)THE INTERNETIS OUT TO GETYOU!
  • THE BAD NEWS (contd) 15 hours, 33 minutesThe average time a personspends on Facebook everymonth. Source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/social-networking-statistics/
  • THE BAD NEWS (contd)Social media isntfree. Its just adifferent kind ofexpensive.
  • THE BAD NEWS (contd)Email is outto get youtoo.
  • THE BAD NEWS (contd)Facebook:CONTROL: HighEXPECTATIONS: LowEmail:CONTROL: LowEXPECTATIONS: High
  • MULTI-TASKING =
  • MULTI-TASKING = Background tasking or Switch-tasking
  • Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sybrenstuvel/2468506922/
  • LET ME INTRODUCE YOU Photo: www.davidco.com/about-us/about- Photo: http://merlinm.com/about/ david-allen / David Allen Merlin Mann Getting Things Done Inbox Zero (just (call it GTD to show Google it) youre in the know) 43Folders.com Back to Work
  • Its possible for a personto have an overwhelmingnumber of things to do andstill function productivelywith a clear head and apositive sense of relaxedcontrol -David Allen The very first sentence of Getting Things Done
  • GTD in one sentenceA system for transformingthe amorphous blob ofstuff you deal with everyday into clear, meaningfulaction steps towardcompleting valuable,meaningful projects.
  • Minds are forhaving ideas, notholding them. -David Allen
  • TIMEandATTENTION Scarce resources Inelastic (in economic sense) Irreplaceable We dont know how to properly value them
  • The goal isnteffective timemanagement.Its effective attentionmanagement. -Merlin Mann
  • So, wheresthe best placeto start?
  • How about email?
  • Are you really checkingyour email, or is your emailchecking (and wrecking)you? -Scott Bragg Just now
  • This is what most Inboxes look like:
  • This is what your Inbox could look like:
  • Inbox ZeroThe Goal:To process yourinbox to zero everytime you check youremail.
  • Inbox Zero: The 4 Ds1. Do it!2. Delete it! (or Archive)3. Delegate it! (then Delete it)4. Defer it (Whoa there!) (These 4 Ds are slightly altered from D. Allen and M. Manns original, by me.)
  • Deferring It (the basics) Decide on a permanent place to collect deferred tasks or things. Verb every task you collect. Make it a habit to evaluate your collection of deferred tasks regularly. Two different lists: To Do and To Do Someday
  • CONGRATULATIONS!You made it to theHot Tips part of our programme!
  • Party
  • 1 Turn off the pop-up notification in Outlook.
  • 2 Make habits out of completing recurring tasks.
  • 3 Your Trash folder and Recycling Bin are great short- term storage.
  • 4 Turn on Out of Office when working on an important project.
  • 5 Check email only once an hour.
  • 6 Use your calendar to mark off large chunks of time for projects.
  • 7 F11 is your best friend.
  • Want more?Getting Things Done by David AllenInbox Zero talk by Merlin Mann for Google (link)Back to Work podcast with Merlin Mann at 5by5.tv/b2wLinchpin by Seth GodinThe Effective Executive by Peter DruckerFlying Without a Net by Tom DeLongThinking Fast and Slow by Daniel KahnemanThe Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • Thank You!